Your midterm exam is a performance review memo (a reflective, self-evaluation) addressed to your instructor. Use Microsoft Word to create a document that adheres to the memo format and is 2 pages in length. Your memo will respond to the prompts below in 1 to 2 paragraphs each, drawing on specific examples to support your self-evaluation.
Midterm Writing Prompts
Prompt 1: Technical Communication Defined
Reflecting on our readings and discussions from the first half of the semester, define the term technical communication as it is used in our course, and include a brief explanation for the roles rhetoric and ethics in technical communication.
Prompt 2: Challenges Ahead
Reflecting on the feedback you’ve received from your instructor and colleagues, and drawing on your own experiences as a student in this course, identify one aspect of technical communication that still presents a challenge to you. This could be something like crafting a document to meet the cultural needs of an audience, conducting research, organizing and emphasizing information, or following document format and style guidelines. Once you identify this challenge, think about how you will address it. Then, describe your plan to overcome this challenge.
Prompt 3: Portfolio-Worthy Writing
Reflect on the discussion assignments and projects you’ve completed so far. If you were asked to choose just one, which assignment or project do you feel will be worthy of your final portfolio and why? You should choose something that demonstrates your technical communication skills such as your ability to write for specific audiences and purposes, attention to ethical considerations, document design, or organization and emphasis of ideas. It should be a selection that would be enjoyable to revise or expand and one worthy of being submitted and evaluated in a final portfolio.
Prompt 4: Plan for Improvement (only respond to this prompt if your course grade is below a 70% C-).
To what do you attribute your current course grade? You should explain the specific issues that are preventing you from doing as well as you would like in this course. What plan of action do you plan to take to improve your grade in this course? Please clearly outline a plan to address issues that are impacting your performance.
Your memo will be evaluated on the following criteria:
Exceeds Expectations (86-100%)
- Fully adheres to standard memo formatting requirements
- Responses are well organized, fully developed, and emphasize important information
- Responses demonstrate personal reflection, incorporating specific examples from readings, assignments, and peer and instructor feedback
- Virtually no grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors
Meets Expectations (70-85%)
- Mostly adheres to standard memo formatting requirements, very few errors
- Responses are organized, respond to each prompt, and emphasize some important information
- Responses demonstrate reflection, incorporating examples from either readings, assignments, or peer and instructor feedback
- Minor issues in grammar, spelling, or punctuation do not interfere with reading
Fails to Meet Expectations (Below 70%)
- Does not at adhere to standard memo formatting requirements
- Responses are not organized and do not respond to each prompt
- Responses lack reflection and do not incorporate specific examples from readings, assignments, or peer and instructor feedback
- Repeated issues in grammar, spelling, or punctuation detract from reader’s understanding of the document
The letter must be saved in a Word document and submitted electronically to Blackboard – Coursework – Midterm.
As you work on your memo, you may want to go back and review some of the Technical Communication readings we have already covered in the course:
- Chapter 14 “Writing Correspondence”
- Appendix C “Editing and Proofreading Your Documents”
- Chapter 7 “Organizing Your Information’
- Chapter 8 “Communicating Persuasively”
- Chapter 9 “Emphasizing Important Information”
A sample memo can be viewed here.