Technical Publishing with Adobe FrameMaker: First Draft

Prepare the first draft of the project that developed previously.

Required contents. The first draft should contain all main text but can exclude front- and back-matter elements such as front and back covers, title page, edition notice, preface, table of contents, index, and reader-response form. Include these elements if you can that will put you further ahead but they are not required.

Graphics. Graphics for this project are not required for the first draft. The standing guideline on graphics is not to go to extravagant lengths. This is a writing course, not a graphics arts course. The focus is on when you think graphics are needed, where and how you place them, how you use labels and keys, and how or when you use figure titles. (If necessary, you can leave space in this first draft where you plan to include graphics, insert a brief description of the graphic, and include a figure title.)

Cover memo. As the first page of your first draft, include a cover memo. Address it to your project manager (guess who). Please feel free to make up a company name and to set yourself up as either an internal information-development department or an external contractor. In the memo, announce that this is a first draft, point out areas that are as yet incomplete, draw reviewers' attention to any areas in the draft that need special attention, and mention anything else you want. Distribute the memo and draft to your project manager and team members.

Distribution. Send the electronic copy of this first draft as an e-mail attachment to your instructor. If there are multiple files, "zip" them altogether as one compressed file. Please send FrameMaker files to enable your instructor to evaluate your design/format work. Expect to return e-mail from your instructor confirming receipt of your files.

Evaluation. Because this is a first draft, the full expectations for a final draft cannot be applied. Although this is not a formula, I generally grade the first drafts as if they were final drafts and then increase the grade by one full letter. A first draft must be in good shape for review. It may have rough spots, but it enables team members to do their part of the work on it.

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