ENC 4260: Week 1, Course Intro Spring 2015 Slide 1 of 34 Course Goals 1.Show ability to create clear, concise, and complete messages that meet needs of intended users and readers. 2.Meet stated deadline for assigned project. 3.Show ability to create and transmit messages in such diverse media as print, audio, video, in-person presentation, and internet. 4.Show knowledge and sound judgment in using effective communication concepts, theories, tactics, and strategies appropriate for intended project results. 5.Show ability to interpret and edit messages from advanced Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) and transmit said messages effectively to non-expert users.
ENC 4260: Week 1, Course Intro Spring 2015 Slide 2 of 34 Text: Online Technical Writing
ENC 4260: Week 1, Course Intro Spring 2015 Slide 3 of 34 Four Major Assignments + Final Exam and Course Evaluation 1.Technical information for non-technical audience (technical prospectus) (Mon, Jan 12, 6 pm) = 20% of grade 2.Feasibility report (Mon, Feb 2, 6 pm) = 20% of grade 3.Essay or proposal (Mon, Feb 23, 6 pm) = 20% of grade 4.Technical report or freelance portfolio -- Outline (Mon, Mar 9, 6 pm: required but not graded); Assignment itself (Mon, Apr 20, 6 pm) = 30% of grade Final Exam (Mon, Apr 27 to Wed, Apr 29, on Canvas): about 45 minutes, multi-format questions on all course content = 10% of grade Online course evaluation also required (instructions and deadline to be announced)
ENC 4260: Week 1, Course Intro Spring 2015 Slide 4 of 34 Workflow in the Course Lectures will be posted (usually by Wednesday) on course website as PowerPoint slides and recorded audio (MP4). Final grade will be penalized by subtraction of two points from relevant assignment for each missing set of lecture codes. Lectures contain embedded audio codes to be sent with assignments, as follows: LECTURE CODES FOR WEEKSEND WITH ASSIGNMENT 11 (Jan 12) 2, 3, 42 (Feb 2) 5, 6, 73 (Feb 23) 84 Outline (Mar 9) 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 (no Week 9 lecture because of Spring Break) 4 Final (Apr 20)
ENC 4260: Week 1, Course Intro Spring 2015 Slide 5 of 34 Workflow (continued) Provide all assignments to me via Canvas as Word documents. Send all other messages directly by to Contact me at any time by , or call me at home ( ) Mon-Fri, 9 am to 5 p.m. Because all of my teaching is online, I am seldom on campus but I can meet you there if you wish. I am also available by Skype (arrange time in advance). Before asking a question by or phone, first consult assignment instructions, lectures, messages, and syllabus. Save all course-related messages, lectures, readings, and files in a separate ENC 4260 folder and back that up DAILY. Efficient communication is essential because all of us are busy people.
ENC 4260: Week 1, Course Intro Spring 2015 Slide 6 of 34 Messages Send assignments to me via Canvas, but other messages directly by to ALWAYS include your name, course number, and (if relevant) assignment number in subject line. Name your assignment correctly: Lastname_4260_X.docx or Lastname_4260_X_markup.docx, where X = assignment number Make sure you receive my acknowledgment of all assignments and other important messages -- if you do not, send the message again ASAP. Promptly sending and replying to are essential. I receive scores of s from students every week – don’t let yours go missing! My alternative personal is to be used if you have problems with the USF
ENC 4260: Week 1, Course Intro Spring 2015 Slide 7 of 34 Grading Standards A = exceeds objectives of the assignment; three or fewer major errors in language usage, sentence structure, or organization; clear, logical thought; originality, creativity, and maturity B = meets objectives of assignment; no more than four major errors in language usage, sentence structure, or organization; logical but uninspired thought; no major surprises C = meets objectives but just barely; five or more major errors in language usage, sentence structure, or organization; some lapses in logic; often, a cautious effort to “give the instructor what he wants” D = tries but fails to meet objectives; six or more major errors in language usage, sentence structure, or organization; jumbled, weak flow of ideas; confused understanding of the assignment F = complete failure to meet objectives of the assignment More information on writing errors in this course:
ENC 4260: Week 1, Course Intro Spring 2015 Slide 8 of 34 Grade Calculation Grades are earned, not given. Evaluation is based on performance and professional standards, not personality. Grades are weighted as follows: 60% = Assignments 1, 2, 3 (20% each) 30% = Assignment 4 10% = Final Exam No assignment turned in = ZERO points. Plagiarized assignment = ZERO points Late submission loses 10 points for each 24-hour period beyond due date (no penalty if resulting from legitimate, verifiable cause such as health problem -- must send documentation to me via or U.S. mail). Points will also be deducted from a relevant assignment for missing lecture codes. LETTER + NUMBER GRADE EQUIVALENTS A = A- = B+ = B = B- = C+ = C = C- = D+ = D = D- = F = LETTER + NUMBER GRADE EQUIVALENTS A = A- = B+ = B = B- = C+ = C = C- = D+ = D = D- = F =
ENC 4260: Week 1, Course Intro Spring 2015 Slide 9 of 34 Two Grading Options OPTION 1 - Optimal Learning: Request detailed mark-up if you’re willing to revise and return your work to me within one week (no extra credit or change in your grade). (This refers to your actual submission, not to a “draft” -- I do not have time to review a draft in advance.) OPTION 2 - Basic Learning: Receive only a grade on Canvas, without detailed markup (nothing returned to you, no obligation to send revision). If you are majoring in professional and technical communication, you are expected (but not required) to request detailed markup. Format of file names is important (X = assignment number); include underscores, without spaces, as shown: Lastname_4260_X.docx = grade only, no comment Lastname_4260_X_markup.docx = request for detailed markup (must revise and return to me within one week; no change in grade)
ENC 4260: Week 1, Course Intro Spring 2015 Slide 11 of 34 How To Succeed in ENC 4260 Discuss your work with me via while you’re preparing it and immediately after you earn a grade. Don’t wait until the end of the semester. By then it’s too late. Grades are earned, not given, based on workplace expectations. Don’t take the process personally. (Behave as a professional, not as a student.) If you write negative comments about the course at end of semester but have never bothered to communicate individually with me, you have no credibility. I am eager for you to SUCCEED, not fail. Ask me for help at any time. The time and effort you spend on this 16-week course will be rewarded by decades of career success and satisfaction. Take advantage of this opportunity.
ENC 4260: Week 1, Course Intro Spring 2015 Slide 12 of 34 How To Succeed (continued) Memorize the USAGE TIPS at end of the syllabus -- they will help you improve your writing and avoid errors. (USE OLD-FASHIONED 3 x 5 FLASHCARDS) To understand the role of grammar, usage, and “correct English” in business and technical communications, read these references: The Language Wars: A History of Proper English (2011), by Henry Hitchings (at Amazon.com here)here Tech-Writers, Grammar, and the Prescriptive Attitude
ENC 4260: Week 1, Course Intro Spring 2015 Slide 13 of 34 On-Line Course Requires Self-Discipline You are busy with school, work, and personal life. Prioritize wisely! You have made it this far through hard work, self-motivation, and a desire to succeed. To master ENC 4260, a 4th-year college course, you should … Read and follow the syllabus carefully (it is in effect a contract) Be aware DAILY of all lectures, s, instructions, assignments, and postings on course website Ask for help as needed -- reach me by , phone, or Skype, or contact other students through Canvas discussion forum Stay alert to all learning opportunities, not just those related to assignments (see the links on the course website, and apply what you learn to your current and hoped-for employment)
ENC 4260: Week 1, Course Intro Spring 2015 Slide 14 of 34 Three Basic Elements of All Communication SENDER (writer, speaker) MESSAGE (key point, theme, in various media such as words, images, sounds, symbols) RECEIVER (reader, listener) Concept first articulated by Aristotle in his RHETORIC around 350 BCE RECEIVER SENDER MESSAGE
ENC 4260: Week 1, Course Intro Spring 2015 Slide 15 of 34 Technical Communicator’s Challenges Rich and varied work calls for logical, analytical intellect combined with curiosity, wit, and creativity. Technologists and entrepreneurs respect and NEED effective communicators. To succeed commercially, technical specialists must communicate well with non-technical users. The job may require the duties of a translator, liaison, diplomat, movie director, stage manager, orchestra conductor, or even therapist.
ENC 4260: Week 1, Course Intro Spring 2015 Slide 16 of 34 Your Goals as a Technical Writer (or, in Fact, Any Writer) Conciseness: transmit message efficiently, in both time and content; pack the most meaning into the fewest words. Clarity: avoid ambiguity and use language the reader can understand. Completeness: omit nothing relevant, include nothing irrelevant. Creativity: make the message unforgettable. AND … MEET THE DEADLINE!
ENC 4260: Week 1, Course Intro Spring 2015 Slide 17 of 34 Assignment 1: Technical Prospectus (due Jan 12, 2015) Technical information for a non- technical audience Investment prospectus: Work with your client to define project for potential investors. The plan is to create and market a healthcare product that will be a surefire hit with the 75 million+ retiring or retired Baby Boomers. Your work is the bridge between a technical expert and a non-technical potential investor. You will provide both prose and slide presentation. Use relevant graphics from web or other sources. Source:
ENC 4260: Week 1, Course Intro Spring 2015 Slide 18 of 34 Assignment 1: Technical Prospectus (cont.) See sample of student submission on course website: Follow directions in syllabus carefully … skillful writing begins with skillful reading. May modify the suggested scenario if you consult with me first via . See this page for information on Baby Boomer business ventures: Slides in this lecture provide more detail about the assignment.
ENC 4260: Week 1, Course Intro Spring 2015 Slide 19 of 34 REMINDERS Submit your background information and attendance verification via to by midnight on Saturday, Jan 10, otherwise you will be reported absent and dropped from the class. Include in your message (if you wish) any questions about the course, the syllabus, and the first assignment. Advanced Technical Writing will require hard work from you, but your investment will yield major career benefits. Write down the three audio codes for today’s lecture -- send those with Assignment 1 on or before Jan 12.
ENC 4260, Spring 2015, Week 1 Addendum Assignment 1: Technical Prospectus Slide 20 of 34 ADDENDUM Details on Assignment 1: Technical Prospectus What is a technical prospectus? The scenario How you will serve Dr. Brown Content, style, and format I: Background II: Investment Opportunity III: Risks IV: Benefits V: Invest Now Due date and other details
ENC 4260, Spring 2015, Week 1 Addendum Assignment 1: Technical Prospectus Slide 21 of 34 What Is a Technical Prospectus? Defines technically sophisticated investment opportunity in layman’s terms Uses simple, common words and images to describe the product or service to be offered Outlines steps required to implement the development and marketing plan (capital, timing, staff, legal matters, logistics) Persuades investors to support the plan
ENC 4260, Spring 2015, Week 1 Addendum Assignment 1: Technical Prospectus Slide 22 of 34 The Scenario You: a contract technical writer ($1,200 per day) Your client: Dr. Margaret Brown, an internist and entrepreneur Dr. Brown: a good clinician but an inexperienced business communicator Product line is aimed at Baby Boomers (76+ million Americans, born ) Dr. Brown’s new company is one of three being considered by investors
ENC 4260, Spring 2015, Week 1 Addendum Assignment 1: Technical Prospectus Slide 23 of 34 How You Will Serve Dr. Brown Invent a name for the new company Describe “healthcare aid” so investors can understand the product’s appeal in non-technical jargon Explain steps needed to go from prototype to saleable product Estimate the market potential and explain method of estimation
ENC 4260, Spring 2015, Week 1 Addendum Assignment 1: Technical Prospectus Slide 24 of 34 How You Will Serve Dr. Brown (cont.) Reveal all known risks and benefits. Use scenario presented here or your own -- consult with me first via if you prefer your own. You may use any situation as long as it meets the same kind of learning objective as the one described here. Conclude with powerful pitch -- your mission is to help Dr. Brown obtain investment capital, not to impress anyone with your brilliance (focus on serving your client and her listeners, not on winning kudos from fellow writers).
ENC 4260, Spring 2015, Week 1 Addendum Assignment 1: Technical Prospectus Slide 25 of 34 Content, Style, and Format Two work outputs: (1) prose prospectus and (2) PowerPoint slide presentation Slides should be custom-prepared as slides, not as mere copies of text in the prose document Tone should be professional and enticing, with a minimum of techno-jargon Prose should be no more than four to five double-spaced pages (maximum of 800 words) Slides (8 to 12) should last about 15 to 20 minutes Use graphic elements such as charts, tables, and illustrations (see this link in online text for ideas:
ENC 4260, Spring 2015, Week 1 Addendum Assignment 1: Technical Prospectus Slide 26 of 34 Section 1: Background Dr. Brown's history... brief statement about how she is making the transition from medical practitioner to entrepreneur How the healthcare aid(s) came to be discovered, developed, or invented What influence of Dr. Brown's Baby Boomer patients led her to think this would be a valid business idea with wide marketing appeal?
ENC 4260, Spring 2015, Week 1 Addendum Assignment 1: Technical Prospectus Slide 27 of 34 Section 2: Investment Opportunity The product and how it works Testing the product in real-world applications What approvals (from the FDA, for example) will be needed? What is the projected schedule for development, production, and distribution? How much capital is needed? How much will be supplied by Dr. Brown and how much by investors? What action steps are needed to make this a reality?
ENC 4260, Spring 2015, Week 1 Addendum Assignment 1: Technical Prospectus Slide 28 of 34 Example of Baby-Boomer Product Watch the video here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CL78yNLlLmo Note: This video is included as an example of marketing, not as a model of “truth in advertising”! KINOKI Foot Pads to remove “toxic substances”
ENC 4260, Spring 2015, Week 1 Addendum Assignment 1: Technical Prospectus Slide 29 of 34 Section 3: Risks Legal liabilities Raw material supply... subject to Weather variability? Foreign or domestic political unrest? Labor instability? Price and exchange rate fluctuations? Logistics challenges? Manufacturing complexity
ENC 4260, Spring 2015, Week 1 Addendum Assignment 1: Technical Prospectus Slide 30 of 34 Risks (continued) Marketing + promotion costs, effectiveness, unpredictable glitches Direct mail, internet, , CD/DVD Physician contact TV and print media Testimonials Celebrity endorsements Distribution challenges Refrigerated/frozen Special packaging Retail/wholesale/internet sales channels
ENC 4260, Spring 2015, Week 1 Addendum Assignment 1: Technical Prospectus Slide 31 of 34 Section 4: Benefits Profit potential for investors (for example, projected 60% return in 24 months) Welcome relief for millions of prospective buyers Potential market outside the U.S.
ENC 4260, Spring 2015, Week 1 Addendum Assignment 1: Technical Prospectus Slide 32 of 34 Section 5: Invest Now! Risk/reward ratio is acceptable Number of investors will be limited Decision is needed this week
ENC 4260, Spring 2015, Week 1 Addendum Assignment 1: Technical Prospectus Slide 33 of 34 Due Date + Other Details Assignment due by Mon, 12 Jan 2015, 6 pm Use your imagination and creativity along with research (interview a Boomer!) Provide to me as Word and PowerPoint files via Canvas (I will download to my computer) If you want detailed markup, name the files this way: Lastname_4260_1_markup.docx (and... markup.pptx) (you must submit revision within one week) If you want just a grade posted on Canvas, label them as: Lastname_4260_1.docx (and _____.pptx)
ENC 4260, Spring 2015, Week 1 Addendum Assignment 1: Technical Prospectus Slide 34 of 34 To Help You Do a Great Job... Ask me via the questions you would pose to Dr. Brown See printed directions in syllabus for details See sample prose document here: Basic objective of assignment: help a technical person communicate effectively with non-technical person(s) Source: Before Dr. Brown... Source: After Dr. Brown BASIC TIPS Do not confuse “aids” and “aides” Cite sources of quotes, data, and images See Assignment 1 sample on website but don’t copy its content Meet your listener’s needs -- this person is not a mind-reader