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Feb 26

Page history last edited by Jared 6 years, 3 months ago

On Deck:

  • Discuss and Review a well-executed example of the Project 2 Memo Report
  • Begin Building the 99 Problems Page "Technical Report Exigencies Wiki" or The "99 Tech-Writing Problems" Wiki

 

Due Tomorrow:

 

Due Next Class:

  • A brief presentation of your team's "5 exigencies" (Note:you will have an additional 20 minutes next class to prepare)

MARIELA'S 

Memo For User Test Results: "How to Make Cheese Flan"

 

Introduction

 

The User Test for the instructional guide for "How to Make Cheese Flan" was designed to test the understandability OF THE INSTRUCTION SET,  THE mechanics OF THE LANGUAGE USED, and THE navigation of the site to see if individuals from various levels of experience could perform the recipe. My users ranged from those who were not involved in the drafting of this website to those who were new to the website. I used this range of users for testing in order to get more reliable results and analyze feedback from various viewpoints.

 

This testing is GENERALLY valuable because it allows us to improve the organization of the article and consolidate some aspects of it in order to make it more clear and easy to follow for the user. SPECIFICALLY, ANY AUTHOR OF THE SITE CAN use the feedback from the user tests in order to combine steps and take out unnecessary information that only confuses the user of the site, OR TO BUILD ON THIS SITE EFFICIENTLY.

 

This research contributes to WikiHow's Knowledge Database FOR TWO REASONS.  THE FIRST IS RELATED TO THE CONTENT, AS THIS RECIPE FILLS A REQUEST FOR THE ARTICLE BEING DRAFTED.  THE SECOND IS RELATED TO QUALITY AND FORM, AS this webpage IS BEING COMPOSED TO BE HIGHLY USABLE TO THIS RANGE OF USERS, AS IT allows co-authors to contribute using CONSISTENT organization IF ADDING TO the content in this article, OR TO possibly other RELATED articles THAT ARE understandable and clear.

 

Objectives

User Tests were designed to test the navigation of the site and see if individuals from various levels of experience could perform the recipe.To test the navigation of the site, we designed a Location and Understandability Test. We asked users to think out loud as much as possible while locating various sections of the article to see how easy it was to actually locate them for use. Also, this required users to summarize specific steps in order to see if they were clear enough to them while getting straight to the point. This would allow us to obtain feedback in regards to the organization of the page and on the clarity of the content to the user. TO TEST THE USABILITY OF THE SITE, WE RAN A PERFORMANCE TEST.  The Performance Test required the user to actually make the recipe and also think aloud as much as possible while following the instructional guide. This test allowed us to obtain feedback on consolidation of certain steps and rewriting of others to have a concise and clear guide.

 

...

 

 

Key Revision Strategies:

  1. Use elements of our basic workshop from last class to generate/invent key points to include in your draft
  2. If the workshop generated a relatively long draft (particularly in your introduction), with prolific mention of 'performance', 'understandibility' or other project buzz words:
    1. REVISE FOR CONCISION, and explain key terms ONLY ONCE in the APPRORIATE section.  Therefore,
    2. MOVE the more thorough descriptions of key terms, procedures, methods, results to key sections
  3. Be FAIRLY descriptive about your results, and revision decisions.  EXPLAIN YOUR THOUGHT PROCESS FOR FUTURE AUTHORS.
    1. THIS RAISES A KEY POINT...You should make many of your revisions, but you may not be able to make them all.  Nonetheless, you should still describe the revisions you made and the revisions future co-authors could make. 
  4. Finally... 
  5. Edit/Proofread 
  6. REVIEW OUR RUBRICS on the project description pages 

 


Collaborative Technical Report Sequence:

 

Introducing Project 3 

Two-Component Report:  Collaborative Research plan and Technical Report

  • Components Due Weeks 10-15
  • Value 40%

 

Initially, we have a key set of goals for project 3 =

"This assignment will help you to learn how to identify, assemble and analyze the information you will need in order to complete your collaborative technical report project." 

 

To begin...


 

First, A Total Recall...

 

Anderson's Chapter One: Communication Your Career and This Book

In your initial course emails it was clear that you all share common ground with Anderson's first point in our textbook, that some form of technical communication expertise will be valuable to develop in college, and that some forms of technical communication will be key to your success and promotion in your work.  

 

 

Notably, Anderson points out that you will be both assigned specific projects and technical communication genres (from email correspondence and memos to larger reports) and you will discover worthwhile technical communication projects to pursue on your own, saying that "you'll generate many good ideas on your own.  Looking around you'll discover ways to make things work better of do them less expensively, overcome problems that have stumped others, or make improvements others haven't begun to dream about" (p. 2).

 

As Anderson notes, smartly I think, this kind of work begins as you think about making valuable contributions while at university -- contributing to your campus, a department, the community or local organizations.

 

 

This critical dynamic of assigned and discovered work does, of course, depend on your ability to communicate effectively, and I (Jared) would add that it depends on your ability to analyze and understand the purposes and potentials of various forms of technical writing -- how these are useful and persuasive to different people with different roles. 

 

---

 

Chapter 24: Writing Reader-Centered Proposals

 

overviewChapter 24 introduces the superstructure for proposals by first noting the dual goals of proposals (persuading and protecting). Whereas report superstructures vary according to the reason for sharing the information and the way the information is gathered, proposal superstructures remain fairly common across the varying writing situations.

 

Chapter 24 blends guidelines and examples to provide students with strategies for writing rhetorically sound proposals. 

 

What in your mind seem to be the Purposes or Goals of Proposals?  Who might they be written to?  (p. 484)

 

 

 

Chapter 25: Writing Reader-Centered Empirical Research Reports

 

overviewChapter 25 is the first of three chapters which address in detail the superstructure of reports; this one addresses the empirical research report, the purpose of which is generally to help people make practical decisions.  Less common, but equally important, is the purpose of extending human knowledge.  The chapter provides both practical and rhetorical guidance in constructing empirical research reports.

 

Chapter 25, as do the other chapters in this section, models the decision-making and constraints of the empirical research report.  

 

What in your mind seem to be the Purposes or Goals of Empirical Research Reports?  Who might they be written to?  (p. 508)

 

 

 

Chapter 26: Writing Reader-Centered Feasibility Reports

 

overviewChapter 26 is the second of three chapters which address in detail the superstructure of reports; this one addresses the feasibility report, the purpose of which is used to help determine the practicality and desirability of large scale changes.  The chapter provides both practical and rhetorical guidance in constructing feasibility reports.

 

Chapter 26, as do the other chapters in this section, models the decision-making and constraints of the feasibility report.  

 

What in your mind seem to be the Purposes or Goals of Feasibility Studies?  Who might they be written to?  (p. 538)

 


Second, The Wind Up:

A key Argument and Strategy in Technical Writing Theory:

 

"Stasis Theory as a Strategy for Workplace Teaming and Decision Making"

Brizee, H. Allen,  Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, v38 n4 p363-385 2008

 

Current scholarship tells us that skills in teaming are essential for students and practitioners of professional communication. Writers must be able to cooperate with subject-matter experts and team members to make effective decisions and complete projects. Scholarship also suggests that rapid changes in technology and changes in teaming processes challenge workplace communication and cooperation. Professional writers must be able to use complex software for projects that are often completed by multidisciplinary teams working remotely. Moreover, as technical writers shift from content developers to project managers, our responsibilities now include user advocacy and supervision, further invigorating the need for successful communication. This article offers a different vision of an ancient heuristic--stasis theory--as a solution for the teaming challenges facing today's professional writers. Stasis theory, used as a generative heuristic rather than an eristic weapon, can help foster teaming and effective decision making in contemporary pedagogical and workplace contexts.

 

...

 



 

"Briefly defined, stasis theory is a four-question invention heuristic developed in ancient Greece and refined by Roman rhetoricians, such as Cicero, Quintilian, and Hermogenes. In a contemporary interpretation, moving through the four stases encourages discursive knowledge building important for virtual and remote teaming. Specifically, stasis theory asks teams to agree on the facts (conjecture), the meaning of the issue (definition), the seriousness of the issue (quality), and the stases ask group members to work together to determine what should be done (policy)."

 

 

The Stasis Procedure: 

 

A wide range of 'problem solvers', from lawyers, to writers, to engineers can work through the stases process, as questions, to help 'INVENT' a series of thoughts about an issue or project, or to to argue disputes and settle claims.  It forces people to come together around facts (what are the facts related to a problem?, definitions (in what ways must we define it?), evaluation (how do we judge it?) and action (what are the best proposed courses of action?).

 

The traditional approach to stasis worked in a linear process from the first question to the last.

 

1. Conjecture (stasis stochasmos)—Is there an act or problem to be considered?  Can or should something be done about problem X?  What facts do we know?  What caused a problem?

 

 

2. Definition (stasis horos)—How can the act or problem be defined?  Is the problem part of a larger set/class of problems?  Are there multiple parts to the problem? Can our act be defined by a Genre (of Technical Communication)?

 

 

3. Quality (stasis poiotes)—How serious is the act or problem?  Who might the problem affect (stakeholders)?  What is the specific exigence for writing something?

 

 

4. Policy (stasis metalepsis)—Should this problem/act be submitted to some formal procedure? Or what forms of research, writing and subsequent action might be required? What else needs to be done to solve the problem?   Who should be involved in solving the problem? 

 


What this process of questioning also invokes:

 

 

 

 

The Stasis is also related to very Stable FORMS of Writing/Thinking

 

We can talk about "stasis" and "forms" together.  They are similar, as "stasis" means 'stable' and in rhetoric it is a 'stable procedure' that allows you to ask questions to explore all the potential sides of an issue.  "Forms" has to do with the common structures or 'modes' of writing that can then take shape.  

 

We're going to simplify this a little and say:

 

There are 5 of the most common FORMS OF thinking/writing and arguing.

 

We need to know these because

these give structure to most arguments people make when working together -- and we need to be able to find common ground around these in order to make our own effective plans for writing or researching.  

 

In fact these forms are used all the time to structure: sentences, paragraphs, key parts of essays, speeches, reports, or even whole books.  

 

Therefore, these are commonplace 'ways' (poros) of developing the building blocks of argument/reasoning and arranging larger portions of thinking or argumentation.  

 

Rhetoricians have argued that these are in fact the basis of any functional kind of

COMMON SENSE

(which would allow a democracy to work).  

 

HERE ARE THE FIVE MAIN FORMS:

 

Resemblance (or Comparison) claims or arguments

Cause/Effect claims or arguments

Definition claims or arguments

Evaluation claims or arguments

Proposal claims or arguments

 

 


Think about this in relation to the initial...

Project 3 Process:

 

Step One:

Identify a topic and a suitable genre of Technical report.  Briefly, and somewhat generally, what is the question, issue, problem or challenge you want to investigate and resolve? What genre of report (Proposal, Empirical Research Report, Feasibility Study) is most suitable to this topic and why?

 

By Tuesday, your team should post 5 Pitches to the:

99 problems page

"Technical Report Exigencies"

 

Be prepared to pitch at least FIVE GOOD ideas for project 3 to the class, including:

 

 

  1. at least two Wayne State exigencies:
    1.  such as a improving an outreach program like SEED,
    2. improving a student learning experience,
    3. solving a departmental problem,
    4. improving an infrastructure or design problem on campus,
    5. recommending green designs for new dorms,
    6. updating the university's environmental audit,
    7. improving an electronic database,
    8. improving a webpage interface,
    9. or expanding Engineering department (i.e. Civil and Environmental) project in the scope of its research, or testing one for feasibility...
    10. or...
    11. or... 
  2. at least one Detroit Community exigency:
    1. such as selecting a "Superfund Topic" related to Detroit or Wayne State pitched by the EPA,
    2. improving upon or piggybacking on a recent infrastructure development project,
    3. developing and promoting an educational software tool,
    4. writing reports that serve as training material for local government officials or organizations implementing an ongoing program (related to planning, regional growth, transportation, air/land/water, government effectiveness, legal issues, education) 
    5. or...
    6. or... 
    7.  or addressing one of the five pillars of neighborhood stability: Economy and Employment, Safety, Education, Housing and Social/Civic Engagement and pitching a proposal to Tech-Town 
    8. or... 
    9. or...contributing to, or starting a new project, for Data-Driven Detroit
    10. ... 
  3.  at least one broader economic, social or technological exigency:
    1. such as examining the feasibility of bringing early stage technologies (such as electronics, sensors, photonics), or advanced materials from the biosciences, or information and communication technology to national markets...
    2.  such as contributing a study as a "guest article" to an international database on climate change policy and (best) practice 
    3. such as  ...
    4. such as...
    5. such as... 

The way you pitch a problem to the class should follow the stasis procedure:

 

1. Conjecture (stasis stochasmos)—Is there an act or problem to be considered?  Can or should something be done about problem X?  What facts do we know?  What caused a problem?

 

 

2. Definition (stasis horos)—How can the act or problem be defined?  Is the problem part of a larger set/class of problems?  Are there multiple parts to the problem? Can our act be defined by a Genre (of Technical Communication)?

 

 

3. Quality (stasis poiotes)—How serious is the act or problem?  Who might the problem affect (stakeholders)?  What is the specific exigence for writing something?

 

 

4. Policy (stasis metalepsis)—Should this problem/act be submitted to some formal procedure? Or what forms of research, writing and subsequent action might be required? What else needs to be done to solve the problem?   Who should be involved in solving the problem? 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Comments (1)

Andrew Audisho said

at 2:43 pm on Feb 26, 2015

Aman A. , Andrew A. , Benjamin R., Micheal H, and Albert S And Amer S

Wayne State:
Improving the Database
Vandalism in parking structures
Detroit:
Feasibility for developing business associated with TechTown
3.Technological Exigency
Have classrooms use oculus rift technology to further the learning experience

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