October 21

Memorandum of Understanding Text

Hi Sabine!

I hope you are doing well! Since our presentation, my group and I have discussed deliverable ideas with Dr. Wharton. As you and Brandy have discussed, environmental safety during the shelter renovation is a top priority. That being said, we believe that the best way to execute our project is by focusing on signage related to environmental safety. Below, I have outlined our service learning project with a short description of each potential sign as well as a general schedule overview. Feel free to let us know if you have any questions, concerns, or suggestions. Thanks again for the opportunity to work with Our House!

Signage Descriptions:

Child Safety Sign: Based off of Johnathan’s portion of the presentation, this sign would outline important child safety tips, such as the importance of putting infants to sleep on their back and guidelines regarding choking hazards of small toys. These would potentially be displayed in common areas and in the bedrooms.

Emergency Procedure Sign: Based off of my portion of the presentation, this sign would provide instructions for evacuation and protocol in emergency situations such as a fire or a lockdown; it would also include directions to the nearest fire extinguishers and alarms. These would be displayed in the bedrooms and in stairwells.

Trauma Awareness Sign: Based off of Shademah’s portion of the presentation, this sign would include instructions for seeking help in trauma-related situations as well as general advice for mothers experiencing PTSD and similar circumstances. These would be displayed in the common area and in the caseworkers’ offices.

Renovation Newsletter Sign: Based off of Chelsea’s portion of the presentation, this sign would provide residents with an update of the renovation process, what the shelter will look like post-renovation, and how the renovation will affect them in the upcoming months. This would be displayed in the common area.

Service Learning Project Schedule:

October 25 Confirm Official Signage Design
November 1 Design Mock-Up Submitted to Our House
November 8 Content Draft Submitted to Our House
November 16 Second Draft Submitted to Our House
November 29 Presentation of Final Deliverables
December 2 Final Service Learning Packet Delivered to Our House


Again, feel free to contact me with any commentary or questions you may have. We look forward to continuing this project with Our House!

Thank you so much!

Miranda Mendicino

Chelsea Cooper

Johnathan Worsham

Shademah Neal

October 20

Our House Team Roles

Researcher: Johnathan

The researcher will collect and compile sources relevant to our signage. For example, they will find relevant sources regarding trauma care in shelters for the common area sign. Also, they will fact-check via research any of the information we use on signage.

Copywriters: Miranda & Shademah

The copywriters will be the primary authors of the content in the signage. Specifically, they will take the compiled reference material from the researcher to create the sign texts.  They will also edit all texts for grammar, political correctness, and style.

Design: Chelsea

The designer will ensure that every sign is in alignment with a style, color scheme, and format that reflects the Our House website, mission statement, and goals. For example, the designer will make sure that all of our signs use the exact colors as the Our House logo, and will use design tools to create signs that follow a flyer format rather than a typical word document format.


October 18

Our House Scope of Work


Miranda, Chelsea, Shademah, Jonathan

Potential Roles: Design, Copywriter, Research

Focus: Signage

Areas of Interest: Child Safety, Illness Control, Emergency Safety, Trauma Care, and Renovation News

Child Safety: Bedroom sign, common area sign

Illness Control: Restroom sign

Emergency Safety: Bedroom sign (back of door), hallway sign

Trauma Care: Bedroom sign, common area sign

Renovation News: Hallway sign

October 18: assign group roles in class

October 19: review Our House’s new website, logo, and color scheme (updated by Our House on October 17)

October 20th: have rough concepts of each sign

October 21: email memorandum of understanding to Our House

October 21-24: create cohesive sign design/layout

October 24-28: create first drafts of signage

October 31: meet with Dr. Wharton to review drafts

November 1-3: edit and create second drafts of signage

November 4: email Our House for feedback on second drafts

November 5-9: edit and create third drafts of signage and compile into first packet draft

November 10: workshop packet draft in class

November 11-15: edit and create second draft of packet

November 16: meet with Dr. Wharton to review packet draft

November 17-December 2: make final changes to packet

December 2: submit final packet to Dr. Wharton

December 3-4: complete individual reflection on service learning packet



October 14

Midterm Class Reflection

When I sign up for elective courses, I try to choose classes that differ from my pre-law courses, but could still benefit me in real-world settings. That being said, I signed up for technical writing knowing that it is an excellent skill to have in the legal field, but I still was not 100% sure of what to expect in the class. In my academic career so far, I have grown pretty comfortable with research papers and lengthy essays, so technical writing has been a fresh perspective on writing for me. Although it was intimidating for the first week or so, I have really enjoyed learning about the importance and non-linear methods of technical communication.

I am a little biased because it is my favorite course this semester, but I really do appreciate the points system of the course. Because we receive points based on our effort and work we put into the course, I feel comfortable venturing out of my comfort zone and trying new multimodal things on our major projects because if my new strategies fail, I can always make up the points. Without the system, I feel like I would definitely “play it safe” more on assignments and miss out on some of the most interesting aspects of technical communication. So far, I have really liked completing the reading annotations. At the beginning of the units, I read the articles as individual readings, but as I begin annotating, I gain a greater insight on the non-linear connections between the assignments. I also love how the reading annotations allow us to make connections to issues outside of class, such as “wicked problems.”

In my first two annotations, I lost points for not including different modes in my article notes. I also wrote those annotations while subconsciously viewing myself as both the author and the audience, most likely because most annotations I had done before the class were simple personal notes. For annotations three and four, I constructed an imaginary audience of my peers. In doing so, my annotations were more catered to providing supplemental information and connections that would be helpful for peers reading the articles. Instead of using sources to base my annotations off of and then referencing the sources, I added websites and infographics to my annotations after I had written them, that way they would supplement my own ideas and provide peers with a “help guide” to the texts.

Going forward in the course, I am looking forward to diving right in to designing the signage for the Our House project. Through the service learning project, I am hoping to learn more about the entire technical writing process in a group setting, as it would reflect real-world work settings. I hope that my group and I can make quality pieces that would look professional enough to be used in my online professional portfolio that we will create later in the semester. I think the professional portfolio could be used after this class as a way to display my breadth of work as I am starting off in the workforce. When we begin working on the portfolios/profiles later in the semester, I would like to learn ways to include other technical work that I have done in jobs outside of school, such as pieces I have written for donors on gift-planning strategies, alongside my academic assignments. Because I would like to put in my best effort in this course, I would also like to complete as many extra credit assignments as I possibly can, in order to get a good grade and to get the most out of what we are learning.

October 14

Pitch Presentation Reflection

When we initially met with our contact, Sabine, at Our House, she advised us to be as creative as we wanted to in addressing the shelter renovations. That being said, we were all extremely grateful for the flexibility, but we were also faced with a challenge because the project could go in all kinds of directions. As a Political Science major, I am not as well-versed in rhetoric as many of my peers, so addressing the rhetorical situation while simultaneously utilizing design technology, seemed like a pretty scary concept. That being said, I opted to address the building codes and emergency regulations that Our House would need to consider when they renovate this year. I researched fire and construction codes and compiled the most important ones for Our House to consider into an interoffice memo. My speech presentation was then based off of the guidelines of the memo, as well as public health considerations such as disease eradication.

Although I was extremely nervous to give the speech, I have gotten to know the mission of Our House over the past couple of weeks through discussions with Sabine as well as their partnership with the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta (where I work), so I knew that a relaxed, friendly speech would get farther than a stiff, memorized presentation. The days prior to my speech, I rehearsed off of an outline and with my presentation slides, but I never wrote a draft of my speech, which worked to my benefit, as I had to really know my topic, rather than just read off of my slides. However, I think that the greatest strength of my presentation was that it was a part of a single presentation with my group. In utilizing that format, we were each able to address issues that we were passionate about or interested in. I felt that each group member was well-prepared and professional. After giving our presentation together, I was able to better understand the entirety of our service learning project, and going forward, we will collaborate even more with one another to create a cohesive packet of deliverables.

October 14

Our House Deliverable: Memo

For my individual portion of the pitch presentation, I created an interoffice memo (linked below) with some general guidelines for the renovated building. I chose to adhere to regulations for apartment buildings, rather than shelter regulations because Sabine has shown us that Our House is a real home for these women and not merely a shelter.



October 13

Midterm Conference Notes

Upcoming Projects:

  1. Service Learning Client Packet
  2. Reading Annotations

How to get ahead:

Submit anything that could grant points, including extra credit assignments, class notes, and Lynda Tutorials. As I have fallen behind on extra credit work, I would like to take time this weekend to boost my class grade to ensure an A at the end of the semester.

Tips for the Service Learning Project:

  1. Meet with group to assess project goals
  2. Service learning project is collaborative. Unlike the pitch presentation, I am not confined to one section of the project. Instead, we can all share ideas and content to create deliverables.
  3. As Our House will have to pay contractors for floorplans anyway, we should take the responsibility of creating a well-researched interoffice memo of suggested guidlines and policies, as well as signage regarding safety tips.


October 6

Mid-Term Conference

Questions for Dr. Wharton:

  1. I want to make some emergency procedure signage for Our House, but I don’t want to just use a sample floor plan or map. Is there software or an application that I could use to create the map/floor plan?
  2. If i have fallen behind on extra credit work recently, can I still make it up by the end of the semester?
  3. In terms of my personal site, what is the best way to make it look more like a professional profile and not a journal?
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