Helping your reader
get the message
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Text
Headings and titles
Graphics
Simple separators (lines and boxes)
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White space
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Figures and tables
Titles of sections
Titles of figures and tables
Headings
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Serif – for longer blocks of text that are up
close to the reader.
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Sans-serif – for text that will be projected or
seen from a distance.
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Convert documents to PDF (Portable
Document File) to preserve formatting.
When sharing documents for review (before
they are finalized), use Track Changes in MS
Word – don’t convert to PDF until final draft.
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Document
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Font
Paragraph indentation?
Line spacing
Integrated with text??
Where do labels go??
References

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Where on page?
What font/type?
Different for different sections?
Tables and Figures
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Position
Font & size & characteristics
Main Text
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Start on right-facing pages?
Use line or other graphic device?
Headings and Subheadings
Page Numbering
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Paper and covers
Single-sided?
Margins
Sections
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Citations in parentheses in text?
Reference list goes where?
Abbreviations, Acronyms, Equations
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Include glossary? Where?
Acronyms spelled out where?
Mathematical variables explained where?
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Why?
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Set up a style sheet early in the process.
Learn and use Track Changes!!
Name files with date and your name.
Agree early on division of labor for each
assignment:
 research, writing, editing, graphics, etc.
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Stay in good contact with each other!
Respect your own deadlines.
Post project idea on Message Board by noon on
Wednesday, Sept. 8.
 Respond to at least one other person’s idea by
5:00 p.m. on Thurs., Sept. 9.
You may change ideas based on feedback in lab
and on message board.
 Post project topic in your own words, even if you
plan to partner. Do state at end the name of
potential partner.
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• Write a 2-3 sentence description of a real
sustainability problem/issue in the region or
on campus.
• Name the experts whom you will interview
for information on the problem and possible
solutions.
• Identify which grants you will apply for (see
the posted RFPs).

This first section of your proposal describes the
sustainability problem you will study solutions for.
The problem must be local and real.

Identify experienced professionals who have some
idea about the real problem and possible solutions.
Base your description on:
 Interviews with the subject-matter expert (SME)
 Published sources of information

Define sustainability on the basis of the actual
problem/need AND your research.
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Designing Documents for Readability