Importance of Developing A Mobile Strategy
Two Grammar Exercise Assignments—Students will complete grammar worksheets based on material covered in the grammar handout individually and in class with other students.
Editing Assignment—This individual exercise will test the student’s ability to simplify wordy phrases and sentences.
Citing with APA and Avoiding Plagiarism Library Module—Students will complete the library’s Citing with APA and Avoiding Plagiarism modules in the Obojobo system and complete the assessment quiz individually. If you completed this module for a previous class, you cannot import your grade for this assignment.
Library Assignment—The librarian will distribute a worksheet that will test your ability to search and locate books, journals, and journal articles on the library’s online database systems.
Grant Assignment—The website link to the Corporation for National and Community Service grant application is www.nationalservice.gov/pdf/10_0430_ ncbp_nofa_final.pdf Using the proposal guidelines, create a detailed outline to help you write a competitive grant proposal. Complete the following tasks:
- Search the proposal guidelines for mention of particular sections that the proposal reviewers would expect to see. These sections will serve as section headers in your proposal.
- After you have identified the sections, arrange the sections in your proposal outline in the same order that they appear in the proposal guidelines.
- Under each section, brainstorm or list the data or evidence that you believe proposal reviewers will find persuasive. For example, under the “program design” section, jot down a list of important facts about your organization or project that would give the proposal audience the background information that they would need.
- Make a list of forms or attachments that you are required to include in the proposal.
- If available, consult proposal writing resources listed on the funding agency’s website for help with unfamiliar terminology in the proposal guidelines or on forms (Allison & Williams, 2008, p. 151).
Teaching Grammar and Editing
532 Journal of Public Affairs Education
In Class: Memo Assignment—“In groups of three or four, use the Toulmin model to write a one-to-two-page, double-spaced policy memorandum that argues for at least one major change to your course syllabus” (Allison & Williams, 2008, p. 105). You will submit two items: a diagrammed model of your argument and a policy memorandum.
Rules Assignment: Part 1—“Go to www.regulations.gov and find a proposed rule that allows you to submit a public comment to a proposed rule online [the public comment period needs to be open through the end of the semester]. Select a proposed rule that you have some stake in and would therefore be considered a stakeholder” (Allison & Williams, 2008, p. 57). Print out the first page of the proposed rule and highlight the end date of the public comment period (worth one of the five points for this assignment). Part 2—First, in two to three sentences explain who is the audience and potential stakeholder for the rule. Second, respond to the proposed rule with a 150 to 200 word (maximum) public comment and consider the following questions: “Do you agree with the rule? Is it clear? Your comment can be complimentary or critical, but it must be professional and well written. Your comment can also be in response to the content of the rule and/or the way the rule is written” (Allison & Williams, 2008, p. 57). Before submitting your assignment, we will discuss all comments in class. You are not required to submit your comment on www.regulations.gov, but it is a great opportunity to participate in the democratic process.
Press Release Assignment—Students will write a one-page press release for a real or fake event or announcement. If you volunteer with an organization, this is a great opportunity to create a press release for an upcoming event. Grading will focus on proper press release formatting, correct use of the inverted pyramid, and grammar structure.
In Class: Report Writing—Experts are the intended audience for Figure 6.8 CDC Influenza Weekly Report, which includes “language and statistics that most non-expert audiences would not understand. In a group, identify a non-expert audience (elementary school teachers, school principals, day care workers, etc.)” who would find the report useful (Allison & Williams, 2008, p. 128). Then, re- write the CDC report as a one-page, single-spaced document to your identified non-expert audience, while considering the following questions:
- What information is important to this audience? b. What type of evidence (statistics, stories, examples) might this
audience need to understand the report? c. Is the tone and word choice in the original report appropriate
for the new audience? d. What information needs to be deleted or left out of the report? e. What information needs to be added for this audience? f. What constraints might make rewriting this report for a new
audience difficult? (Allison & Williams, 2008, p. 128).
- Connolly Knox
Journal of Public Affairs Education 533
Website Evaluation Assignment—Go online and review government or non- profit websites. Then choose one website to evaluate for this assignment. You will apply the principles of audience-centered writing and evaluate the cultural context, and will complete the assignment in an essay format (third person) with the following five sections:
what features make you think it is inviting or not?
audience (such as acronyms)? If it does, provide some examples.
(Allison & Williams, 2008, p. 198).
features, and do you think users would recognize them and be able to use them naturally without hesitating to think about them?
for the user? (Allison & Williams, 2008, p. 198).
- Cultural Context:
technological aspects do you believe contribute to the usefulness of the site (or it not being useful)? For instance, is the site accessible for the disabled? Does it have features for non-native English speakers? What kinds of technological features does it offer? Do those help communicate its messages or get in their way? How so?
attribute to that change?
If it is a federal government site, does the site include the various recommend ations listed on the ICGI checklist in Figure 8.28? (Allison & Williams, 2008, p. 198).
Teaching Grammar and Editing
534 Journal of Public Affairs Education
Editing Techniques and Advice
This handout is a short checklist of common grammatical and formatting errors made by undergraduate and graduate students. All of the page numbers reference APA Style Guide 6th Edition. Although this handout provides APA-specific guide- lines for editing your document, always follow any specific requirements set forth by your professor.
Check Formatting A correctly formatted cover page (p. 23). Heading and page numbers are required at the top of each page, including the cover page. All margins are 1 inch. Word 2007 and 2010 default to 1.25 inches. Do not include extra spacing between paragraphs. This is another common default in Word. Use a font size of 12 and Times New Roman style throughout the entire document. Avoid one-sentence paragraphs. Avoid one-page paragraphs (each paragraph should be four to five sentences long). Include section headings to guide your reader through your document (pp. 62–63). Do not orphan headings or sentences at the bottom of a page. Everything in the document is double spaced, including the references. References start on a separate page and sources are listed alphabetically (Ch. 7).
Check for Plagiarism (Ch. 6) Paraphrasing
Include in-text citations for all paraphrased material (Table 6.1 on p. 177). For example, (Brown, 2010). Include these sources in the reference list. All sources cited in your document have to be in your reference list.
Direct Quote In-text citation with page or paragraph number, as well as quotation marks, is required for all direct quotes. For example, (Brown, 2010, p. 45). If your direct quote is more than 40 words, then make it into a block quote (p. 171). Include this source in the reference list.
- Connolly Knox
Journal of Public Affairs Education 535
Check for Sentence Structure Avoid writing in the first person (e.g., I, me, us, you, we). Write in third person. Avoid starting a sentence with a conjunction (e.g., and, or, but), number, acronym, or “because” in professional writing. Avoid using contractions (e.g., can’t, don’t, won’t, shouldn’t) in professional writing. Use action verbs, check for subject-verb agreement, and use the correct verb tense (pp. 77–79). Avoid slang or clichés (e.g., benefit of the doubt, dime a dozen, fell on deaf ears). Write concisely by removing duplicating words and/or phrases (e.g., small in size, brief in duration, a total of 152 participants) (p. 67). Use concrete words instead of abstractions (i.e., an “animal” could be a cat, dog, bear, tiger, or horse). Clarify all pronouns by including the antecedent near the referencing pronoun. Avoid starting a sentence with “this,” “that,” “it,” “these,” or “those” without including the antecedent (pp. 79–80). Use correct punctuation (Ch. 4). Spell out an acronym the first time you use it in a document and then place the acronym in parentheses, such as Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (p. 107). Fix all run-on sentences in one of these ways:
create two separate sentences, link two independent clauses (clauses that are complete sentences) with a semicolon, combine independent clauses with a comma and coordinating conjunction (e.g., and, but, or, nor, yet, so, for), or subordinate one of the independent clauses by using a subordi- nating conjunction (e.g., before, unless, whenever, while, whether).
Last but not least… Read your paper backwards. This old journalism trick works well. Many times we memorize our document by repeatedly reading it from start to finish. By reading the last sentence, and then the sentence before the last sentence, each sentence stands out. This method allows you to read this document like it is the first time. Always have someone else read over your paper. They do not need to be a subject-matter expert, but another person can catch the missing verb in a sentence or an unclear pronoun. After printing the final paper, review it again. Sometimes headings get orphaned and/or margins get reset that can affect the final format of the document.
Teaching Grammar and Editing
536 Journal of Public Affairs Education
Website and Book References Here are selected websites available to students learning and applying APA citation and formatting guidelines:
APA website: http://apastyle.org/ OWL website: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/ Additionally, here are selected references and websites to use for grammar review: Sabin, W. A. (2005). The Gregg Reference Manual: A Manual of Style, Grammar, Usage, and Formatting (11th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. Grammar Review Website: http://www.newsroom101.com/NR2/grammar/
- Connolly Knox
Copyright of Journal of Public Affairs Education is the property of National Association of Schools of Public Affairs & Administration and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.