Writing 50E







Internship Package

This assignment asks you to identify a specific internship in engineering or a related field and to write a résumé and cover letter appropriate for that internship. Although you need not actually send the résumé and cover letter, you should select an internship opening for which you are qualified and which is appealing to you. Internship listings are available at the Counseling and Career Services office as well as in professional journals and on the Internet.


Write a two-paragraph description and analysis of the internship you’ve selected.

In the first paragraph, objectively describe the internship: what are the duties and responsibilities of the intern? what are the requirements of the position? You can quote from the internship description that you’ve found, but you shouldn’t simply reproduce that description; rather, describe the internship mostly in your own words.

In the second paragraph, analyze the internship. Photocopy the description of the internship for which you are applying and turn this in with your assignment. Before you write the résumé and cover letter, you should carefully read the internship description, consider the skills and experience desired by the company, and tailor you résumé and letter to the specific requirements of the job.


Follow the instructions and models provided in the CCS Handbook as you create your résumé. Remember that the purpose of a résumé is to describe your qualifications for a specific type of job or internship. Therefore, you should tailor your résumé to the particular type of position for which you’re applying. Ideally, the résumé will provide proof that you are qualified for this type of position and that you would be a capable, responsible employee who communicates effectively.

The format of your résumé may be traditional or innovative as long as the information is highly accessible and is organized in a way that highlights the most important items (from the employer’s perspective).


While your résumé is addressed to any employer with a certain type of job opening, the cover letter is most effective when tailored to a particular employer. The purpose of the cover letter is to persuade that one employer to grant you an interview. Follow the guidelines for cover letters provided in the CCS Handbook. Be sure to reference your résumé at least once in your cover letter, drawing out one or more of the significant aspects of your qualifications. Use a conventional business letter format. If possible, stick to one page.

Document Redesign Project

The purpose of this project is to redesign a poorly designed document, and to write a memo explaining your redesign. For this project, turn in two items: your redesign of the document, and a memo in which you address the following questions:

  • what were the primary problems with the original design of the document?
  • what specific changes did you make? why did you make each of these changes? what alternatives did you consider?
  • what design principles did you follow in redesigning this document?
  • are there any design problems that you were unable to resolve in your redesign? That is, are there any new or pre-existing design problems in your redesign?

Consider including a small graphic of the new design of the document, with arrows and/or numbers indicating changes you made. Your explanation can then reference this graphic. You might also consider including a small graphic depicting the old design of the document, particularly if you intend to make a lot of before/after comparisons.


  Portfolio Critique

After looking at a number of different online professional portfolios, created by both students and non-students, choose one to evaluate. The portfolio you choose to evaluate should ideally be one that helps you make decisions about the content and design of your own online portfolio.



Your Portfolio Critique should be written in report format, with the following sections:

1.0 Introduction
Provide the title, location, and authorship of the portfolio. Also provide a brief (1-2 sentence) summary of its contents and a brief (1-2 sentence) statement of your overall assessment of the portfolio.

2.0 Evaluation
In your assessment, you should discuss both the strengths and weaknesses of the portfolio. Use this section to introduce your key findings in the area of content and design.

2.1 Content
In this subsection, focus on the strengths and weaknesses of the portfolio’s content. Are certain sections of the portfolio stronger than others? Do certain sections seem more relevant than others? You might also consider the amount, style, and correctness of the writing in the portfolio.

2.2 Design
Begin this subsection by describing the design of the portfolio (you might consider including a graphic here, to convey a visual sense of its layout and color scheme). After your objective description, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the portfolio’s design, including its page layout, navigation scheme, color scheme, use of graphics, font, and other design elements.

3.0 Lessons
In this concluding section, indicate what you have learned from a close examination of this online portfolio that will help you in designing your own portfolio. Be specific about the particular features of content and design that you intend to either mimic or avoid in your own portfolio.



Photo Essay

links to the final Photo Essays


This project, which you will work on collaboratively with one other student in the class, asks you to combine photographs and text in order to provide information about some aspect of UCSB. In class, we will discuss your options for choosing a topic, but in general you will choose a place, an event, an issue, or some other aspect of student life on campus.

Your photo essay should include at least eight (8) original photographs, each of which has approximately 50-150 words associated with the image. Arrange the images/text in an order that makes sense. Use Powerpoint, or HTML, or Flash.

The audience for your photo essay is prospective UCSB students and their families. You can assume that this audience knows a bit about UCSB and is interested in knowing more, particularly about places, issues, and events having to do with student life. Be sure that your photo essay is designed so as to address this audience most effectively.

The photo essay is not itself a genre of technical communication; however the basic skill involved in a photo essay—combining words and images meaningfully—is an important element of many different technical genres. Therefore you should pay particular attention to the way you combine text and photograph in this assignment.




This assignment asks you to write instructions for operating (either wholly or in part) a device that you own. You might, for instance, write instructions for how to set your alarm clock, how to set the time/date on your watch, or how to take and send a photograph on your cell phone. The instructions should take up the entirety of either one or two pages (8 1/2” X 11”). You must have at least one graphic included in your instructions.

Include the following sections in your instructions (note that more information about each of these sections is available in Technical Communication, Chapter 10):


The title should define the procedure for which you're giving instructions. It usually begins with “How to…” or uses a gerund (a verb ending in -ing).

Define the purpose of the instructions by talking about the benefits and significance of the procedure you’re discussing. Describe the prior knowledge and skills needed by the audience. Provide a brief summary of the steps involved or an overall description of the procedure.

Depending on the procedure you’re writing about, you may need to include other information in the Introduction (for instance, materials or tools needed, or warnings about possible dangers in the procedure). See Technical Communication, Chapter 10 for a list of possible content for the introduction.

The individual steps should be in sequential order. If there are many steps, group related items by using sub-steps. Mark each major step by numbers, by indentations and white space, and/or by use of boldface type. Start each step with the verb that directly addresses the reader and tells the reader what to do. Highlight any dangers, warnings, cautions, or notes by boxing them or by using bold or red type or other graphic cues to attract attention.
Use graphics where appropriate to condense or highlight information, to show relationships, or to clarify instructions at a particular step.

Conclusion (optional)
See Technical Communication, Chapter 10 for possible content for the conclusion.

At the end of your instructions, indicate any sources you drew from in writing your instructions, as well as sources where the reader can go to get more detailed information about the operation you’ve described.



Online Portfolio

links to final portfolios


This assignment asks you to create a professional online portfolio to showcase work that you’ve done in Writing 50E, and perhaps to use in the future as you progress through your studies at UCSB. You’ll use the space provided to you in your UWeb account to place your portfolio and the materials to which your portfolio links.

At the minimum, your online portfolio should include annotated links to the assignments you did in Writing 50E: the résumé, document redesign, photo essay, and instructions. Optionally you may include links to the portfolio critique, to writing assignments that you did in Writing 2E, and/or to relevant assignments that you completed in other classes at UCSB. In addition, if you’ve done any relevant professional work outside of school (for instance, creating websites or writing technical documents), you may include annotated links to these as well. (By “annotated” I mean simply that there is some explanation of what the link is about on the page that provides the link.)

In class we will discuss strategies for designing the portfolio effectively, and in our lab sessions we will work with Photoshop and Dreamweaver so that you have the ability to create an attractive and professional portfolio. Keep in mind that this is not meant to be a personal website; rather, the intended audience for this portfolio is potential employers and others who are interested in assessing your professional skills. The design of the portfolio should be appropriate for this audience and purpose.