Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Blog Assignment 9: Outline of Group Project Presentation

Shifting the focus to a group project, I think my group will be very confident in our project. We were selected to be the “website”, which is one part of the overall project of historical Hattiesburg. We began by selecting dates in which we were able to meet and get things accomplished. We used Thursdays as the starting point. On these days, were were able to assign portions of assignments, make a mock website, and worked on our proposal.
During our creation of the website we assigned each person a specific goal to do. I was given general information of historical Hattiesburg, Christian did the Saenger Theatre, John did the Sullivan-Kilrain fight sight, Michael did Paul B. Johnson, and Renita did the African American War Museum. Everyone contributed equally and was combined with John’s website skills to make our finished project. Every page of the website is able to give several pictures for visual aesthetics, some general information on the sight/area, and where additional information can be found. Using this basic format, our group was able to establish a well-informed website that is easy to navigate and visually pleasing to our audience.

blog Assignment 8: Editorial

The Gulf Coast has been dramatically affected from the oil spill due to deep sea drilling. Although there is no way the American culture can give up gasoline cold turkey, I would say to keep drilling but with better safety precautions. Due to an explosion off the coast in one of British Petroleum’s refineries, oil has begun to leak, about 205,000 gallons per day. Although this is a sad sight to see, the ecological and biological havoc that is being wreaked is unprofessional. I want to persuade to other companies involve with deep sea drilling to improve and constantly practice safety measures of containment.
The practice of containment is not unknown but it has been a constantly lied about and under hyped. Deep sea oil companies need to begin to be more responsible by drilling in location that they know are not as effected by natural disasters, which would increase the chances of an oil spill. In addition, the refineries need to be inspected and operated by competent humans that know what they are doing. In addition to these counter measures, oil companies should invest heavily on being able to contain oil spills on a large scale basis. For example, the most current oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP “assumed” that they are able to contain an oil spill that was about 300,000 gallons of oil but it turns out that the oil spill leaked 205,000 gallons per day. There is no way BP would be able to contain that if they even wanted to. I guess oil companies should begin living with the motto of hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
After viewing the rhetorical situation, I believe that my call to write was necessary due to the fact that this oil spill does indeed have a lasting impact if oil companies to evolve and provide better safety measures. The timing of this topic is extremely current and has already seen actions by other people. The context that I wrote is relevant to the situation because it lets the people know what is going on out there at sea and how what should be done to correct the oil spill. My audience would be the general public that is affected by this spill as well as nature conversationalists, which my editorial is already directed towards and my intention of this editorial is to inform and persuade people to begin pressuring BP, as well as other companies, to increase funding for counter measures for containment of possible oil spills.

Blog Assignment 7: Website Evaluation

The website I chose to critique is the University of Southern Mississippi’s biological website. I chose this website because I find myself always on this page for something. After viewing and navigating this website, I would want to state that the overall effectiveness of the University’s biological website is mediocre at best because although it is fact based, it does not derive any further away from what is being offered. I guess you can say there is no “fun” in the page. The usability and navigation of the website is superb. The information present on the web site is always readily accessible. The persuasiveness of this webpage ranks low also. Besides a couple of pictures that show how biology interacts with everything, there is nothing else present that would remotely generate any type of interest to newer, future biologists.
From all of my critiquing, I would suggest the webmaster change several things around to make the website more appealing. First off, I would suggest that the visual aspect of the website be changed. Although the website does contain a lot of information that is easily to navigate and access, there are to many words that would deter people from sitting there and reading through each option and folder to know which one they want to go to. Secondly, I would suggest that the webmaster or the biological department include more pictures as well as biological significant events that the University’s biological department participates in. This would lead to a more persuasive type of webpage in which it would entice and encourage future biologists to join in on the fun. With these changes to the web site, I believe that the biological website would be a huge improvement and the overall effectiveness would increase tenfold.

Blog Assignment 6: Collaborative Writing Project Issuses / Progress Report

Several weeks ago in my English 333 course, I was assigned to demonstrate how I was able to work efficiently and effectively in groups. I was paired off Christian Brady, John Harrington, Michael Hill, and Renita Caradine. Those four and myself volunteered to tackle the website aspect of our class project. This website is a unique challenge in itself because it offers a large audience and the use of correct citations for given photographs. The reason my group and I are doing the website is to show uninformed individuals the rich history of Hattiesburg, Ms. In addition to showing people the history of Hattiesburg, I personally want to complete this assignment to show Ms. Rene that I understand her teachings and hopefully get a good grade to show for it. The time frame allowed on this project was given to be about four to five weeks, which includes class time and well as out of class time. Utilizing everyone’s website building skills, specifically John Harrington, we will be able to create a fluid, dynamic website which will capture Hattiesburg at her finest.
Several weeks have passed by and our group have been very proficient in our ability to meet with one another and devise very thought out plans. We have been able to work around everyone’s schedule to meet routinely, at least once a week, for about two hours per meeting. In this time, we were able to establish the groundwork for which our information will be based around, assigned each group member a task, made a mock website, and even completed a working website (although with minor flaws). Some work that we plan on doing is to meet up about one or two more times to review the website together and brainstorm on how to make the website better. Using everything we have learned in class, such as the proposal and time management guide, my group and I have been able to successfully stay on track and have completed everything in a timely manner. In addition to doing everything in a timely manner, we kept in simple enough to where errors were minimal and content was rich. With all of these factors working in our favor, we expect to produce a high quality and easy to navigate website that would allow the audience to be entertained as well as informed in their research of our humble town.
Overall, the group learning process has been a somewhat pleasant experience. Everyone in our group has been very professional and extremely communicative towards one another, which showed significant progress in our group. The group leader (Christian) managed everyone very well, planned all the meetings and even brought us cookies. The hardest work would have to be John Harrington. He was able to tackle the brunt of this project and created a visually stimulating and professional document. Renita, Michael, and I contributed towards the goal by doing the required work and submitting it to John. Everyone was also very active in constructive criticism without being rude.
Honestly, I believe there should be no recommendations to this project. As a high level course, I believe that most students should be able to effectively communicate with each other to produce a high quality document. In addition, the course instructor should not help anymore than they have because the project is extremely self explanatory.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Improving Professional Correspondence

To: T. Leoni, Manager, Personnel Department
From: Donald Pryzblo, Manager, Data Processing Department
Subject: Incorrect Payroll Checks

Dear Mr. Leoni,

Due to several complaints from my division, I believe there have been several errors encountered in the payrolls.
From these complaints, I have taken initiative to personally review the data, just to verify that my department and I are not making these mistakes. My team and I have since discovered that a majority of these errors were made by the clerks. Statistically, we have found 35 of the 37 errors to be associated with your department. Due to these errors, the Data Processing Department has committed more errors because they were directly copying the faulty time tickets. In addition, I do not believe my department should be held accountable for these mistakes.
As discussed from previous meetings, I understand that errors are always present but I do not want to burden my department further with additional work. As manager of the Data Processing Department, my team and I are already spread very thin and we do not have enough time or the man power to compare the entries against the time sheets, in which your clerks are miscopying.
I highly recommend that you tell your clerks to review and double check their work carefully before giving it to the computer operators.
Donald Pryzblo, Manager, Data Processing Department

I have made significant changes to this document. Using and understanding the rhetorical situation, I think I was able to produce a more professional email with the audience being my equal colleague. Before, the paper seemed rather immature due to the caps lock and incredibly bratty attitude. I hope that with the revised edition, I was able to convey the same message without belittling my colleague.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Defining Your Brochure's Objectives

For this assignment, I have choosen to use USM’s biology homepage compared to Ole Miss’ biology homepage. One of the areas that stood out to me that both of the websites have is interesting photographs that engage the audience, but that is where the similarities mainly end. I believe that USM’s biology homepage is better suited to entice younger freshmen and/or sophomores to puruse a biological sciences degree. This is true because not only does the USM’s website have excellent pictures, the biology department also made it more appealing by having adequate text to follow the paragraphs. Another positive for the USM website is their plethora of information that they have accessible to any students that want to further research about biology. On the other side, Ole Miss’ website was acceptable in a biological standpoint, but a complete failure when it pertains to attracting potential students. I say this due to the fact that although Ole Miss’ website is easy to navigate, they do not offer much information for any students. The only information that is really portrayed to the audience is information about current seminars and the classes needed to receive a degree. They do not go into detail and explain their purpose and objective similar to USM’s biology department did. The following are the links to their perspective universities:
The primary objective of my brochure is to create a entertaining yet conservative view of biology and to persuade the freshmen and sophomores to enroll in my perspective field. I wanted to include a photo that would catch their attention then upon more curiosity, they would open the brochure to find out more infmoration about my department and be encouraged to declare their major into the health and sciences field. Other than harmonious pictures, I would describe the different fields of biology, declare the departments primary goals, and lastly, I would offer the flexible style of classes that this University does have to offer.
My relationship with the reader is that having change majors before, I would be able to give them insight on my personal experiences about biology and hopefully they can make a decision. Other than the relationship of college student to college student and/or college student and creative brochure artist, I do not see any other significant changes in my audience because if my audience did know me, it would minimize the brochure’s effectiveness.
What I learned that was the most important from the websites is to create a well-informed, easy to navigate home page to let people get the information they want, when they wanted. I would choose this style because in the day and age of internet, if most people do not get what they want from your site within several minutes, the curiosity would usually wear off or people would go somewhere else to find their desired materials, which would be of consequence to anyone.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Blog Assignment 2: Analyzing a Rhetorical Situation

To analyze a rhetorical situation that is written in biological terminology, I have chosen to use my Introduction to Limnology textbook. In this book, the context of issues that the writer seems to be discussing is the creation and evolution of lakes. Being a Biology major with preference to a molecular emphasis, I did not know much about lakes. I knew the general information such as the following: lakes are inland, lakes are all freshwater, and they are not that big. The writer of this book is able to carefully explain how I am wrong in everything I know about lakes because not all lakes are created equal and that although lakes are indeed inland, they also have a possibility of being saltwater and/or brackish and many lakes can become very large in size and depth. After reading these articles, I could not find a larger debate about the information the writer as posted. Most of the data that is stated is decently strong evidence of the writer’s claims. The main purpose at stake from these articles seems to be the author’s credibility and respect.

The author of this book is Stanley Dodson and I personally do not know anything of this Limnologist but I did eventually found out that Mr. Dodson’s writing background, credibility, and knowledge of this subject is very extensive. The type of publication that Mr. Dodson wrote in was a textbook that has no political slant, has a good reputation due to Mr. Dodson, and is intended for readers that are highly interested in Ecology, specifically Limnology. The call to write for Mr. Dodson is to author a complete book that discussed every single detail of lakes. The purpose of this textbook was to inform the readers of the different types of ways a lake can be formed yet they all yield the same result; A body of water enclosed by land on all sides. The primary audience of this reading seems to be specifically Biology students because the relationship between Mr. Dodson and the reader seems as if he is higher in the hierarchy and he is teaching us his knowledge. He is able to use certain types of language that is hard to grasp for newer biologists and his tone is very flat, somewhat like a “blah blah blah, this is information so absorb it” type of tone.

Overall, I think Mr. Dodson was able to communicate with Biological students, but barely. It seemed as if his terminology was more advanced, as if he were talking to his peers but his sentence structure was easy to follow. I think he could have made his choices of words at little more elementary so his ideal audience would be able to understand him better.

- Thang H