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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 2, 3, 6 and 8 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 yourlastname, 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.

There is no rewrite for this assignment. You are responsible for checking Canvas for returned assignments.


1. Letter of Introduction due Jan. 21

Write a letter of about 400 words to your instructor. Follow the format discussed in class. A personal letterhead is optional. State the purpose of the letter (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 agricultural communication.

List three issues in agricultural or the life sciences that you are interested in tracking this semester. We will discuss relevant issues during the first week of class. After careful consideration, list your three choices in the order of your preference. Once your issue is approved, you will track the issue as reported in various news media all semester.

In this letter, include a brief statement about how you will select media for tracking to assure your coverage is comprehensive, complete, and balanced. We also will discuss media selection during the first week of class.

Use the checklist below (which is a duplicate of the grade sheet used by your instructor) to assure you have met all requirements.

Write the letter in Microsoft Word and title the document yourlastname1. For example, Dr. Perry's letter would be titled perry1.

Edit your work carefully. You will be graded for writing effectiveness, including clarity, brevity, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and completeness.

Submit the letter electronically via Canvas by the due date. Late work will be penalized 10% per day. 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 50. There is no rewrite for this assignment.

Grading Sheet

Structure (10)
______ The assignment is submitted in MS Word via Canvas with the correctly styled file name.
______ The letter is about 400 words (360-440).
______ 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 (20)
______ The purpose of the letter is stated early.
______ All required personal information is included: self introduction, background, interests,
experience, major, and goals upon graduation.
______ Three issues are listed in order of preference.
______ The media-selection plan is effective for ensuring objectivity and balance.

Writing (20)
______ 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.

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