Overview of Projects 3 and 4

This is the post for the October 3, 2014 class meeting.

Sorry for the delay in getting this post online. For today, we will look at the assignments for Project 3 and Project 4, which are related to each other. If you do nothing else today, make sure that you read them and understand how they connect!

Class Work for October 3

These are the tasks to complete for today’s work:

  • Go over Projects 3 and 4
  • List some examples for Project 4
  • Look at information on proposals

Getting Started on Projects 3 and 4

The third project for this course is a proposal for the work you will do for the fourth project.

  • Project 3 is an informal proposal. You will research the job application expectations for your field and write an informal proposal that explains a job application project you want to complete.
  • Project 4 is your job application materials. You will create whatever job application materials you proposed in Project 3, with my approval. The specifics for this project will be up to you.

The goal for these projects is for you to identify something that you can use and that you need or want to create. I used to ask all students to write a conventional résumé and cover letter. The problem is that you may not need a résumé and cover letter. You might need something like an online portfolio or an internship application. By opening the project up, I can let you write whatever you need or want to create for Project 4.

Because Project 4 is wide open however, I need you to tell me what you plan to work and approve your plan. Project 3 is where you tell me what you need to create and set goals for what you will turn in. You will write an informal, short report that tells me about what people in your field usually write and what you have chosen to create. Your proposal will tell me what you will produce for each grade level (C, B, and A work) for Project 4.

So here’s what you need to do to get started:

  1. Read the assignment for Project 3 and 4 completely. Begin thinking about the job application documents you need (or want) to create. You don’t have to commit to anything yet, but start thinking about it.

  2. If you have any questions (today or in the future) about the assignments, go to the forums and post them in the Questions about Projects 3 & 4: Job App Materials forum. Please make your subject line clearly indicate whether your question is about the proposal or about the job application materials themselves.

Examples for Project 4

As I explain in the assignment, I am referring to what you are working on for Project 6 as “job application materials.” In reality, you do not have to create materials for applying for a job. You have many other options. To show you want I mean, I want to tell you about some of the projects that students have done in the past. You don’t have to choose something from this list. The idea is simply to help you understand the options:

  • a job posting and a résumé and cover letter you would use to apply for the job
  • an internship announcement and the materials you would use to apply for the internship
  • a scholarship announcement and the materials you would use to apply for that scholarship
  • a before image (PDF) of your LinkedIn profile and a link to your revised LinkedIn profile
  • before images of several online profiles (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) and then links to your newly cleaned up profiles
  • the link to a website you have built as a portfolio, which provides info about yourself and your accomplishments
  • the link to your GitHub repository with descriptions and well-documented code for projects you have done
  • the link to your Academia.edu profile, which provides info on your education and projects you have done
  • the link to a YouTube video that gives a guided tour of some work that you have done or presentations you have given

This list is just some of the options. You can do whatever makes sense for your field and career goals. You can combine and rearrange things as well. For example, I had some students in the past who cleaned up their existing online profiles and then created a LinkedIn profile to build a professional online persona.

I cannot stress enough that this is your chance to work on a project that you can use now and in the future. I’ve had students, for instance, who told me that their in-major advisors or advisors at Career Services kept telling them they needed to set up profiles on LinkedIn, but they never had time. They used this project to get that work done.

Writing Proposals

The proposal that you will write for Project 4 is a short, informal report. Chapter 11 of the textbook provides details on more complex proposals than what you are doing. You will often find that textbook descriptions do not match the writing that you do exactly, and this proposal is a good example. The assignment outlines the parts that your proposal needs to include and the relevant details on each section in the text:

  • summary (p. 282–283)
  • introduction, which explains the findings of your research and your needs (p. 283)
  • proposed tasks, that is what you propose to create for Project 4 (p. 283–286)
  • task schedule (p. 287–289)
  • evaluation techniques (p. 289), which outlines three levels of work for Project 4:
    • Average Work ( a C project)
    • Above-Average Work (a B project)
    • Excellent Work (an A project)

Those are the pages in the chapter to pay the most attention to. You will need to adapt the information to fit what you are doing, but the general information is all there. Be sure to review the Project 3: Proposal Grade Expectations to set your goal for Project 3.

Thinking about What to Propose

Go to the What Would Your Propose? post in the forums, choose one of the situations and add a reply that explains what you would recommend to the student. Aim to have your response posted by the end of the weekend.