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Shaneik Williams

English 297
December 11, 2015
Course Reflective Essay
At the end of this course, my definition for Professional Writing encompasses a combination
of documents produced for different businesses and or organizations. That said, my definition of
a professional writer as an individual that employs a strategic approach to drafting the documents
required within the position she/he holds. For the duration of this course I have developed an
understanding of the rhetorical principles and professional practices of professional writing
outlined in the course syllabus. Particularly, through the completion of the discussion board posts
and the completion of the research conducted on a professional writer within the Budget
Department, my analytical skills, interview skills, as well as my research skills have all been
enhanced.
First I would like to elaborate on the discussion board post and class activities that have
strengthened the skills mentioned above. Analyzing Organizations (Discussion #6) offered the
opportunity to develop my analytical skills by analyzing how contexts influences professional
writing practices. By creating a Communication Event Model and a Genre Ecology Model, I was
able to able to follow the writing process of pass class assignments that have been completed, as
well as acknowledge the importance of supporting texts. This activity played a significant role in
my research process as well as it influenced the types of questions asked to the research subject

during our interview. Such questions consist of the type of process that is followed in the
creation of documents, how is this process communicated to the individuals involved?" By
asking these questions, I was able to receive the necessary information outlining the process of
creating different financial documents as well as the Kuali Financial Project, which is the focus
of my research project.
In addition, our in class observation activity on October 7th where we conducted and
recorded field observations, synthesizing, and analyzing the field notes collected helped
strengthen my research and observational skills. By performing this activity I was able to gather
and analyze useful information on my research subject and the Budget department. This
information a thorough discussion within the Ethnography Report on how key concepts such as
culture( physical environment, management style, and dress code) relates to the work of
professional writers.
Throughout the research process, my interviewing skills have sharpened as a result of
conducting an informal research on the research subject prior to drafting the interview questions
and conducting the interview. By consulting the subject's LinkedIn profile, I was able to obtain
the necessary information needed to draft constructive questions. In addition, by consulting
chapter 11 in Solving Problem in Technical Communication (SPTC), I utilized the information
given on the importance of selecting a combination of data collection techniques in order to
obtain information that would not be conveyed by the use of just a single technique.
My effective note-taking skill was also sharpened throughout the semester, this began with
the discussion #3(Feildnotes on a Campus Locale), this activity along with the information
provided in Chapter 3 of Solving Problem in Technical Communication (SPTC) outlining the

correct steps taken to compile feildnotes prepared me to execute the skills needed to gather indepth observational notes providing great detail for the basis of drafting the Ethnography Report.
Overall, my analytical skills have sharpened throughout the duration of the course. I have
developed an understanding of the kinds of roles and types of activities professional writers
perform within various organizations and industries. I am able to identify the importance of the
rhetoric and design principles, research skills, strategies employed and the different tools
employed by professional writers in different organizations. Subsequently, I developed the ability
to identify and analyze patterns in my own writing as well as others. This course has changed my
perspective of writing significantly as it employs the use of different techniques used to study
context as well as effective collaboration.