Unit #3

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Re-Seeing a Document

This assignment is adapted from an assignment designed by Dr. Quinn Warnick.

DUE DATE: April 22, 2013


Working from the premise that all documents can be improved, this assignment asks you to select a complex document in need of significant revision, reorganization, or redesign, and give it an “extreme makeover.” The software program(s) you use should be appropriate for the document you have selected, but most of you will use either Microsoft Word, Adobe InDesign, Apple Pages, or Microsoft Publisher. Your finished document should be “press ready,” i.e., in a format that can be delivered to your client (real or fictional) and/or sent to a printing press.


Each project will be individually negotiated with me, but generally speaking, you should follow these guidelines:

  • Your document should be eight or more pages in length and use all or most of the publication’s original text.
  • The finished document should make extensive use of your software program’s “styles” feature; every element in the document should be assigned a style, and your style sheet should follow the principles of design we have been studying this semester, especially with respect to typography, spacing, and alignment.
  • If the document has existing graphics or photographs, improve or replace them in order to accentuate and support the document’s written information. If no graphics are present, create new ones to achieve the same goal.

Note: To reuse the original publication’s text, you will have to either obtain the original digital files or scan the text and digitize it using an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) program. You should consider retyping only as a last resort. For OCR help, visit the IT Help Desk in Moody Hall. Graphics or photographs can be scanned from the original and improved or altered using Photoshop. Charts or diagrams can also be recreated using an Excel spreadsheet.


At the conclusion of this project, you will submit the following printed materials:

  • A copy of the original document.
  • Your redesigned document, printed and bound as it should appear in its final format.
  • Any draft or interim versions of your document, if you believe they will help me evaluate your project more fairly.
  • A 1-2 page memo of transmittal to me, in which you address the rhetorical and technological aspects of your work and provide an honest self-assessment of your performance on this project.

In addition, you will upload to my Dropbox a single zipped folder containing all of your electronic files for this project, named as follows: “Full Name 2329 Unit 4” (e.g., my file would be called “Moriah McCracken 2329 Unit 4.zip”).


Your work on this project should reflect your competence with all of the design principles we have studied this semester. Specifically, I will evaluate your project using the following criteria:

Page Layout. How well does the document use white space, alignment, contrast, and other design principles to place elements on the page?

Typography. Does the document feature typographic choices that are appropriate for the specific audience, context, and purpose of this document? Does the document follow best practices for combining typefaces?

Styles. Does the document feature a robust and carefully designed style sheet? Are all elements in the document styled?

Images. How successfully does the document use graphics and/or photographs to enhance key elements of the text?

Correctness. Does the redesigned document correct any errors in standard written English (i.e., spelling, punctuation, grammar) that appeared in the original document? Does the memo adhere to the conventions of standard written English?