Proposal for Major Writing Assignment #3: Writing Instructions

The following are three potential tours of Waco that I am proposing for my third major writing assignment.

1) Tour down University Parks
Potential stops:
– The Ferrell Center
– Baylor Ballpark
– The suspension bridge
– Waco Vietnam Memorial
– Cameron Park
Notes:
– This could be fun for those getting around on foot or by bike. It is not a particularly short distance, but it could provide some good exercise!

2) Colleges in Waco
Potential stops:
– Baylor
– TSTC
– MCC
– TCU (It used to be in Waco!)
Notes:
– I think this tour would be interesting mostly because I did not know that TCU used to be in Waco. I’m curious to see where the campus was before it was destroyed in a fire.

3) “First” churches in Waco
Potential stops:
– First Baptist Church of Waco
– First Presbyterian Church of Waco
– First United Methodist Church of Waco
– First Church of Christ Science
– First Lutheran Church
Notes:
– There are so many “first” churches here. Why not visit them all in one go?

Major Writing Assignment #2 Postmortem

This major writing assignment was a little bit easier than the first one, mostly because I knew what to expect. I planned out my time a little bit better, but still ended up putting on the final touches the morning of the due date. One major thing that made it easier was that it didn’t rely on a third-party for an interview.

I started this assignment on Sunday morning at about 9:00. I completed it at about noon today (Tuesday). This time frame was very similar to how I approached major writing assignment #1, and it seems to work well for me.

The main thing that surprised me about this assignment was how much time it took. I thought, judging by MWA #1, that it would go by much faster, but the screenshots and especially the flowchart took a lot of time. It was also somewhat surprising how long my paper ended up being; I didn’t expect it to exceed the suggested length by so much.

The hardest part was definitely drawing the flowchart. It wasn’t that difficult in and of itself, but it took quite a bit of time, and the work was tedious and repetitive. The easiest part was the analysis of the design. I am personally interested in web design, so I enjoyed taking a close look at a professional website, and analyzing its strengths and weaknesses.

I proofread my paper about 2.5 times. The .5 time was a very quick read through. For the other two times, I printed out the document and edited it with a red pen. I like doing this because I can walk away from my computer and read through the entire paper without distractions. During the second proofread, I read it aloud.

For the next major writing assignment, I would like to finish a bit earlier. I like the starting time, because it definitely gives me enough to finish without losing focus on the assignment at hand, so I would keep that the same. If someone asked me for advice about this paper, I would tell him or her to get the flowchart out of the way early; it was definitely the most tedious part, and doing it early would give me a good overview of the structure of the site, before even writing any of the content of the essay.

Major Writing Assignment #1 Postmortem

This writing assignment ended up being a little bit easier than I had initially anticipated. In other classes, writing 5-7 pages in 11-point font with 1.15 spacing is quite a daunting task, but because of the structure of the paper (6 sections to discuss per assignment), I was able to write this much faster than normal. I started the assignment on Sunday by writing part of the executive summary, the interview summary, and the titles for the sections. I then wrote the analysis for each piece (one each) on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Finally, I proofread and put on some finishing touches on Wednesday and Thursday morning. This time frame was a little more spread out than other papers that I’ve done in the past, primarily due to the changing due date, which was nice. However, I wish that I had allocated more time for proofreading and revising.

The main surprising thing about doing this assignment was how quickly it went by. Like I mentioned earlier, papers of this length typically take me much longer. It was also surprising to me that all of the people who I emailed about the interview were willing to respond; I didn’t expect to have to tell people that someone else had beat them to responding. The hardest part of this essay was avoiding writing in the first person, especially in the interview summary: it is very natural to say “I interviewed [subject]”, and seemingly more awkward to say “[subject] was interview”. The easiest part, as mentioned a couple of times above, was reaching the length suggestion. This was a pleasant surprise, as I had assumed that it would be one of the harder parts.

To proofread the paper, I read over it on the computer screen, then printed it and edited it with a red pen. I like to do this for all long writing assignments, as I typically find more errors on the physical copy than I can see on a screen. I’ve even used this technique for debugging code in the past. The next time I do an assignment like this, I will be sure to leave more time for proofreading and revising. I liked writing one analysis at a time, as I didn’t experience significant writer’s block. If someone doing this assignment asked me for advice, I would tell them to split the work up between different nights. This helps by both lessening the amount of continuous time spent in front of a computer screen, as well as giving the mind a chance to take a break between writing something and revising it. I find that this break is important; when I don’t take a break, my papers tend to be more error prone.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this assignment. It didn’t take nearly as long as I expected, and it helped me learn about what I will be writing and reading in the workplace.