Week Two: Past & Future Writing Stops

Hi, class! I enjoyed learning a little more about you from your Week 1 Introductions, and I’m excited to continue getting to know you as writers through this week’s Metro Map assignment. So far, there seems to be a lot of excitement and a little nervousness about the non-traditional course structure, which is to be expected when encountering new learning experiences. I haven’t seen any questions that need addressing in your #syllabus posts, but if/when questions about the course arise, please do post and ask.

Remember that the drop/add period ends on Tuesday, so you’ll want to make sure you are clear about course expectations. By staying in the course–which I hope you do–you are agreeing to the policies, rules, and regulations outlined therein. About those policies…remember that you are required to post and respond to others’ posts by the Saturday midnight deadline. That means that you should not wait until Saturday to post your own responses. Do you best to post your contributions earlier in the week so you can both give and receive feedback by the week’s end.


Learning Unit 1: Exploring Business and Professional Writing (BPW) as a Course and a Set of Practices, Tools, Place, Bodies, and Commitments

For this week (Jan. 15- Jan. 21), complete the following activities:

  1. Familiarize yourself with the textbook, Writing in Professional Contexts. Read pages iii-viii, reviewing the front matter–Table of Contents, Acknowledgements, Preface, and Introduction.
  2. After reading, post a response on G+ that addresses the following: What surprises, intrigues, or bothers you about the ways this text is composed? What do you think about the authors’ statement that “This textbook is purposely not organized around major themes and genres” (vi)? What is your current understanding of rhetoric as a way of approaching communication situations?  Use the hashtag #textbook.
  3. Compose a Metro Map of Your past writing experience and future stops.
    1. Brainstorm a list of 25 (or more) specific writing experiences or moments in your life. These can be in-school, out-of-school, professional, creative, digital, or analogue. Anything counts from writing on the bathroom wall in middle school to composing a blog posts for your fashion blog to writing incident reports for your lifeguarding job.
    2. After you have a brainstormed a long list, begin to categorize them according to themes. You might use broad categories like “Business and Professional Writing” or “Academic Writing” or use more specific categories like “Instagram Posts” or “Property Management Writing.” Each category should have multiple moments, and you should also brainstorm future experiences you might have in the different categories, both in this class (refer to the textbook cases) and out of this class in your professions.
    3. Using the writing moments you brainstormed and the themes/categories you created, make a metro map of your writing experiences. Color code the routes and stops according to the themes. Now draw out your “writing routes” including these moments as your stops. Make sure to add future stops that represent the kinds of business and professional writing that you anticipate in your careers/professions. Use the examples below for inspiration, and use any tools you want to compose: markers and paper, graphic design/illustration software, interactive maps, etc.
    4. Post a high quality photo of or digital link to your map on the Google+ community and use the hashtag #metromap. Post in time for others to comment and give feedback by the end of the week.
  4. As these metro maps and reading discussion posts trickle in, read through others’ maps and posts and leave feedback. Make connections, ask questions, make observations and start conversations. Respond to a minimum of three (3) #textbook posts and three (3) #metromap posts this week.

Metro Map Examples


Week Two Learning Goals

  • Review, critically consider, and discuss the content and organization of the textbook
  • Consider your past and contemporary written genres, experiences, purposes
  • Consider the written genres, experiences, purposes that you will likely encounter in your future careers/professions
  • Create a visual Metro Map of your past and future writing experiences
  • Participate actively in a connected professional writing/learning community by responding to others’ content


Our asynchronous G+ community is emerging, and I’m looking forward to connecting through live events in the coming weeks. It looks like the following times are most convenient for scheduling our first Hangout and Twitter Chat at the end of the month:

  • Sunday, January 29 at 2:00pm
  • Wednesday, February 1 at 7:00pm
  • Wednesday, February 1 at 8:00pm
  • Thursday, February 2 at 7:00pm
  • Thursday, February 2 at 8:00pm
  • Friday, February 3 at 1:00pm
  • Saturday, February 4 at 12:00pm
  • Saturday, February 4 at 1:00pm

Tentatively block off these times, but know that I will confirm both synchronous events in next Sunday’s newsletter. Remember that you are required to attend four (4) of these events over the course of the semester, and you will receive extra credit points (up to 50) for attending additional events. I’ll send out tutorials for participating in both the coming weeks.


Instructor West-Puckett







I am an assistant professor of Writing and Rhetoric and director of First Year Writing at the University of Rhode Island. I received my PhD in Rhetoric, Writing, and Professional Communication from East Carolina University. My dissertation research analyzes the knowledge-making practices of composers in both online and off-line maker spaces, and my digital writing research has appeared in journals like College English and Education Science and in the books The Next Digital Scholar: A Fresh Approach to the Common Core State Standards in Research and Writing and Assessing Students Digital Writing: Protocols for Looking Closely.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s