Overview of Project 1: Bio Statement

This is the post for the July 9, 2014 class meeting.

Thanks to everyone who has logged into the forums and dropped by the online chatroom. Nearly everyone is accounted for, so I should be able to set up office hours in the next day or so.

Class Work for July 9

These are the goals for today’s work:

  • Share some resources to help you keep up with the course website.
  • Talk about some due date/time issues.
  • Go over the assignment for Project 1.
  • Read some resources for Project 1 and discuss them in the forum.

Keeping Up with the Website

I am using the hashtag #3764su14 to post Twitter updates when I add something to the website. If you use Twitter, you can follow that hashtag for details whenever I post something. You can also see that feed in the sidebar on the side, so even if you don’t use Twitter, you can scroll through the list in the sidebar to see what has been added.

I also added a “Subscribe Via Email” option in the sidebar. Use this option to get an email message whenever I add a new post to the course website. The process is simple: Add your email, and click subscribe. You’ll have to confirm your subscription. That’s it. The email messages will have information on how to unsubscribe if you decide you want to.

Adjusting the Time for the Due Dates

A few people still need to fill out the survey to tell me when they will probably do most of their work. Once I have everyone’s information I can make a permanent change. For the next week, that is through July 15, forum posts and your other work will be due by 11:59 PM in YOUR timezone. If you are not in the Eastern timezone (that is, Blacksburg time), let me know. If this policy won’t work for you, let me know about that too, and I’ll try to work out something else for you.

Getting Started on Project 1

I have tried to design assignment for this course that you will have some real-world use for, if not now, at some point in the future. You can find an overview of all the projects by clicking on the Project Assignments menu at the top of the page.

The first assignment is to work on Professional Biography Statements. At some point in your career, you will almost certainly have to write this kind of self-introduction. It might be as part of a conference proposal, a scholarship application, or for a company newsletter where you are interning. This kind of biography statement can also become part of your job application too, so you may reuse some of what you write when you work on Project 6 (the final exam).

Here’s what I want you to do:

  1. Read the assignment completely. Begin thinking about the goals you will set for the assignment and the audience you will choose. You don’t have to commit to anything yet, but start thinking about it.

  2. If you have any questions (today or in the future) about the assignment, go to the Questions about Project 1 topic in the forum and add them. You can skim through this topic for answers as well.

Discussing Readings for Project 1

The textbook doesn’t include much information on biography statements, so I have gathered a collection of websites (in no particular order) that offer advice to help you as you work on this assignment:

Here’s what I want you to do:

  1. Read through several of the resources. Most of them are short, and you should be able to skim through them quickly. Pay attention to the advice you see them repeating and anything that catches your eye (whether it’s good or bad).

  2. Go to the Readings for Project 1 topic in the forums and post your response to the articles. You will find some questions to help you get started in the forums. Aim to post two replies to the topic. I hope to get some good discussion of the advice in these columns, and I hope that you will interact with each other in writing just as you might talk if we were meeting in a classroom on campus.

  3. If you come to the forums in the morning, stop by again in the evening to see what everyone else has said. If you don’t get to the forums until the evening, read through the comments others have posted during the day and then join the conversation.