Re: Exercises for Students

Subject: Re: Exercises for Students
From: Janet Renze <Jlrcgn -at- AOL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 1995 12:27:46 -0400

For a textbook you might consider Rebecca Burnett s _Technical
It has been recently revised and is excellent for a course and reference.

I just graduated from Iowa State University with an M.A. in Business &
Communication, and was inundated with projects--some of which were extremely
useful for getting the position in industry I now hold. Probably the most
helpful was
building a portfolio of projects (which I used in interviews). At the end of
our course
on manuals and instructional materials we compiled the semester's worth of
into a binder, with organizing statements, tabs, design appeal, etc. That
really got its money's worth for me! Probably one of the best _wow_ things a
tech writer can bring to an interview...

Others projects include writing a quick reference manual (I wrote a 4 pager
on my own sideline business at the time of thesis typing...), a larger manual
that also had a corresponding user test plan (I wrote an office procedures
manual for the office I was in and tested it on co-workers), writing a
proposal and later a recommendation report for a fictitious company and then
presenting the work as if we (group project) were actually in a proposal
meeting, writing a short article (intended for publication) on editing
principles and practices and then compiling everyone s articles into a book
(potentially nightmarish group project warning!)
... I could send you lots of assignment sheets via snail mail if you like.

I was working full-time my whole graduate career, and even though I was
always out
of time, my projects were more meaningful since I could see (semi)direct
immediately. My work definitely improved with every project I completed and
every article I read (which seems unbelievable!).

Good luck!
Janet Renze
jlrcgn -at- aol -dot- com

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