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Essay Prompts, Rubric & Instructions for Advanced Technical Writing

Instructor: Matt McClintock
If you have a Study.com College Accelerator membership and are seeking college credit for this course, you must submit an essay and pass the proctored final exam. You must submit your essay before registering for the final. Below you will find prompts and instructions for submitting your essay.

About the Assignment

Technical writing is a skill everyone needs at some point. In this course, you learned about the technical writing process, technical editing and the various types of technical correspondence. In an 800-1200-word essay, answer one of the prompts below using concepts you learned from the course to support your arguments.

Sources

As evidence for their analyses, students should provide quotations from the course and any outside research. Cite all quotations using MLA format. Please include any Study.com lessons you used as sources (including the lesson title and instructor's name).

If you're unsure about how to use MLA format to cite your sources, please see the following lesson:

Prompts

1. Consider a product that you frequently use or know a lot about. Identify an audience who is unfamiliar with your product and then write both a product description and a user manual addressing the product features you want to highlight and how to use them. All ideas should be geared to the audience and its specific needs and backed by research.

2. Take a look at your phone and think about 2-3 features that you want to see improved. Imagine you are an employee for the company who makes your phone. Prepare an unsolicited proposal you'll be emailing to the company's CTO covering the new features, their key audience, and how they will improve the product and why. All ideas should be geared to the audience and its specific needs and backed by research.

Your essay will be graded based on the following rubric:

CategoryUnacceptable (0-2)Needs Improvement (3-6)Good (7-8)Excellent (9-10)Total Possible Points
Purpose (x3)Main points are nonexistent or irrelevant to overall purposeMain points are difficult to identify or under-developedMain points are clearly related to overall purposeMain points are developed and well-supported, connecting clearly to overall purpose30
Structure and Organization (x3)Disorganized and illogical structure hinders understandingSomewhat disorganized, but structure does not detract from understanding of main pointsStructure is logical; main points are supported by organization Organization is logical; structure enhances clarity and delivery of main ideas30
Clarity (x2)Vague or unclear writing and visual elements; reader is left with several unanswered questionsWriting is ambiguous in a few areas; unclear or missing visual aidsPhrasing and word choice are very clear; visuals support understandingSyntax is very clear and concise; visuals enhance understanding20
Mechanics (x2)Incorrect spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and use of standard English grammar hinders understandingSeveral instances of incorrect spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and usage of standard English grammarFew instances of incorrect spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and usage of standard English grammarNo or very few instances of incorrect spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and usage of standard English grammar20

Before You Submit

When you are done writing your essay, we suggest taking some time to check for any errors or to add some final touches. We also suggest that you use online plagiarism checkers such as PlagScan or Solid SEO Tools to make sure that your essay is not too similar to any existing materials. Plagiarized submissions will NOT be graded.

How to Submit Your Paper

When you are ready to submit your written paper, please fill out this submission form and attach your essay as a Microsoft Word or Text document. After turning in your essay, you may go ahead and take the proctored final exam. You do not need to wait for your written response to be graded. You should receive your essay grade within one week.

If you are not satisfied with the score you receive on your paper, you may revise or rewrite your essay and resubmit it for grading using the same submission form above. Keep in mind that the grade you receive on your essay is only a third of your overall grade for the course, and you are free to retake the proctored final exam as well if you choose. Please see the course syllabus for a more detailed breakdown of the grading policy.

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