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ICS 139W Critical Writing on Information Technology

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1 ICS 139W Critical Writing on Information Technology
Lecture 1 Emily Navarro Duplication of course material for any commercial purpose without the explicit written permission of the professor is prohibited

2 Today’s Lecture Course introduction
“System change” assignment overview “Writing instructions” assignment overview

3 Course Introduction

4 Course Basics Course: ICS 139W – Critical Writing on Information Technology Professor: Emily Navarro TA: Scott Godfrey Lecture: T Th 5-6:20pm, ICS 180 Discussion: W 9-9:50 (ICS 259), 10-10:50 (DBH 1423) (attend one per week) Some weeks: required activities Some weeks: informal consultation hour Course Website: html

5 Course Basics (II) Office hours Questions and announcements
Emily: before or after lecture, by appointment Scott: before or after discussion, by appointment Questions and announcements or in class Class list Course materials English dictionary and thesaurus A writing guide (see UCI Writing Center resources) I’ll use class list to respond, you can use it too for general questions writing guide: spelling, grammar, verb tenses, numbers, etc.

6 Course Goals To give you the opportunity to focus on writing in your specific academic discipline (CS) To help you become comfortable writing technical documents for a variety of audiences To help you become comfortable with giving presentations In your CS career you may have to write manuals, conference papers, journal papers, white papers, memos, executive summaries, even s can be critical

7 Grading Writing Assignments:
"Writing Instructions:" 10% "Influencing Policy:” 15% "Changing the System Introductory Tutorial:" 15% "Changing the System Proposal:" 20% “Changing the System Promo Piece:” 5% Resumé and cover letter: 5% Two or three smaller in-class exercises: 10% Class attendance and participation, including three or four oral presentations: 20% Really good reason for absence, let me know beforehand No exams

8 Writing Assignment Requirements
Submission mechanics Submit a hard copy at the BEGINNING of class ALSO submit an electronic copy via EEE Dropbox Intermediate versions should be as good as you can make them count for 1/3 of your grade on the assignment must include marked copies of all earlier versions both instructor marks and peer editing marks refers to paper submission only For most assignments, you will turn in more than one version Other 2/3=final draft

9 Writing Assignment Requirements (II)
Plagiarism DON’T DO IT! Plagiarism = presenting someone else’s work as your own Cite any resources from which you pull information “Two or more” rule of thumb All assignments are checked thoroughly for plagiarism Plagiarism consequences Fail the course Offense recorded with Student Affairs Any time you use two or more words in a row that you did not think up yourself, use quotation marks and indicate where they came from Plagiarism checked through manual and automated checkers Can affect financial aid, graduation, eligibility for honors, etc.

10 Writing Assignment Requirements (III)
Grammatical/spelling mechanics A good command of English syntax, spelling, and punctuation is assumed Course focuses on content, organization, audience, and style We will not mark every grammatical error on your assignments But they can lower your grade If you need help with this, the UCI Writing Center has many resources Talk about non-native English speakers Always leave time for a slow careful read-through before the deadline

11 Spelling/Grammar Checkers
Spell check will not fined words witch are miss used butt spelled rite! Marketing are bad for brand big and small. You Know What I am Saying? It is no wondering that advertisings are bad for company in America, Chicago and Germany. ... McDonald's and Coca Cola are good brand. ... Gates do good marketing job in Microsoft. Do not rely on it. Simply a first step.

12 Spelling/Grammar Checkers
Spell check will not fined words witch are miss used butt spelled rite! Marketing are bad for brand big and small. You Know What I am Saying? It is no wondering that advertisings are bad for company in America, Chicago and Germany. ... McDonald's and Coca Cola are good brand. ... Gates do good marketing job in Microsoft. Do not rely on it. Simply a first step. Passes MS Word’s grammar checker!

13 Writing Assignment Requirements (IV)
Counting words and pages one page = one standard, double-spaced typewritten page; ~300 words, point font Typography: All papers must be Typewritten Double-spaced Except for Influencing Policy letter final version Change proposal cover letter Typewritten except for in-class

14 Writing Assignment Requirements (V)
Binding Smaller assignments: one staple in upper left corner Larger assignments (that include previous drafts): one large paper clip or purse clip Include your name on each piece For more details see “Writing Assignment Requirements” linked off the class Website

15 “System Change” Assignment

16 Basic Idea Examine some software system you are familiar with from a variety of perspectives: Introducing new users to the system Proposing changes to the system Promoting the changed system to its users You will create documents and oral presentations for each of these purposes Focus on the different audiences and how your writing/presenting needs to be tailored to each

17 Stage I – Choosing a System
Can be conventional application software or a Website with complex navigation/interaction/functionality Audience: our class Deliverables: 4/3: to Scott Name the system Describe it if unfamiliar Sketch out the changes you are proposing 4/10: 1-2 minute oral presentation in lecture Based on feedback from Scott Class may or may not know about the SW, may have suggestions about the changes you propose

18 Stage II – Introduction for Novices
Write an introduction to the system for novices 3-4 pages High-level description of the system, its capabilities, tasks it performs Include any necessary background information Do not include tedious minor details E.g., which keys to press, which menu items to choose Audience: novices Deliverables: 4/16: First draft 4/17 or 4/21: 2-minute oral version of introduction 4/23: Final version

19 Stage III – Proposal for Change
Write a proposal for changing the system 5-6 pages plus a single-page cover letter Address the proposal to whoever is in charge of making the changes happen Produce a proposal that is actually “sendable” to this person Audience: decision-makers Deliverables: 4/24: First draft for joint editing in class + presentation slides 5/1: Revision of proposal and slides based on joint editing 5/15, 5/20, 5/22: Final oral proposal for change (~4 min.) 5/20: Final written version + final presentation slides decision makers know about the software, but need to be convinced of the usefulness and feasibility of the changes

20 Stage IV – Promotion for Users
Prepare a one-page promotion piece announcing, describing, and promoting your change to current users Flyer, brochure, memo, Web page, etc. Can be relatively informal Audience: current users of the system Deliverables: 5/29: Draft for editing in class 6/3: Final version + 2- minute presentation know what it does now but need to know what the changes mean

21 Suggestions/Advice Choose software that you know/care about
Be mindful of your audience Use graphics effectively Cite your sources of information For oral portions, do not simply read from a script Seek advice from us Oral presentation graded on preparedness (not speaking style, nervousness, etc.) Graphics don’t count towards page count Citation format not crucial, just be consistent oral presentations: can have notes, but speak naturally (maintain formality)

22 “Writing Instructions” Assignment

23 Basic Idea The premise The assignment
We are used to writing instructions for computers Writing instructions for human execution requires a different set of skills The assignment Build some object using Legos, Tinkertoys, etc. Premade “kits” not allowed Write a manual for building your object using only words (no pictures) Build each other’s objects in class using only the written manual System must have more than one type of object that can be combined in more than one way Computers interpret language reliably, humans don’t; programming langugaes are simple and unambiguous

24 Due Dates 4/9 Disassembled components of your object and three copies of a good draft of your manual You will build each others’ objects in class and make suggestions for improvements to each others’ manuals 4/15 Final revision of your manual Disassembled components

25 Suggestions and Hints Start your manual with a list of components
Consider describing your object in terms of modules Use organizational guides in your manual e.g., section headers, table of contents

26 Next Time Discussion (tomorrow) Lecture (Thursday)
Consultation hour for “Changing System” and “Writing Instructions” assignments Lecture (Thursday) In-class writing sample “Easy” topic ~300 words You may bring a dictionary or other reference work on paper Strive for perfect mechanics, grammar, usage, clarity, organization Bring a pencil or two

27 Next, Next Time Lecture (Tuesday)
Read the two papers on PowerPoint available on the course Website You will write about them in class


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