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Instructions for the major assignments

Assignments are due in Canvas on the dates noted in the syllabus, all at 11:59 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. Letter of Introduction (R) due September 2

This assignment is an exercise in writing formal business letters. Write a business letter of about 500 words to your instructor. The letter should be concise and fit on one page. Follow the format discussed in lecture. The body of the letter should have an introduction and conclusion. State the purpose of the letter (other than completing an assignment :-) in the introduction. Include the following in the body of the letter:

  1. 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.

  2. Write a paragraph about what you hope to get out of this class (other than 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 someone 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.

  3. Choose an organizationin agriculture, natural resources, life sciences, or your field of study that you would like to work for some day and would like to use for subsequent assignments. Explain why this organization appeals to you. Identify a science issue that can affect that organization. Hint: Read the research report assignment instructions to help you choose an organization and issue effectively. Your grader will let let you know whether your organization and issue are viable, so be sure to read the feedback you receive on the graded document.

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 letter in Microsoft Word and title the document file in the style: yourlastname1. For example, Dr. Perry's letter would be titled perry1. Submit the assignment electronically via Canvas by the due date. You are responsible for assuring that the document has uploaded correctly. (Notify 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.) 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 letter has been returned to you. The rewrite document file should be titled in this style: yourlastname1R. All of your grader's comments must be removed from the rewrite.

Introduction Letter Grading Sheet

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

Content (40%)
______ The purpose of the letter 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.
______ A viable organization is named, with a rationale for the choice.
______ A viable science issue that could affect the organization is identified.

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.