English 235, Professional and Technical Writing, Summer 2008 Item 1198, Section B
Instructor: Sonia Michaels
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Office hours: 5:00-6:00 pm in R230L, Monday and Wednesday, and by appointment.
Class meets: Monday and Wednesday from 6pm to 9:45 pm, in room R101.
Required texts: Technical Communication Today, 2nd edition, by Richard Johnson-Sheehan
Deadlines: A complete schedule will be provided at the second class session.
Want to “climb the corporate ladder” on Wall Street or at Microsoft? Want to be an architect, an interior designer or a film producer? Want to own a restaurant or run an art gallery? You will need to write on the job. Whether you are creating iPod or Blackberry instructions for consumers, writing SDK documentation for programmers, emailing a customer or vendor about a defective product, designing a web site for a small or large business, or completing a project for your boss, you are engaging in technical communication. You will need to conduct research, analyze data, work effectively alone and with colleagues, and represent your company on paper, reflecting its culture ( yes, companies have cultures! ) and adhering to its ethical standards. You’ll need to write for various audiences, some of which you may not belong to. You’ll need to consider legal and ethical issues in your writing.
Professional Report Writing (also referred to as technical writing or technical communication) is intended for students who are within 30 credits of graduating. As a higher 200-level course, it is more difficult and more demanding than English 201. Students should have completed at least three quarters of work at BCC (or equivalent) and have strong college-level reading and writing skills.
The aim of this class is to help you communicate clearly, completely and persuasively. You will need to develop a no-nonsense approach (although there’s certainly still some room for creativity and interesting, engaging writing!), use specific formats to convey information (including memoranda, instructions, proposals, and reports), and often include graphics to help convey information visually.
By the end of the course you should be able to: understand the various purposes and processes of communication in business; communicate technical information in a complete, accurate, and honest way; write various types of documents, such as a memo, proposal and progress report; balance written and visual elements in technical documents; work effectively as a member of a team, and use clear, focused, and grammatically correct language when both writing and speaking.
Graded Assignments (and their relative weight in your final grade):
For the research report, it’s important that you choose a topic that is relevant and interesting to you. The topic may relate directly or indirectly to your current job or future career or education plans. You will need to research, acquire data, compare and contrast, analyze and make recommendations. You can see examples of papers from other terms by going to the library’s web page, clicking on Electronic Reserve, and then clicking on English 235.
You will be graded on attendance, class participation, small group participation, your written assignments, and the oral presentation and PowerPoint presentation of your project. There is also one team project which is graded, and occasional in-class projects that will count towards your attendance/participation mark.
The peer review process is mandatory. Students who do not bring their drafts to the scheduled peer review sessions will have their grade reduced by one letter grade (for example, from B+ to C+, or A- to B-) on the assignment in question.
I expect your papers to be grammatically correct and free of spelling and punctuation errors. If this is a weakness for you, you will need to go to BCC’s Writing Lab or find tutoring. You can have a terrific topic, and do a great job with the project, but if there are weaknesses in your writing, your grade will suffer.
Attendance and Classroom Behavior:
Plagiarism is using someone else’s words and ideas as if they were your own. Please don’t ruin your college career by plagiarizing. According to BCC policy, you may be given an “F” for an assignment or for the entire course if part or all of your paper is plagiarized. The plagiarism must also be reported to the Dean of Student Services. Students who plagiarize may not be allowed to continue to study at BCC.
Good things to know:
The Open Lab (N250) has over 200 PCs and Macintosh computers available to all registered students. It is usually open seven days a week.
The Writing Lab (D204) is
part of the