Summer 2011

Project Proposal

Your major project for the course — planned, designed, and edited in intense collaboration with your teammates — is a formal technical report in which you:

  • Design a complex Technical Description (see for example chapter 19 in Technical Communication Today) or,
  • Design a formal Proposal to enact change somewhere you think change is needed (see for example chapter 21 in Technical Communication Today) or,
  • Design a formal Analytical Report that solves some problem related to technology and communication (see chapter 23 in Technical Communication Today)

If you are interested in how communication technologies are being used — or should be used — in academic, technical communication, or professional environments, here are some brainstorming ideas on topics that seem timely and interesting, and fit nicely with the kinds of reports we’ll be doing:

  • An Analytical Report on the question, “how can Web 2.0 platforms be productively integrated into ASU Online courses?”
  • What communication technologies are being used in your professional field? How can students preparing to enter that field best prepare to use them? (Could be either a Technical Description or an Analytical Report, depending on your purpose and audience.)
  • What does current research–and survey/questionnaire research done by your team–suggest about the reading habits of professionals or soon-to-be professionals? Where do they tend to get their information? How? Is it mostly in print, or digital formats, or a combination? This would make a nice Analytical Report because it would give us some insights into the implications of communication technologies for reading, whereas most research has focused on the production — the writing afforded by communications technologies.
  • What change or changes would you like to see in your academic program, in your community, or in some civic aspect of your life? Write a Proposal to make that change possible.

I propose these ideas in order to give you a sense of the projects’ scope and necessary research. Your next steps as a team should be to:

[1] Skim the chapters that describe the purposes, research, and organization of the different kinds of reports (19, 21, 23)
[2] Brainstorm the kind of topic and the type of report you’d like to pursue
[3] Post a Project Proposal (see template) on the Course Forum by Wednesday, June 16.

A Project Proposal template can be found under Course Documents.

Comments, questions, concerns, ideas, alternatives?
Post them to this week’s class discussion forum.

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