eng115 help/technical writing

Drafting your document is going to be an important step towards the completion of your Research Report. The easiest way to start this process is to do what is called a data dump or write your down draft. This is a way for you to get all the information out your head down on to paper.

Step 1| To do this, open a new document and follow the steps below.

  1. Format the document as required by our course (Unit 1, Task 2).
  2. On the first page, type “Letter of Transmittal” as a placeholder and insert a page break. (Hint: If you are using Word on a PC, you just need to press Control+Enter to break to a new page. If you are using a Mac, then press Shift+Command+Return. Be sure you don’t just press “enter” to get to the next page, or your formatting will be off throughout your entire document any time you add any information.)
  3. On the next page, type “title page” as a placeholder and insert a page break.
  4. On the next page, include an “Introduction” placeholder. On the same page, copy and paste the outline from your Report Proposal for the body of your paper. Then, on the same page, include a header for the “Conclusion.” Then, insert a page break.
  5. Finally, type out a header for the Reference list for your document. This will give you a place to include your source citations as you use them in your report.

Step 2| Now that you have your document all laid you, you need to start writing. To do that, start wherever you feel the most comfortable and just start writing. If you think you know just what you want your conclusion to be, start there. If you know exactly how you want to describe your research problem, start with your introduction. The key is to not worry about how what you are writing looks or sounds. The point with this step is just to get the ideas down on paper. (Note: It would be smart to include your images where they fit as you write.)

Step 3| After you have completed your data dump, give yourself as much time as you can before reading everything over again. I call this the “stick-it-in-a-drawer” phase. When you read something you just wrote, your mind tends to fill in missing words, gloss over comma mistakes and misspellings, and play other such tricks on you. However, if you give yourself a chance to put some distance between you and your writing, you will likely be able to approach it with more objectivity and locate some of your mistakes.

Step 4| If the first step in this drafting process was getting your ideas down on paper, this step is where you should clean it up. You should make sure that you do not submit your down draft for your initial review to ensure the best possible feedback from your reviewer.

Please reread all your report components carefully, and when you feel that you have a solid initial draft, submit your document for my review using the link above.

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