Freebie 1: Reports from the Field

Freebee prompt:

If you attend at least two different panels or plenary talks, you may earn a freebie for your attendance at this conference. You will need to write a post for the blog describing your experience at the conference, paying special attention to how writing and communication skills were displayed.

Consider this an opportunity to test if what we're learning from the textbook is actually true in the "real world." A good tactic would be to bring concrete examples back with you from the conference, whether it's in the form of notes from presenters' talks, recordings, or physical artifacts (handouts, pamphlets, etc). Consider this a report from the field documenting what communication skills are needed in this "real world" setting where scientists, designers, and engineers employ writing and communication.

Challenges and opportunities

  • Try to ask a question of one presentation and comment in your blog post about what this was like.
  • Network! Talk to one or two of the presenters after their talk, and try to collect the e-mail addresses so you can contact them later to ask about their experience as writers. This cold be very useful for the midterm project
  • Watch for social dynamics: who's an expert and who's a novice? How can you tell?

Constraints and Specifications:

  • posts should be at least 400 words and should cover a range of specific topics (could use headings)
  • Posts should have an original title that points to the overall lessons about communication that emerged from your field work

This is an adaptable freebie, so if you can't make this particular conference, you may to attend a different public lecture, conference, or symposium and complete the same sort of assignment to earn credit. E-mail me to check if the event you're attending is appropriate for this assignment.

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