Eric Sonstroem

English 105--Case 3--Technical Descriptions

Like Case 2, this assignment asks you to think about your writing in a real-world scenario.  Also like Case 2, what you write here should seamlessly integrate into your final project.  Take care to choose something that is central to your final project to work with here.  If you have any questions about what to choose, please consult with me.


The story so far . . .

Your four years as an employee at RDS have been mostly successful and productive. The projects have been challenging, calling on all the technical and communication skills you developed while you were a student at UoP. Now you must admit, however, that it is time to move on. You hold no ill feelings toward Jocelyn Wentworth or her partner Robert Shupp, and you wish them well in their work. But you have been courted by another firm, Kelman Industries, promised a position as division manager, and tempted by the kind of benefits package RDS can't offer.  In consultation with Jocelyn and Robert, you tender your resignation, effective in two months.

Leaving RDS means extricating yourself from numerous projects, including the technical report that you have been drafting for one of the firm's most significant clients. There is no way you will be able to finish the report before you move on to Kelman, and Jocelyn and Robert don't expect you to. The report will, however, need to be completed by the rest of your team, which now will be headed by Jocelyn Wentworth. While Jocelyn can rely to some degree on the team members who have been working on the project, she needs to be brought up to speed by you, since you have the most extensive knowledge of the project as a whole.

You have a great deal of respect for Jocelyn, but you also realize that she has other concerns than this report. She is as familiar as you are with the principles that underlie the report, but she hasn't been involved with this particular project so far. In other words, she may understand the basic principles on which the processes, objects, and products work, but she is unfamiliar with the specific items that constitute this project.

Assignment 1:

Review the content of your technical report in its present form. You may have drafted particular sections of the report, but much of it is still in the form of notes, bibliographies, etc. Choose an object or product that you believe is central to Jocelyn's overall understanding of the project. Remember that she isn't familiar with the project but she does have a good grasp of scientific and technological principles.  Draft a technical description of this thing. Your description should be at least one page and should include a visual. This document should provide Jocelyn with a clear understanding of the object or product you described; she should not need to consult the entire report in order to make sense of the description. After all, the draft you presently have is almost unreadable.

Assignment 2:

Submit the final draft of the technical description to Jocelyn Wentworth's assistant with a memo to Jocelyn, explaining the purpose of the document and how it fits into the technical report you have been working on. Also let Jocelyn know that she can contact you at Kelman Industries if she has any questions.