Re: Teaching a practical business writing class and looking for professional rubrics

Subject: Re: Teaching a practical business writing class and looking for professional rubrics
From: John Garison <john -at- garisons -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2009 17:06:32 -0400

Bill Horton had "Rule Zero: Have something to say."

Much writing seems without a purpose and wanders all over the place,
never sure of what it's doing or where it's going.

I expanded that and required all my students to write a single simple
and complete sentence that was a goal statement for what they were
writing. I then had them post it in front of where they did their work
so they could look at it in odd moments and get a gentle nudge back
toward what they really ought to be doing.

The best two examples - not for writing tasks, but still - I could come
up with were:

FDR: "Our goal is to bring about the unconditional surrender of the axis
powers as quickly as possible."

JFK: "Our task to to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade and
bring him safely home again."

Clear, Succinct. Memorable. Time-bounded.

I would also strongly encourage them to have a specific person in mind
to write for - like their grandmother, their spouse, or the uber-geek at
work.

My 2¢,

John Garison




Rob Hudson said the following on 8/17/2009 2:56 PM:
> Hello Everyone,
>
> I'm putting together a business writing course for undergraduates and
> wanted to survey the professional community about rubrics, or criteria
> lists, for various business and technical writing assignments. I
> figure that since you are all professionally experienced, you might
> have good insight into what you'd like to see from new
> technical/business writers.
>
> To ask it another way, what are the most common mistakes or problems
> you see from new writers in the workplace? I can back those ideas into
> criteria for assignments.
>
> I want to stay in touch with the professional world as I move forward
> in this class.
>
> Thanks,
>
> Rob
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
> Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
> 2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
> http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/
>
> Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
> authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
> once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control! http://www.helpandmanual.com/
>
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^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Free Software Documentation Project Web Cast: Covers developing Table of
Contents, Context IDs, and Index, as well as Doc-To-Help
2009 tips, tricks, and best practices.
http://www.doctohelp.com/SuperPages/Webcasts/

Help & Manual 5: The complete help authoring tool for individual
authors and teams. Professional power, intuitive interface. Write
once, publish to 8 formats. Multi-user authoring and version control! http://www.helpandmanual.com/

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References:
Teaching a practical business writing class and looking for professional rubrics: From: Rob Hudson

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