Communicating as a Professional:
Eng 111 & ENF Reading/Writing Assignment

Mr. Dollieslager

2. What IS "Professional Communication"?

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Resources for the assignment:

Objectives: 1] Reading critically, 2] Connecting reading and writing, 3] Note-taking from sources, 4] Paraphrasing from sources, 5] Attributing sources
This project models the research gathering, note-taking, and writing processes in a series of steps and culminates in a short documented paragraph.
Designed to be taught/learned in one or two class meetings.

Introduction: In this lesson, you will use a U. S. Government publication, the Bureau of Labor Statistics yearly Occupational Outlook Handbook, to research and write about the communication, grammar, and editing skills that will be necessary for you to succeed in your chosen profession. To collect notes for the paragraph, format your note-taking sheets in Cornell style and follow the SQ4R note-collecting formula. (Survey/Scan, Question, Read, Recite, Record/wRite, Review) Start this way:

  1. Access the Occupational Outlook Handbook
  2. Search for the job title you wish to hold once you become a professional (or a very similar title if your exact job is not listed). If you haven't decided on a profession, select one that seems interesting to you for any reason, and use this opportunity to find out something about it.

Phase One, Scan & Question: Write these research questions in the "cues" column of your notes.

  • Based on the level of education needed to enter my field, what assumptions should I make about the communication skills I will need in order to qualify for entry into my professional career?
  • What types of communication skills will I need in that profession?
  • What sort of reading will I do? (I.e., what sorts of things will I need to read frequently and proficiently?)
  • What communication media and specialized equipment will I need to use?
  • What types of hardware or software will I need to know well?
  • What type of writing will I be required to do?
  • Who will read the things I write?
  • Will I need good grammar and editing skills? Why?
  • What speaking and listening skills will I need?
  • *What are some of the professional journals I will be reading and why will I need to read them?
  • Vocabulary from the source: Record any words you are not familiar with and define them in your notes.

Phase Two, Read and Recite:

  • Read to answer the above questions
  • Read to discover information not pre-questioned also
  • After reading a section, turn away from it and Recite aloud, in your own words, what you just read.

Phase Three, Record: In the main notes section of your Cornell notes page, write your recited paraphrased answer to the research question in the cues column. We won't use verbatim quoting in this paragraph. In this assignment, we will practice paraphrasing, which means restating the original material in your own words. This is a method for avoiding plagiarism, so it is an important research-writing skill.

Phase Four, Review/wRite: At the bottom of your Cornell notes page (the review/summary section), summarize the notes from the main note-taking section of each page of notes you wrote if you used more than one page. Your notes are complete, so you are ready to draft the paragraph per the following instructions:

  • Writing assignment: Write a well developed paragraph of about 150-200 words describing, in your own words, what communication skills (including the grammar and editing skills) you will need in order to be successful in your chosen professional field.

Phase Five, Documenting the Paragraph: Add the citation information, specifically citing the profession page which you accessed from the Occupational Outlook Handbook. (Note: From the research handbook, select MLA Style, Electronic Sources, sample #31 as the model for the O.O.H. source.)

Congratulations! You have completed another part of the essay on developing successful professional communication skills.
Let's discuss the skills you need to develop, and research how to develop them.


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