Assignments: Informal Proposal

Technical Writing

To start, please read closely the Wiki Article Assignment.

Once you are familiar with the Wiki Article Assignment, I would like your group to collaboratively author a 250-500 word memo, sent as e-mail to me (, that proposes a topic and approach to the assignment. The purpose of the memo is to get the group started on the project. At this stage the more developed and detailed the informal proposal, the better.

I offer the following thought questions as a guide to writing your informal proposal. You do not have to answer fully all of these questions. However, please use the questions to begin thinking through the Wiki Article Assignment:

    • What scientific or technological controversy has the group selected for the project? What, exactly, is the controversy and how is science or technology involved?
    • What is the central question you will pose regarding the controversy?
    • What position will the group take on the central question posed regarding the controversy?
    • Do the group members disagree about the position taken regarding the central question? If so, how will the disagreement be expressed? (Please consult the last paragraph of the Background section of the assignment.)
    • How will the group structure the wiki article? What will be the responsibilities of individual group members (what will each group members do)?
    • What resources have you gathered for the wiki article? What are, or will be, your major sources?
    • What questions do you have for me regarding the assignment?

An important component of your informal proposal will be a schedule of tasks. As you write this proposal, please take a look at the Wiki Article Assignment, course calendar, due dates and the like, and set forth tasks and deadlines for the group's work. While you will not follow the schedule slavishly, please be specific about the responsibilities of group members and when those responsibilities will be met. In your Informal Proposal, please provide specific dates for the project's deadlines.


Due no later than midnight June 20:

    • A 250-500 word informal proposal, written collaboratively, as e-mail sent to me —
    I will respond with recommendations for your project.