engl402: project 2

Project 2: Design Project

Worth 200 points
Draft #1 due 5/23 (for review)
Draft of Memo due 5/25 (for review)

Final Draft due on Friday, May 27th

Purpose of the Assignment:
The purpose of this assignment is to provide you a chance to practice document design alongside chart and graph production. Your visual strategies should be based on the readings done during week 2 of class.

This assignment asks you to find a technical document from your profession and redesign it according to the document design principles in the textbook. Additionally, you must either A) add at least one chart, graph or table to the text, or B) find a linguistic description of something to convert to a chart, graph, or table for the same audience (eg: you find a short description in an annual report on Starbucks' quarterly earnings. convert this information to a chart, graph, or table that could be included in this report). In either case, you must use design principles from the textbook.

Your task is to manipulate images, change fonts, and reorganize the various elements of the original document so that it incorporates effective design principles in a way that you feel improves the overall design. There are a variety of ways to do this, but you must be prepared to justify why you made particular changes.  The following steps will walk you through the assignment:

  1. Find an appropriate text to redesign (feel free to consult the professional from project 1). If you have a hard time finding a text that needs improvement, consider redesigning it for a different audience.
  2. Redesign the text by applying design principles. You can use Microsoft Word, Adobe InDesign, or any other software program that you feel will help you achieve the task in a professional manner.
  3. Include one chart, graph or table that helps the reader visually understand a concept from the text OR, if there is nothing worth converting to a chart, graph, or table, find another technical document related to your profession/major that you can convert.
  4. Write a 1-2 page single-spaced memo in which you discuss your redesign and describe, in Gurak and Hocks' terminology, why you made the changes that you did. Make sure to explain what the intended effects are of your redesign choices, and make sure to link this to purpose and audience. You MUST use terminology from the book and from lecture. Also, make sure to explain the chart, graph, or table. IF it is unrelated to your redesign, then take the time to explain (in a short paragraph) the intended purpose, audience, and strategies used.
  5. Bring both the old and the new designs to class on 5/25, 26, or 27 and give a 3-5 minute presentation in which you describe why you made the changes that you did. Explain the purpose and audience, and justify why your revised rhetorical design choices work better than the original design.
  6. On Friday, May 27th turn in the following: 1) the Memo, 2) the original design (so I can see the text you chose to redesign), 3) the Redesign, 4) The Chart, Graph, or Table (if it isn't included in the redesign). NO first drafts necessary.


This assignment is a worth 200 points, and you will be graded on the three components of the assignment.

  1. The Document Redesign (50pts).  You will be graded on how well you apply design principles so as to meet the needs of the document. Correct spelling and punctuation will be taken into account.  Most importantly, I’m looking for a professional design that highlights that you’ve carefully considered the rhetorical situation and applied the design principles effectively.
  2. The Chart, Graph, or Table (25pts).  You will be graded on how effectively your chart or graph visually represents a particular idea. Consider what type of visual to use in order to best convey the information.
  3. The Memo (75pts).  You will be graded on how well you justify your design choices. I will look to see that you’ve explained the audience and purpose of the document, and that you’ve articulated how your design choices meet these needs. Correct spelling, format, and punctuation will also be taken into account.
  4. The Presentation (50pts). You will be graded on how well you justify your design choices to the class. You will also be graded on the structure of the presentation, particularly on the quality of your introduction and conclusion.  Finally, you will be graded on whether or not you stay within the 3-5 minute time limit.
  5. Grading Rubric
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