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201: Intermediate Composition, 2013 Central Michigan University

Assignment 1: Writing to Inform

In this assignment, you will combine information from several sources and clearly and
coherently explain something to readers who are not already familiar with the information. It
builds on what you learned in ENG 101 about writing from multiple sources (e.g., summary,
paraphrase, and quotation), but it also reinforces the critical thinking skills of analysis and
synthesis as well as source citation. Assignments 2 - 4 will require you to go beyond simply
reporting informationwhich, by itself, is a crucial skillto persuading readers to believe or do

Assignment Instructions
1. In The McGraw-Hill Guide (henceforth, TMHG), read Chapter 7, Writing to Inform. (If you
took ENG 101 online, you would have read this chapter and may only need to review it at
this time. However, this assignment is different from the writing-to-inform assignment you
completed in ENG 101.)
2. Write a 1,250 1,500 word informative report about some factual topic of interest to a
group or organization to which you belong. For example, students at CMU, employees
where you work, members of specific club or professional organization, people who
participate in a specific hobby or activity that you enjoy, etc.

Your report should emerge from a synthesis of information from at least six recent and
authoritative sources, perhaps also combined with your own personal knowledge about the
topic. Part of the challenge of synthesizing information from multiple sources is making
strategic decisions about what information to include and what not to include; often, the
latter decision is more difficult than the former. For example, if you were to explain global
warming to students in a high school science class, consider why these readers might need
or want this information.
For more information about how to find and evaluate sources, see TMHG, Chapter 19, Finding and
Evaluating Information.
For information about how to make your report readable, suitable, and interesting to your readers,
see TMHG, Chapter 13, Using Strategies that Guide Readers.

3. In addition to including information based on your own knowledge and experience, use a
combination of quotation and paraphrase from your sources; however, no more than about
10% (125 150 words) of your report should consist of quoted material. Instead, rely on
summary and paraphrase. And as you should have learned in ENG 101, all information from
sourceswhether quoted, paraphrased, or summarized, whether words or imagesmust
be cited. Keep in mind, though, that your voice, not your sources, should be most
prominent in your report.
For more information about how to write from multiple sources, see TMHG, Chapter 3: Writing to
Understand and Synthesize Texts.

ENG 201: Intermediate Composition, 2013 Central Michigan University

A1: Writing to Inform

4. Format your report in a way that is appropriate for your intended audience and purpose.
This assignment could take a form different from a traditional school paper, e.g., it might
take the form of a web page, a brochure, an article in a newsletter or magazine, etc.
Whatever final format it takes, develop the text for the peer draft as a print document.
For more information about genres and formatting, see TMHG, Part Five, Chapter 17, Choosing a
Medium, Genre, and Technology for Your Communication.

Your peers and instructor will help you decide on an appropriate format for your report,
depending on what you see as its specific purpose and intended audience.

5. Include any appropriate visuals that will enhance the effectiveness of your report. Use of
visuals in this assignment is optional, and visuals might not count toward the total word
count for the assignment; it will depend on what kind of visuals you use and whether you
created them yourself or borrowed them from a source. All borrowed visuals must be cited.
Do not include gratuitous visuals, such as clip art; include only visuals that convey relevant
meaning and help readers understand the information.
For more information, see TMGH, Part Five, Chapter 18, Communicating with Design and Visuals;
and the e-handbook, Part 1, Chapter 4, Drafting Paragraphs and Visuals.

6. Cite sources using MLA, APA, or Chicago format.

For more information on citing sources, see TMHG, Chapter 20, Synthesizing and Documenting
Sources, and e-handbook, Part 4, Chapters 23 -26.

7. Give your report a title that will be effective and appropriate for the intended audience and
purpose. Select a specific audience and purpose for your report, and write this at the top of
your paper so your peer reviewers and instructor will know.
8. Save your A1 draft as a MS Word document or a Rich Text Format document with one of the
following filenames:

[e.g., JohnDoeDraft1A1.docx]
[e.g., JohnDoeDraft1A1.rtf]

Word will add the .docx or .rtf suffix automatically when you save the file in that format.

9. Upload your draft to your Group page on Bb by the due date for peer review.
See the peer review instructions on the next page.

10. After receiving peer feedback, revise your draft, save it with one of the following filenames,
and upload it to Bb by the due date for instructor review and a tentative grade.

[e.g., JohnDoeDraft2A1.docx]
[e.g., JohnDoeDraft2A1.rtf]

11. After receiving instructor feedback, revise your draft, save it with one of the following
filenames, and upload it to Bb by the final draft due date for instructor re-evaluation and a
final grade.
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ENG 201: Intermediate Composition, 2013 Central Michigan University


A1: Writing to Inform

[e.g., JohnDoeFinalDraftA1.docx]
[e.g., JohnDoeFinalDraftA1.rtf]

Peer Review Instructions for A1

Your draft of Assignment 1 is due to be uploaded to the File Exchange portion of your Group
page in Bb for peer review by 11:59 p.m. EST, Week 2, Day 1 (Feb 7).
Don't forget to save your draft using the file name stipulated in the assignment instructions above.

You must comment on each of your group members' drafts of A1 no later than 11:59 p.m. EST, Week
2, Day 5 (Feb 6). Here's how:
1. Go into the File Exchange of your assigned Group page, download each group member's
draft, and save them to your computer or flash drive using a new file name for each draft.
For example, if you are Jane Smith and you have just download the draft named
JohnDoeDraft1A1.docx, save the draft with the following filename:

This way, both John and your instructor will know that you are the group member who has
commented on Johns draft. Each group member will obtain comments from every other
group member, so you and your group members want to make very clear which files are
which. Do this for each group members draft.
2. Open each file and read the draft on screen.
3. Use the Writer's Workshop questions on page 187 in Chapter 7 of TMHG to guide your
review and comments.
4. To provide comments on each group members draft, use the Insert Comment tool in MS
Word to insert comments in the right margin of the draft.
Note: If you do not know how to use the Insert Comment feature in Word, view the Microsoft
tutorial, a link for which has been placed in the Course Materials page of Bb.

5. Do NOT use Track Changes to edit or correct any grammar, punctuation, or spelling;
however, if you think it necessary or helpful, remind the writer to proofread and edit the
draft carefully before submitting it for instructor review.
6. After reviewing and commenting on all your group members' drafts (or at least all that have
been uploaded to your groups File Exchange during the review period), download all of
your drafts on which group members have commented, and use their feedback to revise
your draft before submitting it for instructor review by 11:59 p.m. EST, Week 3, Day 1 (Feb
If you have any questions about the peer review process, please contact your instructor.
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ENG 201: Intermediate Composition, 2013 Central Michigan University

A1: Writing to Inform

NOTE: Your instructor might need to move you into another peer review group or move one or more
students from another group into your group. Please be patient with such moves, which ensure a
sufficient number of students in each group to submit and comment on drafts. However, instructors are
advised NOT to move any students after the third day of the five-day period for peer review unless such
a move is necessary and unavoidable.

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