English 235 Technical Writing Tentative Syllabus Winter, 2010
Item 1273 Section D 5 Credits
Instructor: Rebecca Morris
Office hours: Tues/Thur 4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m and by appointment
Phone: (425) 564-3064
Class meets Tues and Thurs, 5:30 pm-7:40 pm in R201
Please read and keep a copy of BC Arts and Humanities Division Student Procedures and Expectations. It is posted on this site. It covers attendance, academic honesty, classroom environment and behavior, and other important guidelines.
Required texts: Technical Communication, 8th edition, by Mike Markel
Want to work on Wall Street, or climb the corporate ladder
Technical Writing is writing that takes place on the job. The course 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 the class is to show you how to communicate technical information clearly, completely and persuasively. Technical writing involves a no-nonsense approach to writing (a skill itself), uses a format to convey information (including memos, instructions, proposals, reports, and websites), and may use graphics to help convey information visually.
By the end of the course you should be able to: Understand the purpose and process of communication in business; communicate technical information in a complete, accurate, and honest form; write various types of documents, such as a memo, proposal and progress report; balance written and visual elements in technical documents; work as a member of a team; and use clear, focused, and grammatically correct language when both writing and speaking.
Assignments: You will be responsible for a project and the written components of it (a proposal; a progress report; a data report; and the final report and a PowerPoint presentation). It’s important that you find a topic you find relevant and interesting. The topic may relate directly or indirectly to your current job or future career or education plans.
Your research project must focus on a problem to solve, which involves researching, compiling data, comparing and contrasting, analysis and making a recommendation. 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 270 (what this class used to be called). I will also share examples of projects from my previous classes.
Grading: You will be graded on attendance, class participation, small group participation, the four written parts of your individual project, one midterm, quizzes, and the oral presentation and PowerPoint presentation of your project. There is also at least one team project which is graded, and occasional projects that are ungraded.
I expect your papers to be grammatically perfect, and to be 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 will be graded down for errors. 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. After all, you wouldn’t turn in a writing project at work that wasn’t perfect. Attendance and participation: Attendance will be taken each class meeting. Absences will lower your grade. Do not assume anything – it is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the instructor about missed classes, late papers, or about other issues. If you have a medical or family emergency, please contact me and we will work something out. BCC policy is that ten absences are grounds for a lower grade. Please read the college’s policy on absences. With a twice-weekly class, each one counts as two classes.
Plagiarism: Both BCC and I take plagiarism very seriously. Do not risk your college career or professional career by using anyone else’s work.
Deadlines: It’s important to meet the deadline for papers.
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
Please, turn off cell phones and iPods before class begins.
Because the college occasionally closes because of snow, or rain and wind storms, be sure and check to see that classes are being held. There are several ways to check the status of the college:
Look at the BCC website
Call (425) 401-6680
Check the website schoolreport.org ign up on the BCC website to receive e-mails or text messages from the college.
English 235 Tentative Class Schedule
Tuesday, Jan. 5 - First day of class. Course overview.
Thursday, Jan. 7 – Discussion
Tuesday, Jan. 12 - Please have read chapters 1, 6 and 16. Discuss project subject with me
Thursday, Jan. 14 - Please have read chapter 5. If you haven’t, clear your project subject with me – Quiz
Tuesday, Jan. 19 - Proposal due – bring two copies to class.
Thursday, Jan. 21 - Please have read chapters 14, 4 and 8. Work on letter writing group assignment.
Tuesday, Jan. 26 - Presentation of letter writing group project
Thursday, Jan. 28 - Please have read chapter 19 – group project on writing instructions
Tuesday, Feb. 2- Presentation of writing instructions project. Please have read chapter 17 (includes
information on progress reports)
Thursday, Feb. 4 - Progress report due (in the form of a memo) – please bring two copies
Please have read chapters 12 and 13 – begin to review for midterm
Tuesday, Feb. 9 - Review for midterm.
Thursday, Feb. 11 - Midterm
Tuesday, Feb. 16 - Please have read chapter 20
Thursday, Feb. 18 - Group Project – work in class (I must approve project)
Tuesday, Feb. 23 - Group Project – work in class
Thursday, Feb. 25 - Group Project – work in class
Tuesday – March 2 – Group Project presentations
Thursday – March 4 - Group Project presentations
Tuesday, March 9 - Please have read chapter 15 and chapter 21 - quiz
Thursday, March 11 - Data Report due. Please bring two copies.
Tuesday, March 16 - Presentation of individual final projects
Thursday, March 18 - Presentation of individual final projects
Tuesday, March 23 - Presentations of individual final projects; last class
Copy of final project must be turned in
STUDENT PROCEDURES AND EXPECTATIONS
Arts and Humanities Division
Students in all Arts and Humanities courses should be aware of the following:
Attendance at all scheduled class meetings is mandatory. This requirement is particularly meant to apply to courses that are designated for classroom delivery, although distance education courses may also have certain attendance requirements. This requirement is intended 1) to prevent instructors from having to adjudicate individual excuses, and 2) to recognize that excuses are ultimately irrelevant both here at BCC and in the workplace.
While specific attendance requirements are up to individual faculty members, the Arts and Humanities Division recognizes that attending class and participating actively are perhaps the most important way in which students can set themselves up for success. Conversely, not attending class almost certainly leads to failure.
Students in performance courses (Drama, Music, etc.) are reminded that attendance builds the professional relationship necessary between partners or in working groups.
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.