For my EH 603 final project, I will submit a draft and revision of my capstone project. My capstone project will consist of a quick reference guide for technical communication students and professionals who are interested in working as advocates in their communities because they either desire to obtain relevant work experience using the skills that they gained in their college degree programs or because they simply wish to make a meaningful and positive impact at a local level. The guide will be a revision of a technical report that I completed for Dr. Ryan Weber’s Internship course as part of the Graduate Certificate in Technical Writing program. In my report, I explored the connections between the fields of technical communication and advocacy, documented my experience as a technical communication graduate student engaging in independent advocacy, and showcased both the overlaps and potential areas of improvement within the shared spheres of technical communication and advocacy.
My target audience will include the reader base for the STC’s Intercom magazine—the “Student Perspectives” column, in particular. It is both a professional and personal goal of mine to publish my capstone project through that venue and to use the process as practice for publishing more of my work in the future. Additionally, I want to become a more active member of the Huntsville/North Alabama Chapter of the STC, and I think that publishing—or attempting to publish—my capstone project through the STC’s Intercom magazine is an excellent way to become more engaged with other technical communication students and professionals in the Huntsville area.
II. Statement of Purpose
For my capstone project, I will attempt to define “advocacy” as clearly and concisely as possible using the sources included in my bibliography, and I will focus on the connections between the fields of technical communication and advocacy in terms of transferable skills. I will address different types of projects that technical communication students and professionals can complete for advocacy groups using the skills that they have gained through either their college coursework or their professional work experience. I will include examples from my internship with the Alabama Family Rights Association (ALFRA)—e-mails, flyers, brochures, newsletters, social media posts, web content, etc. If technical communication students and professionals had access to a quick reference guide that details exactly how they can apply their skills in meaningful ways, they would appreciate both the relevant work experience and personal satisfaction gained through making a positive impact in their communities.
I will focus on how technical communication students and professionals are armed with the skills they need to serve as community advocates, address social issues, and influence decision-makers due to their college coursework and work experience. For example, the ALFRA President, Kenneth Paschal, and I discussed guidelines and expectations regarding work schedule and volume during my interview, much like an employee and a hiring manager would in an interview for a job or as a student and a professor would in the first meeting of a semester. Finally, I will revise my technical report in accordance with the “Author Guidelines” portion of the Intercom website, and I will provide supporting information gathered from scholarly articles to show that I have done the necessary research to speak intelligently on the subject.