This final informal report is due in hard copy at the beginning of class on Friday, April 19th (the last day of classes).
The purpose of this assignment is to 1) show you can create a document in the style and structure of an informal progress report and 2) use that style and structure to effectively communicate what you’re taking away from this class. Take a look at the beginning of chapter 10 (your final reading assignment) in your textbook. It says that reports:
“[N]ote the progress of ongoing activities or projects, or summarize the results of a completed project or investigation. They may also recommend follow-up work that should be performed on the conditions described” (350).
This is your goal with your final report–show me your progress in the course, summarize what you learned, set goals for your future self. This should be a practical application of the concepts, projects, assignments and discussions from the course. In other words, don’t just say you learned how to format and organize ideas in a letter; show me that you understand why using the appropriate format matters and how you can expect letters to come into play in your future career.
It’s is NOT enough to say “Memos will be useful” or “I will use email in my future jobs.” That’s a given. What do you now know to consider when you create these documents? What can you show me you’ve learned about composing them?
Your report can be in the format of a letter, email or memo. (You must print it out regardless.) Whichever format you choose, you MUST abide by its structural guidelines, including all necessary elements as if this were a document you were giving to your boss. Excluding headings, your report should be no more than 2,000 words. Look to p. 352 for further guidelines on progress report structure.
Ultimately, what you discuss in your report is up to you. If you think about your status as student being analogous to an employee and this course as a long-term project for your company, what would you tell your boss?
Note that reports often deal with things that went wrong, not just the good stuff. So if, for instance, you slacked off early in the term but really made a strong effort after spring break, say so and give evidence to support your claim. Acknowledging your strengths and weaknesses in a savvy way is a useful skill to have and shows integrity.
Other things to consider: you may want to quote yourself from projects or assignments over the term as evidence of progress. You may want to discuss problems you encountered in the class and show how you sought to overcome them. You might think about the various assignments you were given and how you tackled each of them differently. If possible use numbers, figures or other quantifiable elements (you might want to do research to achieve this).
Finally, please note that you are NOT making a case for a specific letter grade in the course; you are creating a rhetorically effective document that proves your organizational and writing prowess. Structure it logically, write with elegance and provide appropriate examples to implicitly demonstrate the grade you deserve.
This report in conjunction with your finalized blog design and posts will make up a significant portion of your final grade. Here’s an approximate breakdown of how your final grade for the course will be assigned:
20% blog design and content, midterm evaluation memos
20% attendance, group work and participation
20% final informal report
10% job shadow revision
10% final presentation
10% resume and cover letter revision, Linkedin profile
10% reading quizzes and midterm exam
Remember that any late assignments from the term bring down your grade, as do attendance issues. Keep in mind that you must hand in all assignments in order to pass the course, even if they are late.
Please bring any questions about this assignment or finals to class.