Communicating as a Professional:
ENF & Eng. 111 Reading/Writing Assignment, "Phase One"

Prof . Dollieslager

Research question #1: Why is Grammar Important?

Resources for the assignment:

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

Introduction: There will be several phases for each of our assignments this semester because all are designed to have both reading and writing outcomes, so you will be evaluated for learning both the reading and the writing objectives of each assignment. Therefore, it will always be essential that you read and follow the instructions for each assignment, step-by-step. For this assignment, you will (1) preview the vocabulary for two short articles about grammar in the workplace, (2) read the articles looking for specific information, and (3) write a short paragraph using information from them.

Open the attached .rtf file in your word processor. If it does not open, I have posted the assignment instructions from that .rtf file in a web page so that you can copy and paste them into your own word processing file. Make sure that you always save your documents in a format that will open on campus: some version of M.S. Word or else in Rich Text Format, which is abbreviated .rtf as its extension.

Stage One, Vocabulary Building: There are twelve vocabulary words or phrases to preview. I said in class that all learning is based on prior knowledge, so I want you to link these two articles to what you already know about the subject matter. Therefore,

  • on the first line under each term, look at the word or phrase and type what you think it means before looking it up or reading the article. It's good to guess if you aren't certain. You may be surprised when you find out you are right. Usually, we know more than we think we know. You will be graded on whether you do it, not on whether you have the right answer before you read the selection.
  • Next, read the articles and identify the vocabulary words as you read. I have listed them in the order you will encounter them in the articles. On line two under the vocabulary word on the work sheet, type the definition of the word as you understand it from reading it in context in the article. This is called using context cues to define words. Using a dictionary is another way to define words.
  • Finally, when you have finished reading the articles, go to Dictionary.com or Webster's Dictionary Online to look up and type the "correct" dictionary definition for the terms as they are meant in the context of the articles.

Stage Two, Reading Critically by Marking the Text: You should print out both articles so that you can mark them with a highlighter, or else copy and paste them into an M.S. Word document so that you can highlight certain sentences. As you read the articles, define the vocabulary terms per the instructions above, and additionally, highlight the sentences in each article which you think give the most compelling reasons why using proper grammar is important for professionals. You will be writing about that topic, so mark those examples while you read.

Stage Three, Writing about the Readings: In this assignment, we will practice paraphrasing, which means to restate the original material in your own words. This is a method for avoiding plagiarism, so it is an important research-writing skill, and it is very easy to do. Once you have read and marked the articles for the best professional reasons to know and use good grammar, reread your highlighted sentences, and then close your sources. If you write the following assignment from memory, you will not run the risk of plagiarism.

  • Writing assignment: Write a well developed paragraph of about 200 words giving the eight best arguments (four from each writer), stated in your own words, from the two articles about why good grammar counts at work.

Stage Four, Documenting the Paragraph: After drafting the paragraph on the note-taking document, copy and paste it into a separate M.S. Word document page, and add the citation information (models #31 and 32) from the Little Seagull Handbook's MLA Research section. Do your works cited look like those in the MLA sample research paper? Your MLA formatted paragraph should have two signal phrase attributions, two parenthetical citations and the two works cited entries.

The articles: Click the links below to go to the articles.

Grading for this phase of the project: Six points is possible, equivalent to an essay grade, broken down as follows.

Make the essay ready for grading. Be Professional! Care!!!

Congratulations! You have completed part of the essay on developing successful professional communication skills.
Let's go to the next phase of the process.


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