Writing for Various Audiences and Purposes
Outcomes addressed in this activity:
Formulate ideas for a non-technological audience using cause-and-effect writing techniques.
Explain issues to a technical audience using compare-contrast writing methods.
Show ideas in a professional business format.
Discover various kinds of documentation found in the IT workplace.
Apply time management skills.
IT4: Synthesize solutions to clients’ technology problems using research, appropriate writing styles, and a suitable business format.
This assignment will focus on different audiences/readers and two subtypes of expository essays: compare/contrast and cause-and-effect. Each report will synthesize ideas from two sources and be presented in a work-like format but will still use 7th edition APA citation and referencing. Complete the Unit 6 Reading before beginning work.
Assignment Instructions and Requirements
Choose a different technology topic for each of your two reports; these must be different topics and sources than what you chose for previous assignments in this course. Your choices should be based on personal interest as well as appropriateness to meet the requirements of comparing and contrasting concepts for the first report and the cause-and-effect message for the second.
Topic ideas are explored in this unit’s learning activity, and some additional ideas are below. Try to choose technology topics you can learn about rather than ones you already know well. It will be easier to research and write, and can introduce you to concepts you will need to know in future classes. If you are not sure your topics are appropriate, email your professor early in the unit for guidance.
Client report: A cause-and-effect report for the lay reader (a non-technical client).
Topic ideas: Consequences of data breaches, insecure wireless, web accessibility not met, lack of firewalls, effects of not securing social media accounts, etc.
Tech report: A compare/contrast report for the expert reader (a technology team).
Topic ideas: Cloud vs. traditional downloaded software, comparisons of biometrics, Android vs. iPhones, tablets vs. laptops, traditional marketing vs. Search Engine Optimization, etc.
Requirements for each report:
Each report must have a body of 350–450 words in length.
Make sure the intent of the report (compare-contrast or cause-and-effect) is clear by the title you write for the cover page and/or your first statements in the document. Again, use sentence case for titles. Examples:
Consequences of Phishing Attacks
A Comparison of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome
You may include a maximum of one short quote (less than 40 words) in each report. If you choose to quote, you must treat the quote correctly per 7th edition APA standards as learned previously. You do not have to quote.
Your work must be presented in essay/paragraph form, without lists, tables, or images. (Images are allowed on the cover page of the documents, however.)
Remember to cite your sources; lack of citation can lead to charges of plagiarism.
Your writing must follow the rules for formal writing.
Importantly, write to provide information, not to give instructions.
Cover page content must include your name, date, and an appropriate title to describe the content.
Your content for each report must start on the second page.
Organize each report with a basic introduction-body-conclusion format.
Write subheadings that are descriptive of your content. Note: the use of Introduction is okay, since these documents are not APA-formatted.
Use deductive paragraphing (main idea and then details). Do not include “transition” sentences.
Avoid first person and as usual, write formally, without questions, dialogue, a “hook,” etc.
Remember that the concepts for the lay reader may need to be simplified; be careful with use of jargon and difficult terminology.
Locate exactly two appropriate sources for each report, with at least one of the two found through an online University Library search.
All sources must be readily accessible by the professor.
Do not reuse any of the sources used in previous assignments for this course or “double-up” by using the same source(s) for both of these reports.
All sources require 7th edition APA in-text citation in the body and a complete 7th edition APA reference entry in a reference section at the end of the report. If any source is a magazine article or another kind of source not previously studied (journal article, ebook, and online news), check the Citation-Referencing Take-Away PDF from Unit 2 for an appropriate referencing formula. Note that italics and punctuation are still required to follow APA rules.
Find or create a business-like template.
Your professor may offer links to suitable templates; check the announcements for guidance.
Templates must be 8.5×11″ portrait-oriented Word documents. Look for “report” style documents without sidebars.
Do not use your employer’s templates or logos. These are proprietary and should never be used for non-work documentation, even if you receive permission.
Use the same template for both of your reports. This means that you will have two documents with the same design.
Any imagery on the cover should be appropriate to technology or generic (such as shapes). Since you must use the same template for both documents, make sure you use the same image, too; this is part of business “branding.”
Use business-style “block” formatting by applying single spacing for paragraphs with a blank line between paragraphs. Do not indent the first line of paragraphs.
Headers and footers are allowed but not required. If you use a header, do not make it look like a school paper.
Color, text, and readability:
Color for headings is allowed, but make sure the colors are not so light as to cause readability issues.
Keep the body of your work as black text on white background for readability. Do not place text in text boxes (with exceptions made for the cover page).
Use a readable font of your choice, but avoid overly “fancy” fonts and ensure that text size is reasonable for easy reading.
You may use “justified” alignment only if readability does not suffer.
Directions for Submitting Your Assignment
Do not place the files in a zip folder; submit as separate documents.
Make sure you read all instructions carefully and review the rubric before submitting both reports to the Dropbox for Unit 6.
Writing for Various Audiences and Purposes