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Collaborative project 1


This assignment is simple in the deliverable it produces—a two-to-three-page document explaining plagiarism for an audience of college students, offering tips and resources for avoiding it and identifying consequences that can arise from plagiarism.

The assignment’s intent is that you do some basic research and get your feet wet working collaboratively, and also that you reflect upon your experiences in the collaborative process. Naturally, you should complete the unit's reading assignments as early in the week as you can.

Read all instructions carefully. In fact, I would print them: while the assignment itself is simple, the requirements are detailed.

The deliverable: a professional-caliber document intended for actual use in the MGA Writing Centers and Student Success Centers (tutoring centers), defining plagiarism carefully, offering tips on how to avoid plagiarizing, offering resources for understanding and avoiding plagiarism, and outlining potential consequences for plagiarizing at this university (and perhaps beyond).

You are to work in two teams, each creating its own product, distinct and separate from the other team's. In effect, the two teams are in competition, and we will view both groups' work together in the next unit.

Team  assignments:

Josef Vice, team leader
Mariam Qureshi
Rian Williams

Sherita Sims-Jones, team leader
Jennifer Huynh
Tanya Hickman

Note: all of you will have turns as project team leaders over the course of the semester.

Another note: I’m including all of your email and telephone information in a D2L news announcement. Get in touch with one another soon!

Deadline: 9:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 11th.

Length: 2-3 single-spaced pages.

Research: compile authoritative information on plagiarism from reputable published sources, including material from at least one book (an ebook is okay), two scholarly journal articles, the MGA website (student code of conduct, e.g.), and additional online resources. You need not use information from all of these sources in the final product, but you should consider information from each one and include the best of them as suggested resources in the document. Be careful to acknowledge all sources cited in the document (by whatever method you like—no need to follow MLA, APA, etc. in format).

Formatting/document design: wholly up to you. Color printing is fine, graphics or visuals are good.

Audience profile sheet: As part of the planning process, each team is to complete an Audience Profile Sheet—I have posted a modified version of the one from our text in D2L and here in this Modified Profile Sheet. You may amend or refine the profile sheet however you like, deleting sections that don’t apply, adding others as you see fit. Just articulate the sort of audience(s) the document will have when in use on the MGA campus.

Methods of communication: wholly up to you. I recommend setting up a meeting very early in the unit by phone, Skype, Google Hangouts, or any other real-time technology you all have access to—by Friday at the absolute latest. At a bare minimum, do set up a three-way conference telephone call. In that first meeting, in addition to agreeing upon tasks, deciding who does what, and making a work schedule for the project, I urge you to think carefully about the most efficient method of sharing your work with one another—if any of you has experience with free, easy-to-use online tools for working collaboratively (Google docs, Dropbox, etc.), take the lead in setting that up for the group.  I can assist as needed. And oh yes, I would recommend reviewing Technical Communication, chapter 3, attending especially to the very helpful "Guidelines" and "Ethics" boxes.

Reflective component: Each of you, separately, complete a Self-Evaluation Form (this form, too, is posted in D2L and here: Modified Self-Eval form). Note the added section to the original Self-Evaluation in Technical Communication, where you are to give a brief and diplomatic but thoroughly honest and confidential evaluation of the whole collaborative process from your perspective. No need to comment on team members by name, but basically describe what worked in the process and what could have been better. Consider this section a two-paragraph report offering suggestions that might prove helpful in future collaborations—share what you learned through the process about the process.

Submission instructions: While the two teams create separate projects, all six of you, individually, should submit 1) your team's final document, 2) your team's audience profile sheet, and 3) your own unique self-evaluation form to the D2L Collaborative project 1 dropbox. Submit all three items as PDF files.

Bottom line: I know I am tossing you to the wolves by leaving so much open to you in this first collaborative assignment, especially the two team-leaders! In part I want to see what sort of “game” you all have as grad students. But don’t be bashful, any of you, about seeking my input with any part of the project. I will offer more specific guidance in the next collaborative assignment—I am happy to do so with this one, too, if you request it.