In this assignment, you will
A successful report submission will be the product of many hours of work over several weeks.
A report earning maximum available points will be a carefully curated and edited explanation of your work that provides tangible evidence of—and insights into—your competencies and capabilities over time. In each section of this report, you are (1) telling a story about your own abilities, and (2) providing specific examples and evidence that illustrate and support your claims.
Here the sections are listed as they must appear in your final graded submission. You’ll arrange the sections in this order when submitting the final report BUT you won’t follow this order when writing drafts of each section. Note that each section description contains a Pro Tip that tells you how to proceed with the work – what to attempt first, second, and third, etc.
Be sure to review the Statement of Purpose Section Specifications Checklist and Grading Rubric before getting started.
Pro Tip: Collaborating isn’t cheating. You may want to exchange reports with a writing buddy or two from class and then you and your buddies can help each other to make sure that each of you has a Statement of Purpose that gets the job done.
This section requires you to review your upper-level course work 2000-level and above.
Think about what classes you took and what accomplished in them. The successful Curriculum section is about showing rather than just telling. This is your time to show off your best work, focusing on particular skills. For example, pick an assignment (project or paper) where you did a particularly strong job. Fully describe your work. Prove that you can do what you say you can do. This involves making the important distinction AWAY from just a list of your courses and what you did in them—to who you are as a professional and a creative problem solver.
As you list and discuss your advanced course work, you’ll give your readers a glimpse into (1) what you know, as well as what skills you have developed (2) how you have met (or can meet) challenges, (3) how you can help others.
Curriculum Section Examples are provided.
Be sure to review the Curriculum Section Specifications Checklist and Grading Rubric before getting started.
Pro Tip: When beginning work on this assignment start with this section. Your Statement of Purpose is a summary of the Curriculum and Volunteer or Work Experience sections; the Statement of Purpose ties everything together and helps the reader to make sense of the sections that follow
In this section, discuss how your work and/or volunteer experiences have shaped your professional goals and intellectual life. As is true with the other sections, the usefulness of this section depends on your planning what it is you want to say and working to be specific and clear in sharing the most important parts of that experience with your readers.
Volunteer or Work Experience Section Examples are provided.
Although the course has titled this section “Volunteer or Work Experience” there are many different activities and experiences that you can use to write about meaningful events outside of your academic life. Here is a list of questions that indicate possible entries for this section: Volunteer or Work Experience Questions.
These experiences (and more traditional work and volunteer experiences) are expanded ways to think about how you became who you are now, where you might want to go next, and what you can contribute. As you ask yourself these questions, you may find that this is a section where have a lot to say.
You may recall from the Learning Outcomes sheet that it is a good idea to think of your accomplishments not only as credentials – “I earned my BA at FIU in Liberal Studies” – but also in terms of skills:
❖ Critical thinking
❖ Creative thinking
❖ Written communication
❖ Oral communication
❖ Quantitative literacy
❖ Information literacy
❖ Civic knowledge and engagement – local and global
❖ Intercultural knowledge and competence
❖ Ethical reasoning
❖ Foundations and skills for lifelong learning
❖ Integrative learning
As you write this section, think about which of these skills and attributes you developed and demonstrated outside of your academic life.
Be sure to review the Volunteer or Work Experience Specifications Checklist and Grading Rubric before getting started.
Pro Tip: many people are surprised to find that in order to provide significant context for their experiences, they have to research their own lives. Dude, really! Ex: If you volunteered with an organization that provided relief to hurricane victims in Puerto Rico, go to the organization’s webpage to read its description of the crisis and how its team intervened. Contact friends who volunteered with you and ask what part of the experience was meaningful to them and they remember. Check news reports to be sure you remember the name and dates for the storm. Biggest rookie mistake: Writing everything from memory.
In this section, develop and reflect on your five-year goals. Think about where you want to be in 5 years.
Here are some Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them:
In both cases, Joe and Linda need more information:
Be sure to review the Plan for the Future Section Specifications Checklist and Grading Rubric before getting started.
Pro Tip: Many students use thinking about and writing this section as an opportunity to network or investigate graduate programs. Things you might do: Using the internet, personal contacts or the FIU directory, locate someone who has already achieved your goal. Read their biography or informally interview them about the path they took to reach the goal. For example, if you are thinking of a career in video game story design, research which universities offer advanced training for this career; go to the library to locate books about it; talk your friends; visit your professors during office hours.
In this section, attach your CV and any artifacts: papers, images, presentations, group projects, digital media (video and audio), creative artwork, links, internship reflections etc. Each artifact must be labeled.
Review each section of your report. In many places, you will have made a claim about something you have accomplished. Here, in this section, you will provide the proof of your claim by attaching evidence.
Appendix Grading | An appendix that Earns all the Section V Points will Include:
Imagine you are an instructor with 50 students. Which file name would be most helpful to you? Suppose 20 of your students label their CV as CV.docx. How do you easily tell one CV from the other? The clear-labeling requirement is a good rule to follow when applying for jobs. The recruiter or boss may have a stack of electronic files to review; don’t make her search to find yours.
Imagine that your reader may know far less than you about the areas where you are developing expertise. At any point in the Report, you may want (need!) to insert an explanation that provides context for your interests, accomplishments, and goals. Ex: If you are excited by the ways that data collection might prepare our society for climate change, you will have to devote time and intellectual energy to helping your reader to understand systems that collect data, typical uses for collected data, and how your ideas depart from or add to the ongoing data-collection conversation between experts and stakeholders that are taking place around you.
Dos and Don’ts
✔ DO carefully balance a personal approach with professionalism (but not too personal)
✔ DO explore a blend of academics AND action
✔ DO more showing than telling, but both are necessary
✘ DON’T include everything you have done—only those samples and artifacts that best represent your work
✘ DON’T retell your academic history; think about the skills and knowledge that are a part of your work at the university.
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