First Progression Project: Genre Guide for Aspiring Engineers


For our first major project, you will work in your initial color groups to develop an original webpage, either on the wiki or on another platform of your choosing. The objective of your webpage should be to give clear how-to instructions explaining how to write in a specific genre of technical communication relevant to scientists of engineers. You might choose a genre from the ones covered in our text book, or you might come up with your own.

Your webpages should be appropriately pitched for a high-school aged audience with no particular experience in Engineering. Consider that you're making these students a no-nonsense guide for survival in the professional world of engineering by giving them a thorough overview of not only how to produce a particular important genre, but also an explanation of how that genre functions in the real world and what the rules are for producing it well. To that end, you should provide original examples to display various elements of your genre. By the time your reader is finished with your webpage, she should fully understand how to produce your given genre and be able to evaluate the quality or success of any piece in that genre.

Some examples:

  • technical instructions
  • Memos
  • Analytical reports
  • Lab reports
  • Professional society newsletters
  • Engineering textbooks
  • Presentation posters (using the ones in the science building as part of your data set)
  • TED talks

Constraints and Specifications:

A) Original Examples:

  • You should use a range of examples to display the various elements of your genre
    • Examples should be drawn from the "real world"
    • If you are doing an academic genre, ask your professors for examples (lab reports, departmental memos, academic articles, grant proposals, statements of purpose)
    • If you are doing a professional genre, do research online to track down examples (analytical reports, newsletters, TED talks)
    • If all else fails, write your own examples (technical instructions, memos)

B) Presentation:

  • Aesthetics and visual design are important for this project
  • Incorporate visual elements, external links, and (as appropriate) multimedia
  • Remember who your audience is and consider ways to use the visual or formal elements to keep them interested

C) Further resources and works cited

  • Your page should also present resources for further reference where your reader can find out more about this genre
  • Include links to useful webpages, APA citations of useful chapters in text books, etc

Assignment Progression:

  • 2/7 — Assignment revealed, initial brainstorming and planning for research
  • 2/12 — No class, compose a project proposal and distribute it to your group mates via your shared wiki work space
  • 2/14 — Group work session: make final decisions about group project, compose progress report memo to Andrew
  • 2/19 — Share provisional draft with peers from other groups
  • 2/21 — Work day for group webpages
  • 2/26 — Give a brief presentation of your webpage for the class
  • 2/26 — Final draft due by 10pm
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