San Diego Zoo Project

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					English 302                       Business Communication

San Diego Zoo Project
A design plan for documents

It is important to consider your audience before you begin
the creative process for any given document.   Without a
clear picture of who will be reading the information you
are providing, you risk losing credibility as the authority
you need to demonstrate you are.

Some vital elements to consider include:
    1. Your purpose – why are you writing this document?
       What is your objective? What do you want your
       audience to do/think/feel after they have read your
       communication? Do you want to educate, entertain,
       inform, persuade or ??? What details do you need to
       include? What does your reader already know? How do
       you know what your reader knows? Needs to know?

   2. Your audience – for this component of document
      design, you need to start with four lists.
     i. create a list of all the characteristics your
         typical audience possesses. Include everything –
         age, race, gender, socio-economic background,
         familiarity with issue/topic of document, etc.
    ii. create a list of reasons why your audience
         should/might be interested in your communication.
         This list will be two-fold: both reasons why they
         would be interested and reasons why YOU want them
         to be interested.
   iii. create a list of reasons why your audience might be
         hostile or disinterested in your communication
    iv. create a list of types of communication which you
         feel would best appeal to your audience – flyers?
         Posters? Visuals? Text-only? Headings? Etc.

Okay. Now you know why you are creating this document and
who will be reading it, you need to consider what medium
the material will take.   For this assignment, I am
requiring one particular document – a formal business
letter. Your task is to design this letter appropriately
for your specific audience AND to create ancillary
materials to accompany this letter. Possibilities include
flyers, bumper stickers, coupons, brochures, crayon/color
pages, buttons, pins, pens, etc. You need to be persuasive
AND interesting. Your first task is to gain the attention
and interest of your audience. Once you get readers
English 302                         Business Communication

interested, they will continue to read and perhaps be
persuaded to your viewpoint.

Here’s your situation.
     You are the director of educational resources for the
San Diego Zoo and you are passionately interested in
communicating your love of animals to the youth of today.
You have meet with the necessary zoo personnel and all have
agreed to assist your plan to invite fifth grade students
(teachers and chaperones included) for a special zoo-day.
You need to persuade the superintendent of the local school
district that a fifth-grade zoo day would be educational,
fun, and worthwhile. (Audience number 1) In addition, you
need to create an invitation to the students themselves
encouraging them to talk to their parents and teachers
about the benefits of this field trip. (audience number 2)
     Obviously you are creating a minimum of two formal
letters: one for the superintendent of schools and one for
the fifth-grade students. Other documents are your choice
and may certainly apply to more than one audience. Flyers,
for instance, generally appeal to a wider age group than
does a letter with fifth-grade vocabulary vs. a letter with
college-level vocabulary.

Here are your steps.
    1. Find a partner. Only 1 please.
    2. Explore the San Diego Zoo website --
    3. Have fun with it as you learn about the zoo and what
       it has to offer. Spend enough time with the site to
       really explore and learn what educational
       opportunities fifth-grade students would gain from a
       field trip.
    4. Create the lists (from above) – for purpose and
    5. Consider medium – for the ancillary documents.
       Remember two formal letters are required.
    6. Write letters.
    7. Create ancillary document(s)/material(s).

So, here’s the week’s activities.

Monday and Tuesday Oct. 29, 30
     Explain this project. Select a partner and explore
the website. Begin exploring the lists as discussed above.

Wednesday, Oct. 31
English 302                        Business Communication

     Please bring a laptop to class. (One person of each
partnership should have access to one.) Today we’ll
explore the website more as we begin drafting the
letters/ancillary materials. I will share some samples
with you – and help with persuasive language, which is also

Thursday, Nov. 1
     Work with partner on ancillary documents

Friday, Nov. 2/5
     Share documents with class.   Bring completed letters
and ancillary documents.

While we will use every class period to work on this
project, you and your partner may need to meet once or
twice outside of class to complete the documents. You may,
of course, divide the work according to strengths of
partners. Perhaps one of you is more creative, while the
other writes persuasively.

 Due Friday Nov. 16th: two formal letters (1-students; 1-
superintendent of schools); ancillary document(s); all four
              (One set of materials per pair.)

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