Written Analyses, and Discussions
We will read through Frederick P. Brooks, Jr's classic The Mythical Man-Month collection
of essays and other assigned papers from time to time. You will
be required to write analytical reflections on some of these
readings. The purpose of these writing assignments is
several-fold. In no particular order, I expect you to improve as
a writer and thinker, I expect that you will focus more deeply on the
readings, I expect that you will exercise and strengthen your critical
thinking skills as you write and prepare for class discussion. By
I mean you are not to summarize the paper. I have read the papers
and want to read your thoughts
reflecting on and extending from the paper. Each assignment will
have an associated question; make sure your paper addresses the
question carefully and completely.
In each of your written assignments, you will be limited to three pages
formatted with 1.25 inch margins left and right and 1 inch margins top
and bottom; use a 12pt font
and double spacing. Pay careful attention to these
formatting guidelines. Make each word count; don't use two words
where one will do. Do not interpret the three page limit as an
indicator of a low-content expectation. Rather, think of it as
trying to pass a camel through the eye of a needle. It is
impossible but do your best.
You will be divided into groups of three or four and will critique each
other's writing. The evaluation form you should use can be found here.
Detailed instructions for using the form and the basic submission
process can be found here at Telford
Work's site. Please read those instructions carefully.
Particularly note that you will print two copies of the review form,
attach them to your paper and turn it in. I will initial and
return to you so that your groups can meet and exchange papers.
Unless otherwise noted, you will have one week from the initial due
date to review each other's papers, revise and submit your final
version. Also note, at some point prior to your final submission
you must have your paper
reviewed at the Writers'
Corner. Be sure to ask to
have your paper initialed by the Writers' Corner staff member
We will discuss the readings in class on the respective
Thursdays that analyses are due. You will be evaluated on your
participation to discussion. If you are "a high verbal" person,
exercise restraint to create gaps so that others can contribute.
If you tend to be quiet, force yourself to throw your ideas out
there. From experience, I know that everyone has something to add
to the discussion that improves the learning experience for
everyone. You might be surprised at the number of times I've sat
through discussions watching some student not say a word, but then
later, when reading their analysis, I found a particularly insightful
take on some issue that was never mentioned in class. Don't hide
your light under a bushel.