Revising the Faculty Manual: The Client Project in Your Backyard

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Heather Lettner-Rust


This client project is a culminating assignment in an upper-level professional writing course designed to help students understand the nature of audience-based writing in an unfamiliar writing context. The specific task is for students to revise a substantial section of the university *Faculty Policies and Procedures Manual*. Students researched their audience, analyzed samples of university manuals at other higher education institutions, exercised document design strategies, and practiced syntax revision during the project, ultimately presenting a sample of their work to faculty for feedback. Employing design workshop strategies, this assignment requires students to interview faculty in order to understand multiple users' experiences of the university Faculty Policies and Procedures Manual. In addition, an essential component for student learning in this course is reflection. This reflection is centered on the rhetorical situation of using and revising genres (Devitt, 2009) in the context of a professional environment (Clark, 2005; Kain & Wardle, 2005) in order that students avoid perceiving the class as a march through memos, reports, and emails as static formats (Miller, 1984). This project engages students independently, as they are responsible for their own revisions of 30 pages, while class time is used collaboratively on learning new ways of viewing the document's potential and the genre's function.

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Lettner-Rust, H. (2018). Revising the Faculty Manual: The Client Project in Your Backyard. Prompt: A Journal of Academic Writing Assignments, 2(2).


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