Final Project Instructions: Consultant Assessment

Final Project Instructions: Consultant Assessment

Annotated Bibliography & Outline    April 10    40
Full Project Draft     April 17 (upload to Compass and print a copy for class)    70
In-Class presentation    Your assigned presentation day—April 29, May 1, May 4, May 6    10
Final Project Portfolio    Final Exam period (uploaded to Compass)    70

Length and Format:
Length: The final project should be 12-15 pages long. This page length does not include: the cover page, revision memo, annotated bibliography, reference page, and any

lengthy communication artifacts you design for your organization.
Format: Double-spaced, 12 point Times New Roman. Your proposal should be extensively and carefully researched, with all in-text and bibliographic citations according

to APA format. Your project should also include page numbers.

For this option, you will adopt the role of a consultant hired by a bottom-up policy advocacy organization or social movement to improve their rhetorical strategies.

Needless to say, this cannot be the same organization analyzed in Unit 2. You will select an organization from the State or national level, conduct research into the

organization (focusing on its aims, goals, rhetorical strategies, successes and failures) and propose a detailed new communication strategy for the organization to

Your communication strategy will also identify specific state- or federal-level policy debates in which your organization will want to participate. Your proposal will

include a brief outlining your research on the organization and its policy area as well as 2-3 samples of communication materials the organization should use when

implementing your proposed strategies. Your materials could include a mock-up of a new website design, an advertising campaign, a set of texts, or a plan for an image

event. The proposal will be 12-15 pages in length. You will outline your proposed strategy in a formal 5-minute presentation and take questions from the class.


•    Cover Page: The cover page should look clean and professional and include your name, the course number, and the date. You should also include a brief and

interesting title. You do not need an abstract.

•    Revision Memo: You will begin with a 1-2 page formal letter, addressed to me, that explains how you incorporated feedback from your peers and your instructor

as revisions for your final portfolio from the rough draft you turned in on April 17. Identify specific suggestions you received in peer review and from me and explain

what actions you took to address those suggestions. Use the format found here for your memo:

•    The Essay Itself: 12-15 pages, double-spaced, times new roman font, 12-point, etc.

•    Reference Page/Works Cited : Spotless APA format. Have you double-checked Purdue OWL before you turned in your paper?

Below, you will see what you need for the essay itself:

PART I: The Organization (2-3 pages)

In this 3-4 page section, you should describe the organization you have chosen to study. Your analysis should address the following four components:

A.    Organization history. Here, you are describing the history of this organization, from its inception to its current status. Explain to your readers why and how

this organization began, and what its most prominent activities have been throughout the years.

B.    Organizational goals. What does your organization want to accomplish? Are they aiming to get particular policy passed or do they have broader goals (such as

educating the public about a particular issue)?

C.    Identity, ethos, and goals. You should also inform your reader about the organization’s identity and ethos. How does your organization present itself? What are

its goals and values? What kind of expertise and credibility does your audience bring to its particular public policy issue? You can quote from the organization’s

mission statement here.

D.    Audience. Who is your organization’s intended audience(s)? Be specific as you can here. Do not simply say “Americans.” Instead explore who in particular your

organization will need to reach in order to complete its goals.

E.    Rhetorical Situation. Finally, analyze the rhetorical situation your group faces. What does polling data say about your organization’s issue or policy? Does

your group have wide support in their position or not?

Note: Sub-Sections are provided to help you understand exactly what I am looking for. Your writing should not just respond to each sub-section on its own. Rather, you

should be sure to transition smoothly between sections so your reader can follow the path of your argument. You do not need to label every sub-section in your paper,

but you should try to address each section thoroughly.
PART II: Communication Strategies & Assessment (4-5 pages)

This section should be 4-5 pages long and consist of:

A.    Strategies. A description of the major rhetorical strategies and tactics this organization has used in the course of its history and presents in its

communication artifacts. Think back to our rhetorical strategies from Unit 2. Does your organization use identification? Narrative? Agenda-setting? Building agency?

Image events? What symbols do your organization draw on when discussing their issues? Is health care a matter of “security” or is it a “human right?” Use Stewart and

our bottom-up rhetorical strategies to support your analysis here.

B.    Evaluation. An evaluation of each strategy – has it done well? Was it well-conceived? Has it achieved the intended outcome for which it was designed? For each

strategy, do more than merely pass judgment or provide your opinion as to whether it was a good or bad strategy — instead, you must also provide a reason as to why

you have assessed each strategy this way. Be specific, and keep in mind the audience here. Note that a strategy is always intended for a specific audience and a

particular rhetorical context or situation. Also keep in mind the organization’s ethos or identity. Note that rhetorical strategies should always be understood in the

context of the organization’s identity. For example, Greenpeace would probably never consider using a cooperative strategy with oil companies.

PART III: Consultant Recommendations & Conclusion
(4-5 pages of text, plus mock-ups of communication strategy recommendations)

The final section should be 4-5 pages long and consist of your recommendations to the organization for how they can (i) alter strategies that haven’t worked; and (ii)

improve upon existing strategies which are already effective.

A.    Communication strategy recommendations. Your recommendations should be as thorough and specific as possible: if you think the group’s use of a mailing list has

been ineffective in expanding their audience base, don’t just say “Start a Facebook page” – tell them how this page should look, what it should say, and provide a

mock-up/sample of how the page will look. Don’t just say “create a new logo.” Instead, provide a design of a logo that includes symbols relevant to your group’s policy

goals. Be creative in your mock-up or design. You will not be evaluated on your artistic skills, but you will be expected to provide at least 2-3 new designs for the

group. Hence, you are not only suggesting changes, but showing how these changes will take place and how they will take actual shape. If you suggest creating a flier,

design and include that flier in this section. Note also that suggested strategies should be contextualized within the group’s rhetorical challenges and identity as a

group. For example, it would not make sense to recommend that Occupy Wall Street just get along better with big banks, because their purpose is to challenge the

corruption of Wall Street.

B.    Policy strategy recommendations. You should also identify a specific policy controversy at the state, local, or federal level that your group should involve

itself in. For example, a project analyzing People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals might recommend the organization get involved in a local ordinance loosening

restrictions on fur producers in Portland, OR. Briefly explain the nature of that controversy and why your organization should get involved in it. What does your

organization stand to gain? Why is it so important for your group?

C.    Conclusions. Finally, you should end the paper with a brief conclusion in which you review the organization’s communication record and remind your readers of

the specific suggestions you made.


Annotated Bibliography (40 points)

Your annotated bibliography presents 15-20 sources relevant to your project topic. The bibliography should have a mix of secondary sources including journal articles,

newspapers, magazines, books, Think Tank reports, etc. Take full advantage of library resources and databases and keep in mind the credibility of sources you use.

Check Moodle for several databases and sources.  DO NOT use research from Wikipedia,, Huffington Post, MSNBC, Fox News, or (in most cases) blogs. You should

also be suspicious of sources from websites that do not include primary authors.

Once you have amassed your research, provide a full and perfect APA citation of your source (see Purdue OWL for help on this) and provide a brief annotation. Your

annotation should include:

• 2-3 sentences summarizing the source, its scope, and its major claims
• 1-2 sentences explaining why your source is useful for your project

Example Annotation:

Asen, Robert. “Reflections on the Role of Rhetoric in Public Policy.” Rhetoric & Public Affairs
13.1 (2010): 121-44.

In this introduction to a special issue on rhetoric and public policy, Asen argues that rhetorical critics should take up the study of public policy issues

from a rhetorical perspective. He notes that “we effectively have neglected ‘meta’ studies that explicitly consider the role of rhetoric in public policy and outline a

rhetorical approach to policy analysis” (124). Asen then provides a conceptual framework for understanding the rhetorical dynamics of public policies and policymaking.

This essay will be useful for my project because it will help me situate my inquiry within rhetorical studies and give me a conceptual vocabulary for talking about

public policy from a rhetorical perspective.
In-Class Presentation (10 points)

On your given presentation day, you will deliver a 5 minute presentation of your project to the class. Dress formally for this presentation, as though you were going

to a job interview. Jackets/blazers recommended but not required. You may utilize audio-visual aids such as a PowerPoint presentation or a handout. If you use

PowerPoint, please proofread and do not bombard your audience with text. In this presentation, you should:
–    Very briefly describe the organization you studied and its main goals and activities
–    Assess some of the organization’s communication strategies thus far. Point out specific areas of strength and weakness.
–    Suggest one or two key changes the organization can and should make, and show one or two of your prototype artifacts.
–    Take questions from the audience.

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