Assignment #1: Writing Process Reflection Email
Length: 350-500 words
Modern technology, like smartphones and social media, has made us all into writers. We communicate via written text in our daily lives more frequently than perhaps at any other time in history. This is not without its drawbacks. The informal nature of a text message or a social media post can influence our writing style in situations where a more formal tone is called for—such as business and professional communication. Often, the only interaction that you will have with other professionals is via email. The impression you make on others is based largely on the quality of your writing product. Thus, it is vital that we continually practice the skills needed to meet the demands of these important writing situations.
With this in mind, this assignment asks you to draft a professional email to me, your professor. The purpose of the email is to introduce yourself to me, and to reflect on the writing processes you employ in the creation of some of the different types of writing that you produce in daily life. These can include class assignments, workplace documents, cover letters for job applications, creative writing, social media posts, etc. Choose at least two types, one formal and one informal. Follow the guidelines for formatting and content listed below. The length of the paper should be between 350 – 500 words. Once you are finished, save the email as a document and, instead of emailing it to me, submit it here as a regular assignment to Canvas.
To Prepare for this assignment, review the “Writing Emails” section in your our course text Practical Strategies [pg. 250-253]. Also consult the following: the WR 121 Refresher Sheet located on Canvas, which discusses the “rhetorical triangle,” and this article
on effective email communication.
Note: Remember to use the principles of good emailing, not just for this assignment, but every time you email me or any of your other professors.
Your Email Should Include:
In terms of structure and style:
- A Salutation [with my name spelled right!]
- Be sure to use a proper title for your instructors. You can usually tell what they prefer to be called by the closing they use in emails. You can call me Mr. Weaver or Prof. Weaver. [Prof. is always the safe prefix when you are uncertain of your instructor’s preference, or whether they are Dr. or not].
- A friendly, professional tone
- Double-spacing with 1 inch margins all around
- Proper Organization and Paragraph breaks at least every 8 lines.
- Evidence of revision prior to submitting—spelling, grammar, and punctuation, etc.
- A pleasant closing [like sincerely or respectfully]
In terms of content, consider the following questions to help guide your thinking [you do not need to address all of these for the assignment]:
- Do you use an outline [or some other pre-writing strategy] as part of your regular process?
- How do you assess your audience and their needs?
- How do you determine the document’s structure?
- Does your audience affect your purpose?
- How do you assess your message’s tone?
- What is your editing/proofreading/revising process?
- *IMPORTANT: How might some of the ideas discussed in Chapter One of our course text, or any other course materials reviewed thus far, help improve your process?