English 235 Section TRB (1278) Instructor: Sydney C. Dietrich
Fall Quarter 2009 Office: Room R 230, Office O
12:30-2:40 pm T/Th Office Hours: 10:00-11:00 am T/W/Th
Room R 201 ……and by appointment
Phone: 564-2109 (office, voice mail) 564-2341 (A & H Office)
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: 564-2690
Mailbox: Arts & Humanities, R 230
English 235 is considered an “exit” course, intended for students who are within thirty (30) credits of graduating; according to the BC Course Catalog, degree programs that require the course for graduation define it as a second year option. It is an introductory course in technical writing for students in BC’s professional/technical programs and those who will enter technical careers after completing their four-year degrees. As a 200-level course, it is demanding in the amount of work and time required to complete it.
it is advisable that students enrolling in English 235 have completed at least three quarters of work at BC (or equivalent) and have strong college-level reading and writing skills:
· Those who choose to take English 235 during their first year of college study rather than their second, may risk receiving grades below those of second-year students.
· Students who have an assessed reading proficiency below college level (English 106 at BC) should take English 235 only when they have the necessary reading skills to understand the textbook and other course materials.
The aim of this course is to show you how to report technical information clearly, accurately, and persuasively.
Technical writing shares many of the same concerns of other kinds of writing, such as attention to Purpose, Audience, and Readability. It is characterized by:
1. a practical, no-nonsense approach to the writing process
2. the forms through which it is conveyed (e.g., memos,
instructions, proposals, informal and formal reports)
3. its arrangement and division for selective reading
4. its use of typographical page design elements
5. its use of graphics to convey information visually
This course will cover the four components of good technical writing: problem-solving/analysis, report design, informational content, and technical communication skills [written, visual, and spoken].
We will base our work in class on the eight measures of good technical writing:
· Professional Appearance
At completion of the course, each student should be able to:
1. Understand the purpose and process of communication in business and industry.
2. Recognize and be able to analyze effective and ineffective technical communication.
3. Understand and execute the written, visual, and verbal processes of technical communication.
4. Communicate technical information in a complete, accurate, and honest form.
5. Prepare various types of technical documents [memo, instructions, proposal, progress report, data report, feasibility report] that are appropriate and effective for various audiences.
6. Balance written and visual elements of communication in technical documents.
7. Use clear, focused, specific, and grammatically correct language in technical documents.
8. Use effective strategies for collaborative work in group projects and preparation of documents.
9. Communicate technical information clearly and effectively in all class discussions, group work, and course assignments.
Your course work will include:
· Six (6) written reports in several technical formats
· A research project requiring technical data collection and analysis
· Assigned textbook reading (often covering 2 or more chapters a week
· Class discussion
· Group work on in-class exercises, and Report 2 (a set of instructions).
You will be writing the following 6 technical reports:
1. Memo 4. Project Progress Report
2. Instructions [Procedures 5. Project Data Report
Manual] 6. Final Project Report
3. Project Proposal
You should have all assigned reading completed by class time. Class discussions and in-class exercises ask you to apply the technical communication (TC) principles you are learning, so be prepared to participate by understanding the information covered in the assigned reading.
Through discussion, we will discover the reasons for various technical writing strategies and their practical applications. Learning the principles explained in the assigned reading will be essential to all of your work in this class.
Reports 3-6 are generated from a feasibility study that each of you will design, research, develop, and report on during the course.
You will be given complete instructions and topic choices for your project in the second week of the quarter. You will be asked to define a specific topic, purpose, and reader for your project during the fourth week of class.
Success in this course depends on your regular attendance and participation in the work of the class. All assignments must be completed in order to pass the course. Attendance and small group participation are fundamental in acquiring the skills you will need to draft your technical reports correctly.
Your course grade is calculated in the following way:
Report 1: Memo 5%
Report 2: Instructions 10%
Report 3: Project Proposal 15%
Report 4: Progress Report 10%
Report 5: Project Data Report 15%
Report 6: Final Project Report 25%
Discussion, Participation, 20%
& Attendance ______
Grades on reports and discussion board are calculated using a 100-point scale:
All reports should be edited and presented in the format assigned for each document. Single spacing between lines and double spacing between paragraphs is the norm in technical writing.
Only Report 2, a set of instructions, must be submitted is hard copy. You may send me all other reports as Word attachments to email. Please do not send reports in PDF format, as I cannot insert comments and grades on these documents.
Þ Please note: I will try to return your graded reports as quickly as possible, but it may take me up to a week to grade a set of reports. Please do not inquire about them during class time.
If you are concerned about your course grade, or if you have questions about a particular assignment, speak with me after class or make an appointment to meet with me during my office hours.
All assignments are due on the dates listed in the course schedule:
Ø Reports submitted in paper copy must reach me by
class time on the due date.
Ø Reports sent electronically [Reports 1, 3-6] must reach me by midnight on the due date.
(Please attach them as Word documents to email@example.com
There are four exceptions:
· You may take an “extra day” to complete reports 3-6 only by arranging it with me on or before the due dates.
Late reports must be turned in no more than one day after the original due date, and must arrive by 2:30 p.m. in paper copy or by midnight in electronic form as an attachment to email.
Any report turned in more than one day late will be dropped one grade level each additional day it is late.
Assignments turned in late because of illness must be cleared with me before submission.
You may revise Report 3, the Project Proposal, for a better grade. The revised
grade will be the original grade averaged with the revision grade. Proposal revisions should be submitted one week after your report has been returned to you. Revisions must show substantial work and improvement to earn a higher grade. Please remember to resubmit your original graded draft with your revision.
Attendance is required in this class. I grade only those assignments from students who attend class regularly. English 235 is fairly demanding in the time it requires of you for reading, research, and writing; the bulk of your work will be done from midterm to the end of the quarter.
Some students in the past have reported that it is difficult to complete the course when taking other time-intensive classes, so plan your schedule accordingly. If you organize your time early in the quarter and don’t delay the start of your research, you should do fine in the class.
Regular attendance in English 235 is important because:
1) The schedule may change to accommodate problems or questions raised in class.
2) I make announcements in class about adjustments to the schedule or to assignments
3) The work we do during class cannot be made up.
If you are absent for medical reasons or emergencies, please let me know via voice mail or email as soon as you can. If you know you will have to miss class(es) in the future, let me know so that I can make a note of it for the date(s) in question.
Students who routinely arrive late for class or who leave early are considered absent from class. Students who come to class unprepared for class discussions, group work, or who disrupt the class in any way will be marked absent..
A student who misses 20% of the class meetings (5 or more absences) will
fail the course.
Please note: you fail this course if you…….
1. Do not submit all assigned reports and exercises by the due dates, or
2. Have 5 or more unexcused class absences
Þ Þ In both situations, you may avoid receiving an “F” for the course by withdrawing on or before, Nov. 6th (in person, by 5:00 p.m.), or by Sun., Nov. 8th (via the Web, by noon).
Unexcused absences affect your participation grade in the following way:
0-1 absences = A
2 absences = B
3 absences = C
4 absences = D
5 absences = F
The following is an excerpt from the “Attendance” section in the Arts & Humanities Division Student Procedures and Expectations. My course attendance policy reflects the attendance requirements of the Arts & Humanities Division. You may access the complete policy on the BC Arts & Humanities Division web site.
“In order for students to be eligible for a grade in a course, they must not miss more than ten classes, or 20% of the total class time scheduled, for any reason. When absences go beyond ten, instructors may a) give a grade of "F" for the course, or b) lower the final grade as much as they see fit. This does not imply that you may be absent fewer than ten times or 20% without seeing an effect on your grade; indeed, we wish to emphasize that any absence undermines your progress and will result in your having to work harder to catch up. Ten absences or 20% is merely the figure beyond which you cannot go without risking your eligibility for a course grade. In cases of legitimate hardship, students may also request that instructors grant a “HW” (hardship withdrawal), which is a non-credit grade.
In summary, when you are absent from a class more than ten times or 20% in any given quarter, you may receive a failing grade. Whatever written policy an instructor has in the syllabus will be upheld by the Arts and Humanities Division in any grievance process.”
Use of the MyBC course site for English 235 is another aspect of your course attendance. You will have to access the course site to download the assignments and supporting materials for the course. The only documents I will give you in paper copy are the course syllabus, calendar, and any handouts you will need in class for discussions.
Be sure to duplicate your English 235 work from your hard drive to some other medium as backup. Keep your rough drafts until your report is returned to you after grading. All graded reports should be saved until the end of the quarter as proof of work completed. This will save you from having to rewrite a report that is destroyed or lost.
As verification of your work, save your research notes and sources for the Final Project Report in duplicate as your work progresses. Don’t risk loss of your project from a computer crash or loss of a USB drive.
You are responsible for verifying that I have received your assignments sent through email. If you do not receive a confirmation from me, please check with me to verify that I have received it.
Please Note: Re-using reports from former students in my classes is considered plagiarism of the worst kind. Plagiarized assignments will receive a failing grade and the plagiarism will be reported to the Assistant Dean of Student Services.
I provide student samples of the four technical reports you will be writing for this class. They are provided as models for structure, page design, and some phrasing, but should not be plagiarized or cut-and-pasted into your reports.
The ethical considerations of cheating in technical writing are much greater than in other kinds of writing. Since you will use technical writing in the workplace, it is mandatory that you communicate all technical information accurately, completely, and honestly. Most professional organizations, including the Society for Technical Communication, have clearly defined codes of ethical behavior (see Chap. 2 and the IEEE Code of Ethics on p. 34, Technical Communication).
The BC Student Code is also very clear about the seriousness of cheating and disrupting the classroom learning environment:
stealing and plagiarizing (using the ideas or words of another as one’s own
without crediting the source) and inappropriate/disruptive classroom behavior
are violations of the Student Code of Conduct at
students registered for classes at
BC offers a wide variety of computer and learning labs to enhance learning and student success. Find current campus locations for all student labs by visiting the Computing Services website.
» Course materials for English 235 Section TRB (#1278) may be found on the MyBC course web site
» Samples of Reports 3-6 may be downloaded from the Electronic Reserve portion of the
Click on English 235,
2. You will find sample reports written by former students:
v Project Proposal
v Project Progress Report
v Project Data Report
v Final Project Report
The Bellevue Community College Writing Lab gives students a free place to go for revision of any writing project, including class assignments, college applications, resumes, and personal projects. During 25-minute sessions, tutors in the Writing Lab help students individually by identifying weaknesses in a student’s writing and explaining how to overcome them. However, students meet with a tutor on duty; we will not make appointments for students to work with specific tutors. Also, students may only have one tutoring session per day. Students who want to work on their own may take any of the Writing Lab’s free reference handouts or may use English handbooks in the Writing Lab.
If you are a person who requires assistance in case of an emergency situation, such as a fire, earthquake, etc, please meet with your individual instructors to develop a safety plan within the first week of the quarter.
The DRC office is located in B 132 or you can call our reception desk at 425.564.2498. Deaf students can reach us by video phone at 425-440-2025 or by TTY at 425-564-4110. Please visit our website for application information into our program and other helpful links at www.bellevuecollege.edu/drc
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