Overview:Write two emails on similar topics to two different personas (Frank and Vivian are describedbelow). Before you begin writing, ask yourself these questions:1. What is the goal of this email?2. How will the different audience change the organization, vocabulary and content of youremail?
First Steps:1. You must understand what an API is before you begin writing this assignment. Watchvideos and read about the topic until you have a good grasp on what APIs are.2. Read about API documentation. Since this topic will overlap with some of your emailcontent, you must be very careful to never copy and paste a sentence or PHRASE you didntwrite yourself into your own work. I suggest planning to learn about APIs and APIdocumentation a few days before you begin writing. Take notes on what youve learned.Then, a day or two later, start writing and explaining it to your audience in your own words.Giving yourself time between learning and writing may help prevent you from usingphrases that are not your own.3. Read through the Assignment and Sample Solution from Fall 2019. Youll be writing followup emails to Frank and Vivian.
Audience 1: Frank SmithOverview: Frank Smith is a manager at Yodel, which is a competitor to Yelp. Since yourcompelling email about the importance of APIs, Frank and Vivian worked with you to launch asuite of APIs at Yodel, which are similar to competitor Yelps APIS. Now, Frank is disappointedthat after investing in APIs, the usage is very low. You believe hes ready to drop all APIdevelopment which would reflect poorly on yourself since you were the person who advocatedto create the APIs. Instead, you need to convince Frank that successful APIs require excellentdocumentation.
What you know about Frank: Frank has an MBA and although hes great at spreadsheets, andlives on email, he has little other technical experience and no programming experience. Beforethe pandemic, you went out for drinks with Frank in a group of colleagues. He drank a Spriteand ordered a clubhouse sandwich. He is in his mid-thirties. He and his wife recently bought acabin and he used to complain about how much work it is but lately he hasnt mentionedanything about his home life. You dont know if he has kids. He has worked at the company for many more years than you. He seems to be well-respected by the CEO. He dresses in officecasual wear, even over Zoom. Over Slack youve discovered that hes a huge fan of The Office.Goals of Email: You plan to write an email to Frank to address the disappointing adoption rates,convince him of the importance of great API documentation, and get support to developcomprehensive API documentation.Additional Content: To help achieve your emails goals, include the following in your email toFrank:1) a page on Tom Johnsons site https://idratherbewriting.com that describes theimportance of great API documentation2) at least two examples of APIs with excellent documentation that you think couldserve as models for Yodels documentation.
Audience 2: Vivian LiOverview: Vivian is the CIO at Yodel. She has a background in technology and programming,including a CS degree. After a compelling email from you she worked with you and Frank tolaunch a suite of APIs. She was very invested in the process and is now curious about how toimprove usage. You expect she already knows the documentation needs to be improved, and ishighly motivated to increase the number of API calls to show that the APIs will eventually be animportant part of the company.
What you know about Vivian: You have never met Vivian in a situation outside the office.Before the pandemic she did not go for drinks with colleagues since she wanted to get homefor her school-aged children. You do not know any of her hobbies (unless you consider childrento be a hobby.) She has worked at the company for four years (one year longer than you). Youhave looked her up on LinkedIn and know that she worked as a senior IT manager at GreatWest Life Insurance before transferring to Yodel as the CIO. She dresses more professionallythan most people at Yodel. On Slack she regularly posts about security and privacy issues.Goals of Email: You are emailing Vivian with the goals of 1) agreeing Yelps API usage wouldlikely increase with better documentation; and 2) showing that you would be a valuable personto work on the API documentation.Additional Content: To help achieve your emails goals, you should include the following in youremail to Vivian:1) a page on Tom Johnsons site https://idratherbewriting.com that describes the traitsof great API documentation, or provides an overview on how to get started with APIdocumentation.2) at least two examples of APIs with excellent documentation that you think couldserve as models for Yodels documentation.
Contents, Format and Length:Audience Analysis: Paste and complete this text box (partially filled out for Vivian) on thefirst page of your assignment. Complete twiceonce for Frank and once for Vivian.3Note: You will have a chanceto work on the AudienceAnalysis during class. For thissection of the assignment,students may work togetherand submit the sameresponses without concern ofAcademic Integrity.Style: Write the response as an email. Use a salutation (e.g.: Dear Vivian). In class I willshow an example of a completed assignment (from last year).Re-use between emails: You may re-use sentences from Franks email in Vivians email, ifthe sentence applies to both audiences.Content: Each email should contain: An explanation of the current API situation (well-written APIs but suffer from low use,probably since theres very little/poor documentation when compared to thecompetitor) Two or more examples of great API documentation (likely including Yelpsdocumentation) Additional content as listed above. An invitation to discuss API documentation further.Transitions: use at least two transitions in each email. Format each transition in red to helpthe marker find them. Each email should have at least two unique transitional elements.Headings: You may or may not use headings in your email.Length: 750 850 words (approximately 400 words for each email)Graphics: Do not use graphics to augment your text. Graphics are out of scope for theassignment, and also unreliable when added to the text of an email.Quotes and References: Do not use quotes or references in these emails. Quotes andreferences are not suitable for short emails. If you are not able to define any part of thecontent in your own words, do some more reading and learning. Then take a break beforereturning to explain the concept in your own words.
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