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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Joshua Notetaker on Wednesday February 17, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 258 at University of Rochester taught by Dr. Barbara Davis in Winter 2016. Since its upload, it has received 18 views. For similar materials see Human Anatomy in Biology at University of Rochester.
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If Joshua isn't already a tutor, they should be. Haven't had any of this stuff explained to me as clearly as this was. I appreciate the help!
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Date Created: 02/17/16
Student Real Reader Guide for WRT 272: Spring 2016 WRT 272 Real Reader Program The Real Reader Program pairs alumni and professionals in the world of work with a WRT 272 student for the duration of the semester to serve as a “real world” audience. You will share written and spoken assignments with your Real Reader and request feedback in order to improve your communication skills. A final assessment from your Real Reader will make up 10 percent of your final grade in the course. Who are the Real Readers? The Real Readers have been recruited by UR’s Office of Alumni Relations to help out with the program. They volunteer because they want to feel more connected with the University, and because they believe that the perspective they have gained since graduation will allow them to give constructive feedback on professional communication. Most are Biology program; a few are parents of current students and some are alumni from nontechnical majors. They represent a wide variety of career fields and professional/academic achievements. Note that the Real Readers have NOT volunteered for this program to help you get a job or internship. The purpose of the program is solely to provide feedback on your assignments as you develop your professional communication skills. Choosing a Real Reader You must log into the Real Reader database to choose your Real Reader. Consult the course schedule for the date and time the database will open. The link (which is also posted in Blackboard) is: http://writing.rochester.edu/Engineering/StudIDPrompt.php?class=WRT272 It is recommended that you log in ahead of time to browse the list of Real Readers and find several you might choose. Once a Real Reader has been chosen by the maximum number of students they are willing to work with (usually 1-3), they will disappear from the list. Remember that there are numerous sections of WRT 272 sharing the database and some of the Real Readers are quite popular – thus, the earlier you log into the database after it opens, the increased likelihood you will “get” that Real Reader. If you end up having to select a Real Reader who is not in a field related to your interests, try to keep an open mind. After graduation, most biologists can expect to work in a multi-disciplinary team, and every Real Reader has a valuable perspective based on their professional experience and wider network of contacts. When you select a Real Reader, he or she will receive an email notification. The Real Reader may then log into the database to view your name and email address. Online Feedback System We have set up an online system which will allow you to transmit files and request feedback from your Real Reader. The link (which is also posted in Blackboard) is: http://writing.rochester.edu/Engineering/StudIDPrompt.php?class=WRT272 Please contact your instructor as soon as possible if you have difficulty logging in (using your NetID and password). After logging in, the Main Menu will present you with three options: Networking Note & Info Interview, Midpoint Portfolio, and Final Portfolio. Be sure to click on the correct assignment. You will then be directed to a page where you can upload files for your Real Reader to download and review; you are also required to submit specific questions for your Real Reader to answer. See the “Requesting Feedback” section below. Once you have successfully submitted your documents and questions, you will be directed to a confirmation page. At that point, the Real Reader receives an email notifying them that there are documents available for their review. When the Real Reader logs in and submits their feedback, you and your instructor will both receive an email containing their feedback. Timeline There are several key dates to be aware of. Consult your syllabus or instructor for the exact dates, since they will vary slightly by section. Assignment prompts distributed by the instructor will provide more detail on each assignment. Date(s) Choose your Real Reader via the database (no further communication required at this point) Send Networking Note (via email) and arrange Informational Interview: this will involve some back-and-forth communication Conduct Informational Interview; send thank you note within 1-2 days after conversation Request feedback on Networking Note and Informational Interview via the online feedback system. Be sure to upload a Word or PDF version of the original networking note you sent. Midpoint Portfolio due to Real Reader: upload files and request feedback via online feedback system Optional communication and consultation with Real Reader regarding course assignments Final Portfolio due to Real Reader: upload files via online feedback system Send end-of-semester thank you (via email) Requesting Feedback As detailed above, you will be submitting your own questions about your work to your Real Reader. This process is designed to help you become a conscious communicator and to elicit constructive and meaningful feedback for your revision process. When composing your questions, be as specific as possible about the particular aspects or parts of your work you wish to improve. For example, I struggled with the first sentence of my cover letter. Does it grab your attention and make you want to read on? Can you tell me what you think about the story in my medical school personal statement? I am afraid that it might make me sound not serious enough. Is the tone and language I am using in my networking note professional enough, in your opinion? I didn’t want to sound stuffy or too casual. Does the organization of my resume allow you to quickly gain a sense of my experience and strengths? Avoid sweeping, general questions, such as, What did you think of my networking note? How can I improve my cover letter? If you have questions about how to solicit feedback from your Real Reader, consult your instructor. Interacting with your Real Reader Email etiquette: Be conscious of the language and tone you are using when corresponding with your Real Reader. This includes following the norms of English grammar, punctuation, and capitalization. Err on the side of formality to begin with; for example, address your Real Reader as Mr., Ms., or Dr. Lastname in your initial note. As the relationship develops, you may find that it is okay to address them by their first name. Do not, however, slide into unprofessional email conventions that may work with your friends. “LOL” and smiley emoticons are not appropriate for your Real Reader, even if they write this way. The topics you discuss with your Real Reader, in the informational interview and at other times during the semester, may veer away from the purposes of professional identity and communication. For example, you might find yourself talking about the weather, a shared interest in martial arts, the cost of living in New York City – the list goes on. This is all fine. When discussing your goals, however, do not ask to be considered for a job or internship, as this is not the purpose of the Real Reader Program. Some Real Readers may volunteer to assist you in this capacity, and if they do, that is wonderful – but this is not expected of them and you should not expect it, either. Generally, appropriate email etiquette dictates that you should respond to an email within 24 hours of receipt. Always be prompt in responding to an email from your Real Reader, even if it’s just to acknowledge that you received his or her message and will get back to them within the week. Thank your Real Reader early and often for the time and effort they are spending in helping you improve your communication skills. If your Real Reader contacts you first: When you select your Real Reader in the database, he or she will receive an email notification. No contact is expected at that point, but if your Real Reader contacts you before you’ve had a chance to send your networking note, just send a brief and friendly acknowledgement, specifying that you will be sending your networking note soon and look forward to the informational interview. Informational interviews: By phone: Specify who will call whom at the appointed time. Be sure to find a quiet place where you can speak undisturbed for at least 30 minutes. Skype: Dress nicely from the waist up, and be conscious of what the backdrop says about you (e.g., a messy dorm room). Make sure you are online a few minutes before the scheduled time. In person: A few of the Real Readers are based in Rochester. Meeting in person is an excellent experience to practice all aspects of professional communication, such as body language and handshakes. The informational interview should take place in a public location such as a coffee shop or the Real Reader’s place of work. It is fine to allow the Real Reader to buy you coffee or lunch; simply thank him or her and accept this kind gesture. If your Real Reader is late in providing feedback: Real Readers are expected to provide feedback on assignments within one week of receipt. If your Real Reader does not respond within this time frame, you may send them a “friendly reminder” email; remember to bcc your instructor. Making polite requests are an important skill in the world of work, and this is good practice. If you would like assistance in crafting this email, consult your instructor. If, after sending your reminder email, you still do not hear from your Real Reader, let your instructor know so he or she can intervene. In extreme cases, a new Real Reader may be assigned. If you receive negative feedback from your Real Reader: Don’t be upset or take it personally! This is a learning opportunity and you should express your gratitude to your Real Reader no matter what he or she says. If this feedback is received before turning in your final portfolio, this might be a time to ask clarifying questions so that you can edit your work before the Real Reader gives his or her final assessment, which counts for 10 percent of your course grade. If you don’t understand why you have received this sort of feedback, consult your instructor. Optional contact and feedback regarding your work: Real Readers enjoy interacting with their students, and you are encouraged to consult your Real Reader whenever you would find that “real world” perspective valuable. This applies to extra revisions of your networking note and midpoint portfolio, as well as other assignments you’ll be working on throughout latter half of the semester (e.g., elevator pitch, LinkedIn profile, and technical project descriptions). How your final Real Reader Assessment is determined Your Real Reader will review your final portfolio at the end of the semester and respond to the following two questions on a scale of 1-5: 1. To what extent do the materials in the portfolio effectively communicate the writer’s professional or academic goals? 2. Hypothetically, how likely would you be to refer this student to your network of contacts based on the materials you have reviewed? (Note that this is not an expectation on your part.) The average rating you receive on these questions will make up 10 percent of your final course grade. Questions? If you have any questions or concerns at all the Real Reader Program, consult your instructor. We want this to be a useful and positive experience for you!
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