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Assignments for English 309

I chose to take Writing Electronic Texts primarily to build skills that I will need to use professionally as a technical writer. The business world is becoming increasingly computer-oriented and in order to be competent and employable in my chosen profession, I need to become more computer savvy.

I have been discovering more about computer hardware, software, and the Internet by trial and error for the past two years, mostly by error. It is an effective method of learning, but not particularly efficient. To pursue my goal of working as a technical writer, I need a more solid and systematic introduction to the tools that I will be using. I have briefly introduced to various programs and have dabbled here and there with them afterwards, but I donít consider myself to have any working skill within those applications. I want to be comfortable with creating an entire project that is at the polished final stage without extensive outside technical support.

In addition to the computer applications I will need to use professionally, I have a certain amount of curiosity about the realms of electronic media that I have not yet experienced, or have not experienced to any significant extent. The creative opportunities offered by the Internet and electronic media seem to be limitless and I have often felt hindered by my inability to utilize them. I have watched several close friends become completely engrossed in creating websites and programs, wanting to learn, but not knowing how to start. I believe that this class will provide me with places to start learning about these possibilities and how to use them.

I am looking forward to reaching a competency level with the programs that I have known to be out there and useful tools, but I am also looking forward to being exposed to new applications that I have not even been aware of. This has already started in class and while it makes me feel naÔve and behind sometimes, it is fun to explore. For example, I had heard of hyper fiction, but didnít really know what was meant and until last week, I was completely unaware of the realm of Zork games. (I hope that was spelled correctly.) Overall, I am hoping to build my computer skills, increase my competency and flexibility as a writer, and explore personally undiscovered territory.

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