Monday, November 21, 2011

Chapters 8-9

The first step in constructing a paragraph is to begin it by announcing your topic.  There are two methods of this, one is the top-down, and the other is the bottom-up.  The top-down method starts with the subject of the article.  It reaches out and slaps you in the face, so you know what you are reading before you start reading in depth.  The bottom-up is like a novel.  You may ready several paragraphs or pages before you know the point the writer is trying to make.  The second step is to present your generalizations before your details.  After that, you can move from the most important thing to the least important thing.  If you are having troubles you can consult conventional strategies when you are having difficulties with organizing.  You also need to consider the cultural back ground of your readers when you are organizing your article.  Adding signposts can help readers create a map of what your writing is about. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Unemployment for our nation's veterans

On your way home from work, you pass by a man standing on the side of the road.  He is holding a sign that says, homeless veteran.  You quickly roll up your window and pass by as if you didn’t even see him.  One huge problem that is facing our nation is unemployment.  A vast majority of the unemployed are veterans.  I think that it is imperative that this problem is rectified.  A veteran gets the call to defend our freedom, and when that call is answered and the soldier returns home, it is then our turn to protect him or her. Let’s take a look at some statistical data to back up my argument.
                The rate of unemployment for veterans has been a problem facing our nation for quite some time.  I found a statistical break down of percentages of unemployment rates for veterans.  The numbers are very shocking.  The unemployment rate for veterans far exceeds the national average.  About 12.1 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are unemployed. This compares to 9.1 percent of Americans nationwide, according to the Labor Department.  The unemployment rate for veterans between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four was a shocking twenty-seven percent.  Non-military adults in this age group were at a rate of 17.4 percent.  Those numbers are alarming, and something needs to be done to help fight against this and unemployment in general.  Unemployment is high, but why is it so much higher for veterans?
                One study showed, between 2002 and 2004, the number of veterans claiming unemployment for ex-service members (UCX) increased by about seventy-five percent, raising concerns that veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are having difficulty transitioning to the civilian labor market. This report draws on data from the Department of Labor and the individual military services to examine the reasons for the increase in the UCX caseload. These include the intensive use of the reserve components in the Global War on Terror, which has led to large numbers of reserve personnel becoming eligible to claim UCX; longer deployments, which are linked to poorer health and increased UCX claim rates; and significant numbers of reserve personnel choosing not to return to their pre-activation jobs. Loughran and Klerman discuss these issues and their implications for the UCX program. The Unemployment Compensation for ex-service members (UCX) program provides income assistance to unemployed veterans as they search for work.  There are many other reasons that the unemployment rate is higher for veterans, but this one appears to be the biggest.
 Post traumatic stress disorder is another factor that can lead to unemployment in veterans.  Traumatizing experiences are almost a given when you are placed in a combat zone in a war torn country.  What would go through your mind if you had to pull a close friend out of a blown up Hum-V?  After you get him out, you look, and his legs are gone.  How would you feel if you pulled a trigger of a weapon and ended someone’s life?  These situations are very traumatizing to a soldier, so I think post traumatic stress disorder is another huge reason for the higher unemployment rates facing veterans.  I could dive into this subject, but that would be a whole other article.   There is a bill in place that will hopefully make rid of this problem.
I recently read an article entitled, White House, GOP Advocate Jobs Relief forVeterans.  President Obama stated, “It was an American responsibility to improve the dismal job landscape facing veterans when they return from duty.”  I think it’s about time that someone has stepped up and took a crack at this problem.  There are soldiers that come home from war, fighting to protect our freedoms, and then turn to drugs and alcohol because they can’t find a job, so they don’t have a way to put a roof over their heads.  The bill that President Obama is looking at basically gives companies a tax break for hiring veterans.  This is a very appealing thing to everyone, especially small businesses.  Hopefully this will shine a little light of hope.  I certainly hope that our government will pass this bill and help fight the war on unemployment.
 I think the unemployment rate is outrageous.  Hopefully, after reading this article you to will go to bat for a veteran, so when you are driving home tonight and you see that person standing on the side of the road holding a sign, saying homeless veteran, I hope you will at least see that person a little differently.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Brainstorming is a very good way to get started on your writing.  In order to effectively brainstorm it is best to say yes to all of your initial ideas.  Write everything down, and when you are finished brainstorming go back over all of your ideas and start to eliminate the ones that you feel are not important to include in your article, report, or whatever you may be writing.  According to the text book, Technical Communication, there is a brainstorming procedure to follow.  There are five simple points.   Review your knowledge of your readers, determine what you know about the subject, write down ideas as fast as they come to you, when the stream runs dry go back through them, and when there are no longer any new ideas group the items in your list together and see if that inspires any new thoughts.  Brainstorming I feel is one of the most critical parts of the writing process.  It gets everything out on the table and allows you to write a very well written report or article. 

Planning your work

In chapter four of Technical Communication, there are some very useful hints to help you write just a little bit better.  There is a simple three step process to follow when you begin to write.  The first step is to identify the information your readers want.  In this step you want to keep in mind that readers can't use what isn't there.  In order to figure this out you must go beyond and find answers to the questions that you think your reader will ask.  The second step is to organize around your readers' tasks.  This means you should make it to where your readers will find it easy to use.  There are three simple things to keep in mind when doing this, the first is, organize hierarchically, then group items that your users will use together, and give the bottom line first.  Identifying a way to help readers quickly find what they want is the third step.  One thing to keep in mind is that reports generally have two parts they are, a very brief summary, and then the body of the report.  If you can keep these three steps in mind it will help you to become a better writer. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Why didn't I get the job?

The question that everyone asks when they get passed up for the job they interviewed for, why didn't I get the job?  Well I recently read an article on a news website that was titled, Top Reasons You Don't Get Hired.  There are of course several reasons someone doesn’t land a job that they interviewed for, but the reason that you can prevent are listed in this slideshow article.  They are all common sense things, which hopefully you do without even thinking about since 90% of them are all common courtesy!  Poor personal appearance, lack of interest in the job you are applying for, lack of confidence, sloppy application, and failing to make eye contact with the person that is interviewing you are a few that you should just do as a common courtesy.  If you don't do these things then maybe you shouldn't be working.  I think those are all very much common sense things to do when you are interviewing for a potential job.  The way the job market is, you should make the best of every opportunity.  If you think you are going to fail you probably will fail.  Next time you have that big interview don't forget those few little things that were mentioned, and then you won't have to ask yourself, why didn't I get that job!

Job Relief

I recently read the article White House, GOP Advocate Jobs Relief for Veterans, on  President Obama stated "it was an American Responsibility to improve the dismal jobs landscape facing veterans when they return from duty."  I think it is about time that someone has stepped up and finally went to bat for our veterans.  After all it is the veterans and service members that provide the freedom for everyone else to work, so why in the world is it so impossible for a vet to find a job?  This has been a huge problem that has faced out nation for several years.  There are soldiers who come home, can't find a job, turn to drugs and or alcohol, and they don't have a place to call home.  To me that is just complete BS.  I'm not saying that veterans should have any special privileges, but a little help would be nice.  Thank you Mr. Obama for tackling this huge crisis.  Basically this bill will give companies tax breaks for hiring veterans.  That is very appealing to companies, especially smaller businesses.  I hope that this shines a little light of hope and helps the people who give everything, so we can sit here and rant on blogs, have a home, and every other freedom that we live day in and day out.  Thank you President Obama and thank you vets!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Businesses on Twitter

I couldn't find the article about the online twitter detective, so I thought to get my fourth blog done I would see what everyone thinks about businesses using social sites to advertise.  I personally think that this form of advertisement is good.  Not everyone reads the papers, or goes to the companies websites.  It seems that the majority of people either use facebook or twitter and if not at least a good portion of people do.  I think that the social networks are an awesome place for businesses to advertise.  Twitter you are limited to like 140 characters, so the messages are short and sweet and people will actually take the time to read them, or even if they don't they are short enough to where something might catch their eye at a glance.  I just hope that the internet does not eventually close all the newspapers down.  That could result in a lot of layoffs and raise our unemployment rates.  I didn't pull this from any article, but just wanted to see what people think of the internet vs the old school ways of doing things.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Europes worst case

I recently read the article Europe and Greece: The Worst-case scenario.  What if Greece decides that they want out? If Greece decides that they want out they will essentially abandon the euro.  If Greece opts out then European economies would cut off all aids.  They would then lose the ability to get credit.  The economy would then collapse to a cash only basis.  The citizens of Greece would rush to their banks to withdraw all of their money.  Essentially that could leave to catastrophic events all over the world.  Lets hop that they reach a deal and get something figured out so the long term effects are not felt by us.