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Writing in the Wild
Preliminary Report Guidelines

Below is an outline of the major elements to include in your 900-1500 word preliminary report.  The report should have four main sections, and these sections should be labeled:

Again, each of these sections must be clearly labeled in your report (possibly with subheadings as well); the report must have a title, and your name and organizational affiiliation (i.e., Eastern Illinois University) must appear at the top. Remember that this is a preliminary report, not a final one, so it will consist largely of a summary of your "preliminary" research activities and ideas to date, not finalized results. Include enough detail so that it makes sense as an independent document, but not so much that it far exceeds the prescribed length, which is 900-1300 words. Save your lengthier explanations and your more conclusive statements and insights for the oral and final reports. As in professional life, some of the steps required here are similar to those in assignments you have already written; in such cases, it's okay (and even a good, time-saving idea) to draw directly from your earlier writings.  However, if you do so, be sure to update such material so that it fulfills the requirements of this assignment. The first draft of this document must be published and linked to the appropriate section of your Assignment Index by 5 p.m. on Friday, October 24; Dr. Engles will then have a conference with you to discuss this draft before you publish a final draft.

section one:  overview of your project

section two: description of research methods section three: preliminary research results

In this section, explain the preliminary insights and realizations that you have discovered so far by collecting workplace writing samples, and by conducting interviews and observations.  Make sure to relate what you have come to understand so far in terms of any two of our major themes (individual/collaborative writing and the increasing usage of technology; socioeconomic class;  race/class/gender/sexuality relations; and professional/literary writing styles); you can also relate what you have discovered to any outside research sources, but that is not required at this point.

section four:  discussion

This is the place to wrap up your preliminary report by discussing:

Here too you might want to refer again to the essays we read and discussed in class.

Finally, conclude with a look at the future--explain the kinds of research that you still need to do, and perhaps how much, in order to complete your final report.