Syllabus - English 270
Winter Quarter 2007
Instructor: Karrin Peterson, J.D.
Office hours: by e-mail, phone, or arranged in advance in R230 on other days
Textbook: Technical Communication (Eighth Edition)
Author: Mike Markel
(425) 898-9562 (this is a home office, so please don’t call at unseemly hours)
Campus telephone: (425) 564-2341
Preferred class e-mail: ENGLKP270@aol.com
Campus e-mail: email@example.com
Is English 270 for You?
English 270 is for students within thirty (30) credits of graduating. The course is designed to teach technical writing skills to professionals or continuing students heading into a four year technical or scientific degree program. All students in this course are expected to have solid reading and writing skills. Thus, students who take this course in their first year of college or who only marginally passed English 101 are statistically likely to do poorly in this course. Also, students with a heavy course load may not be able to complete the work required for this course. Please consider these things as you make your final course load decisions this quarter.
Outcomes for English 270
By the end of this quarter, you should be able to:
1. Identify technical communication from other types of writing and articulate whether it is effective or ineffective;
2. Know and use the writing process as it relates to technical communications;
3. Produce effective (honest, clear, accurate, comprehensive, accessible, concise, professional, correct, and well documented) written, visual, and verbal technical communications;
4. Produce and identify various types of technical documents (memos, instructions, proposals, informal reports, and formal reports);
5. Communicate effectively with different audiences and understand the importance of considering your audience in all phases of the technical communication process;
6. Understand the importance scholarly research in technical communications and demonstrate scholarship in your technical communications;
7. Collaborate effectively on group/team projects; and
8. Effectively use technology to support your technical communications.
Technical Communication (Eighth Edition), by Mike Markel (ISBN 0-312-44197-5), will be the required text and is available through the BCC Bookstore. You may purchase your textbook online or in person from the bookstore. You can find store information and hours of operation at http://bookstore.bcc.ctc.edu.
You will see on the assignment pages that you may read some chapters quickly while you should read others very carefully. In general, devote as much time as you can to reading, and pay close attention to the good instructions you get from time to time in your textbook. Remember that close reading requires concentration and reflection. You will be accountable, with respect to grades, for producing technical communications that conform to the standards and techniques set out in the readings. You should also read all supplemental material provided by me carefully and follow the instructions exactly.
Our course is divided into four sections. You will be asked to write certain types of business related documents in each section. At the beginning of each section, we will develop the reading and class materials together, so that you can be involved in your learning processes.
The Relationship Between In Class Work and Home Work
This class is set up to be a writing workshop. I will not always be lecturing on what you read in your text each class meeting. Your readings support your writing processes and you will be held responsible for applying those concepts to your writing. We will work with the general concepts discussed in your text in a practical manner as we develop your writings in class. I will be available to address any questions you have about the concepts you read about in class and via e-mail. For you to succeed in this class, you will need to be self motivated about completing your readings and coming to class prepared to engage in the writing seminar format that I have for our class this quarter. If you do this, I guarantee that you will learn how to produce effective technical communications. If you do not prepare in this manner, the course format will not be helpful to you since you will be “lost” as the class engages in the writing workshop activities.
Basis for Class Grade
Grades will be based upon the writing assignments, class attendance and group participation, your preparations for in class editing, and a short oral presentation. The break down on points follows.
1. Peer Editing assignments (smooth drafts of your assignments and attendance on peer editing days):
If you fail to bring a draft to class for peer editing, you will receive one letter grade lower than you otherwise would have. You also lose the ability to rewrite any assignment that you wrote individually. If you turn your assignments in on time, do the peer editing, and receive below a C grade, you may rewrite the assignment for a higher grade. I will replace the lower grade with the higher one, if your work improves significantly during the rewrite process.
2. Group Work Evaluations for Instructions:
Additionally, if you fail to complete your assigned portion of group work or do this work poorly, as documented by your team members, you will receive a lower grade than the team earns on the final product. How this works is that your team members will be asked to grade your contribution to the group project (as you will be asked to grade theirs). If you are graded as having given B, C, or D level work instead of your full and best A level contribution, then your grade for the group assignment can reflect that reduction in points accordingly at my discretion. Thus, if three of your group members pick up your slack and produce an “A” level product, you can receive a lower grade based upon their grading your contribution to the end product. So, please give your best, complete, and timely efforts to your group project in whatever task you take responsibility for.
3. Written Assignments:
· Request for specialized training letter: 25 points
· Cover letter, resume, and audience profile sheet: 50 points
· Instructions, audience profile sheet, group work sheets: 75 points
· Proposal and audience profile sheet: 50 points
· Informal report, annotated bibliography, and audience profile sheet: 75 points
· Completion report and audience profile sheet: 75 points
4. Case assignments: Case 5, Case 8, Case 19, Case 9, Case 16 -- 100 possible points each (20 points each)
5. Oral Powerpoint presentation: 50 points
500 total grade points possible. I reserve the right to change point designations and/or totals any time during the quarter.
GRADES: A = 500-460; A- = 459-450; B+ = 449-435; B = 434-410; B- = 409-385; C+ = 384-362; C = 361-339; C- = 338-316; D+ = 315-293; D = 292-270; D- = 269-247; F = 247- and below
My Grading Habits
I do not grade on a pre-determined curve. A review of my grading would show that grades in the B range (B+, B, B-) predominate. I therefore expect most of my students in this course will have grades above the C range. Some students will probably have grades in the A range. However, others may have grades in the C range. Do not feel discouraged. I consider C and C+ writing as entirely respectable for college students. We grow in our writing ability as we meet the challenges of reading and writing in a wide variety of college level courses.
Correction Symbols and Comments on Graded Essays
I will use some of the correction symbols from pages 626 and 652 of your textbook in marking your written assignments. Please make yourself familiar with these symbols and abbreviations. I will try to make my comments polite, clear, and helpful. If they seem confusing, ask for further clarification.
I do not accept late assignments that are required to be turned in during class, barring a substantial and well-documented crisis (death, severe bodily injury, and the like).
Since we are turning in some assignments online, I expect some of you will have occasional difficulties e-mailing essays to me. So, to accommodate that potentiality, everyone has a one day grace period during which he/she must ensure that I have received his/her assignment. For example, if an assignment is due Thursday by midnight, you have until Friday at midnight to make sure I receive the assignment. I will sign online each morning, after a due date, and reply to each assignment that I’ve received. Thus, if you do not have a reply from me by Friday noon, it is your responsibility to re-send your assignment by Friday night. I will check my e-mail again on Saturday morning for possible failed send essays. I will not accept an online assignment more than two days late.
Class Attendance and Make-up Work
I do not allow the make up of missed in class assignments. You will not lose a significant number of points by missing a day or so, as long as your assignments are completed in a timely and complete manner and your absences do not adversely affect your group members.
Campus policy suggests that you not miss more than ten (10) days worth of classes during a quarter for a live class. I generally follow this policy absent a documented and significant excuse (accompanied with your giving me advance notice of your problem and our working out some way for you to complete the quarter’s work).
You are encouraged to communicate individually with me in person or by e-mail at ENGLKP270@aol.com when you are perplexed by an assignment or when something unusual in your life prevents you from meeting an assignment deadline. With rare exceptions, I read and reply to my e-mail messages night and morning five working days a week. If you wish to meet personally, contact me about meeting before or after class in advance as I am not in an office on campus everyday.
If you require accommodations based on a documented disability, have emergency medical information to share, or need assistance in case of emergency evacuation, please make an appointment with me as soon as possible.
If you would like to inquire about becoming a DSS (Disability Support Services) student please call 425-564-2498.
Arts and Humanities Student Procedures and Expectations
I require you to comply with the expectations laid out at http://www.bcc.ctc.edu/artshum/policy.htm. You are responsible for signing onto this site and reading this material on your own.