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Collaborative project 2: Newsletter


My original intent was to have you do the initial steps for this project before class Tuesday, but as I got more into the logistics I realized it would be simpler and more effective to take those first steps together in class. So here is the assignment, and we'll actually get it under way Tuesday.

The assignment:

The class is to design and compose a newsletter for employees of our favorite business, Gnarly Boards, Inc., sharing the happenings and adventures of six select employees over their recent spring break (you six have been elected!). Yes, Gnarly Boards tries to "keep young," to align the company with some of the most important traditions of higher education (such as spring break), and to insist that all employees have (paid) time away from work to keep their creative energies and enthusiasm high heading into the crucial spring and summer months ahead.

Project teams: We will select the project leader in class, and although all of you will write your own articles, the project work will be divided among two teams, one responsible for design and layout, the other for fitting the six individual essays within workable space limitations and assuring professionally correct grammar, punctuation, and mechanics. Team assignments will be determined in class as well.

The Design team should consult the section on newsletters in The Non-Designer's Design Book (pp. 129-32) and create a vibrant, interesting, and professional-looking newsletter layout. The Editing team will refine the six essays so that they fit comfortably within space limitations and are "final draft" perfect in local respects.

The news articles: Each of you lucky six Gnarly Boards employees should compose an article of roughly 150 words (no more than 200) describing the highlights of your spring break. If your actual spring break activities seem embarrassingly lame or just uninteresting, you can tap into your creative imagination and describe the spring break you wish you had had (but presented as factually having occurred). You should compose these individual articles about yourselves in the third person, and although you are not writing "press releases," you should follow the broad conventions for journalistic writing outlined in "Chapter 12: News Releases" in our Business and Professional Writing text.

Not every article requires photos or illustrations, but the newsletter should have some appropriate visuals paired with at least three or four of the articles.

Project stipulations:

  • In class we will fill out a "project planning sheet" sheet to structure your work from project beginning to end.

  • One of the first steps will be to complete an audience and use profile sheet, also to be handed out in class.

  • The basic design parameters are that the newsletter be on standard copier-sized sheets of paper 8.5 x 11 inches, oriented in portrait mode, with print on both front and back pages, and of at least four pages in total length. All the other details and elements are up to you.

  • The Project Leader will submit the final version of the newsletter, in PDF form, to the Collaborative Project 2 dropbox in D2L.

  • As always, do let me know if you have questions as you proceed. I'm happy to help with any issues or obstacles you may encounter.

Now go get 'em! Bring some inspiration, joy, (envy,) and entertainment to the entire Gnarly Boards workforce!