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Instructions for the major assignments

Assignments are due in Canvas on the dates noted in the syllabus, all at 11:55 p.m. unless otherwise instructed. Late work is penalized 10% per day. You are responsible for assuring that your submission has been correctly uploaded. Optional rewrites are available for assignments 1, 3, 4 and 5 and are strongly advised. The rewrites are due one week after the corrected versions are returned to you during the week noted in the syllabus. The document files should be titled your last name, followed by the number of the assignment as listed below. For example, perry1. Add an R to the document title for the rewrite; for example, perry1R.

Late submissions for rewrites will not be accepted. You are responsible for checking Canvas for returned assignments. Any late-penalty points deducted on the original submission are not recoverable with the rewrite.


1. Memo (R) due January 17

Write a memo of about 500 words to your grader. Follow the format discussed in class. A personal letterhead is optional. As discussed in Chapter 5, state the purpose of the memo (other than completing an assignment :-) and include your contact information. Tell the reader about yourself, including your background, interests and experience, whether work or academic. Include your major and your goal(s) upon graduation, such as going on to graduate school or working in a particular industry, vocation, or profession.

Write a paragraph about what you hope to get out of this class (other than getting Gordon writing rule credit). We will discuss the importance of effective writing in the first few lectures. In addition to discussing how writing well benefits you personally, explain how writing will be used in your career and why it is important to write effectively in your career. If you don't know why writing is important in your career, you must interview one person working in your aspired-for profession who can help you understand the role of writing in your profession. Include the professional's name and contact information at the bottom of the memo.

List three organizations in agriculture, the life sciences or your field of study that you would like to work for some day and would like to use for subsequent assignments. Hint: Read the research report assignment instructions to help you choose an appropriate organization. List your three choices in the order of your preference. Explain why these organizations appeal to you. Organizations are approved on a first-come first-served basis. As organizations are assigned to class members, we will post a list of the assigned organizations in Canvas: Files. Before submitting your memo, check the list of assigned organizations to make sure your choices have not already been taken.

Edit your work carefully. You will be graded for writing effectiveness, including clarity, brevity, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and completeness. Use the checklist below (which is a duplicate of the grade sheet used by your instructors) to assure you have met all requirements.

Write the memo in Microsoft Word and title the document file in the style: yourlastname1. For example, Dr. Perry's memo would be titled perry1. Submit the memo electronically via Canvas by the due date. You are responsible for assuring that the document has uploaded correctly. (See your instructor if you do not know how to submit electronic documents via Canvas or if you do not know how to use MS Word especially for formatting documents.) The available points for this assignment are 100. Late work will be penalized 10% per day.

The rewrite is due one week after the graded version is returned to you. Late rewrites will not be accepted. You are responsible for checking to see if your graded memo has been returned to you. The rewrite document file should be titled in this style: yourlastname1R.

Grading Sheet

Structure (20%)
______ The assignment is submitted in MS Word via Canvas with the correctly styled file name.
______ The memo is about 500 words.
______ The memo is single-spaced and formatted as discussed in class.
______ The memo is structured for clarity, with a line of white space separating paragraphs.
______ The subject line is descriptive.

Content (40%)
______ The purpose of the memo is stated early.
______ All required personal information is included: self introduction, background, interests,
experience, major, and goals upon graduation.
______ The importance of writing in the aspired-for profession is explained well.
______ Three organizations are listed in order of preference, with rationale for each choice.
______ Writer's contact information is included in the body of the memo.

Writing (40%)
______ Sentences are complete but not run ons.
______ Paragraphs are short but well developed.
______ The writing is concise.
______ The writing is clear.
______ The writing is free from grammatical errors.
______ The writing is free from spelling errors.
______ The writing is free from capitalization errors.
______ Punctuation is used correctly.



2. Research Report

3. Thank You Letter

4. Press Release

5. Cover Letter & Résumé

6. Web Headline & Summary