Technical communication short papers

Technical communication short papers

IT 520 Short Paper Guidelines and Rubric This course includes five short papers. These are designed to actively test your understanding and to apply that knowledge to potential real-world situations. These papers also provide practice in communicating your reasoning in a professional manner. Prompts: Team Building and Collaboration (Module One) International Gadgets is a company with offices throughout the United States and in Europe. There has been a history of miscommunication within office departments, between offices, and most importantly, between the company and its wide customer base. You have been hired as a manager in the newly created Communications Department. The purpose of your position is to improve these problematic channels of communications. Your first task is to hire a team to address these issues. Write a report to management describing the makeup of your proposed team, what attributes you will be looking for in team members, and what you hope to accomplish with your new team. Be sure to offer solid reasoning in all areas of your report. Developing Channels of Communication and Collaboration (Module Three) As the new communications manager for International Gadgets, you have assembled a team of Technical Communicators with experience in communicating with various audiences in a business setting. Research & Development (R&D) has created a new product that it believes will revolutionize the industry. But the department needs the buy-in of several levels of the corporation to launch the new product. First, upper management needs to understand the product and how it will help the company expand, before it will approve the funding needed to mass-produce the product. Sales and Marketing need to understand the product so it can be properly marketed. Technical Support needs to thoroughly know the product in order to support it to the customer base. And all employees need to know as much about the product as possible so that they can build excitement about the proposed launch. The head of R&D has come to you for your help in building excitement and buy-in throughout the company for the new product. Create a memo to your team that discusses the following:

 The possible channels of communication that can be used to communicate information about the product to various levels of the company, and how they could be used

 Your suggestions for which channels will be appropriate for which audiences, and why

 Plans for how your team will communicate and collaborate on this project for the purpose of choosing the best channels of communications for various audiences in the company

Back up your plans with solid reasoning and research.

Determining Audience Needs (Module Five) As the new technical communications manager for International Gadgets, you have developed a good idea of the various internal and external audiences for communications across the enterprise. However, you have noticed that different audiences do not always have the same needs from similar announcements. For example, a communication announcing the launching of a new product means different things to different departments.

In a memo to your communications team, instruct them on ways to discover the needs of the stakeholders in different areas of the company so that a new product announcement will be relevant to them. The Importance of Clarity and Conciseness (Module Six) As the new communications manager for International Gadgets, you have come across some older directives that were never carried out, mostly because the messages were not understood by the recipient because of their unclear nature. An example includes an email stating that the recipient was to “create a presentation discussing the new product and send it to interested departments.” In a memo to your team, describe what is wrong with directives such as these, and how to improve these messages so that they are delivered to the recipient with clarity and conciseness. Creating Effective Web Communications (Module Eight) In your role as communications manager at International Gadgets, you have been tasked with establishing communication standards for the new corporate website. In a memo to your staff, outline the basics for successful web communications, including issues such as:

 The characteristics of online communication

 Accessibility issues

 Establishing corporate credibility

 Privacy and security

 Ethical considerations

 Allowances for access by various devices

 Online help areas

Rubric Guidelines for Submission: Each short paper must follow these formatting guidelines: double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, and APA-style citations. Include at least two resources other than the textbook, with in-text citations and a separate reference page at the end of your paper. Page length requirements: 1 page, not including cover page and reference page. Instructor Feedback: This activity uses an integrated rubric in Blackboard. Students can view instructor feedback in the Grade Center. For more information, review these instructions.

Critical Elements Exemplary (100%) Proficient (90%) Needs Improvement (70%) Not Evident (0%) Value

Description of Business Case

Meets “Proficient” criteria and ideas are substantiated with specific and relevant details

Accurately describes the business case and uses specific details in explanation

Accurately describes the business case but lacks specific details in explanation

Does not accurately describe the business


Recommendations Meets “Proficient” criteria with substantial detail for the rationale

Provides a discussion highlighting the recommendations with sufficient detail for rationale

Provides a discussion highlighting the recommendations but lacks sufficient detail for rationale

Does not provide a discussion highlighting the recommendations


Conclusions Meets “Proficient” criteria and conclusions are substantiated with specific and relevant research

Draws informed conclusions that are justified with evidence

Draws logical conclusions, but does not defend with evidence

Does not draw logical conclusions


Articulation of Response

Submission is free of errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, and organization and is presented in a professional and easy-to- read format

Submission has no major errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, or organization

Submission has major errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, or organization that negatively impact readability and articulation of main ideas

Submission has critical errors related to citations, grammar, spelling, syntax, or organization that prevent understanding of ideas


Earned Total 100%



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