Re: Writing Samples

Subject: Re: Writing Samples
From: "Lindsay Burrell" <lburrell -at- telus -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <TECHWR-L -at- LISTS -dot- RAYCOMM -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 21 Apr 2000 15:52:36 -0700

> My question is this: Is there any way for these candidates to provide a
> writing sample without violating their contracts?

This has been said before, but I think it is really worth repeating. The
best way to get genuine (not cooked-up) samples of work is to volunteer.
Volunteer to write something for a charitable organization. When people
volunteer, everybody wins.

For example, many charitable organizations make extensive use of volunteer
labour. This means that they are prime candidates for policy and procedures
manuals. Arts organizations need grants proposals written, local animal
shelters need web sites for helping to adopt animals, many others need
newsletters, marketing literature, annual reports, WHATEVER.

I can't think of a better way to start tech writing.

As a teacher, you could play a big role in facilitating this. A few phone
calls could provide you with a list of organizations who were in the market
for such a service. You make the list available to your students, and
Bob's-your-uncle (or, as they say in academic circles, "Roberto avuncular

Here in Vancouver (Canada) we have an organization called Volunteer
Vancouver, that coordinates all manner of volunteer activities. Here, you
could make one phone call and come up with a list of 30 organizations that
need stuff written. I'll wager that none of these organizations would have a
problem with allowing this literature to be used in an interview.

The student gains experience and a portfolio. A dog gets adopted.

Everybody wins.

My 2c


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