ENWR 380 Projects


 

At the heart of 380 are student projects, in which students individually propose, plan, and produce academic and professional writing to reflect their interests and post-graduation career plans. Projects help students practice the skills they learn during lecture and immerse students within particular fields and discourse communities. Ideally, projects respond to the needs of organizations and businesses at the University, within the local community, or beyond Charlottesville. Depending on their scale, projects might last the entire semester or just a few weeks; some students end up completing two or three projects. The first step to any project is the proposal letter, in which students describe the project and the weekly breakdown of writing.
 
Projects tend to fall into one of several rough categories:

1. Community-Based Service Learning Projects: In these projects, ENWR 380 students produce documents that fill a need for a UVa or Charlottesville group, business, or agency. The client and writer set the scope of the project, and the writer delivers a useable document by the end of the semester. These projects tend to be the most useful for the students, since they're often particularly motivated not only by their interests but by a desire to please and impress their clients, and clients give good feedback about professional conventions and the project's success.

Some examples of these projects include

* Writing documents for Charlottesville Legal Aid to help their young clientele understand the legal process
* Producing for a NoVa daycare center a range of documents--from procedure sheets for new employees to brochures used to market the center to prospective clients
* Designing, administering, and analyzing pre- and post-occupancy surveys for Habitat for Humanity

2. Student-Group Projects: In these projects, students produce a document for a campus group to which they already have ties (fraternities/sororities, Madison House, University Singers, etc.). These projects look much like community-based service learning, although the writer's contact person might have little helpful feedback to offer. In fact, writers often develop and execute such projects with little or no direction from other members of the group. Accordingly, you'll need to make sure that these projects stay focused and that the writers remain motivated.

3. Professional Scenarios: Students write the sort of documents they are likely to produce after graduation. Examples of this sort of project include briefing memos, feasibility reports, magazine article, marketing analyses, etc. Make sure that students working on this sort of project don't fixate on genre at the cost of attending to rhetorical analysis and structure.

4. Job/School Search Preparation: Students write documents and do research in order to find a job or apply for graduate schools. These include resumes, cover letters, personal statements, and writing samples.

5. Undergraduate Essays:
For current courses: Students write and research an essay for another course. Students must draft a letter to the other professor involved, explaining the proposed use of the paper in ENWR 380 and including an approval form for the professor to sign and return.

For previous courses: Students may analyze and revise papers originally written for other classes. If they choose this route, students must draft a letter to the other professor. This sort of project is a last resort -- there's not much motivation for students -- but it is useful for fleshing out a portfolio that contains another short project or two.