English 270 E Instructor: Kurt A. Kemp
Fall Quarter 2002 Office: Room R 230
Classroom R 201 Office Hours: Wed.
T&Th or by appointment
Phone: 564-3064, ext. 7 (voice mail) 564-2341 (A & H Office)
Email: email@example.com Fax: 564-2690
Mailbox: Arts & Humanities, R 230
Textbook: Reporting Technical Information (10th Edition), by Houp, Pearsall, Tebeaux , and Dragga
English 270 is an “exit” course, intended for students who are within thirty (30) credits of graduating; according to the BCC 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 but, as a 200-level course, it is more demanding than English 102 in the amount of work and the time required to complete it.
Students enrolling in English 270, therefore, should have completed at least three quarters of work at BCC (or equivalent) and have strong college-level reading and writing skills:
· Those who choose to take English 270 during their first year of study rather than their second, should be advised that they risk failing the course or receiving grades far below those of second-year students.
· Students who only marginally passed College English (English 101 or equivalent) or who have an assessed reading skill below college level (English 106 at BCC) should take English 270 only when they have the necessary reading skill to understand the textbook and other course materials.
The aim of this course is to show you how to report technical information clearly, completely, and persuasively.
Technical writing shares many of the same concerns of other kinds of writing, such as Purpose, attention to 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., memoranda,
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 class 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 three basic rules of good report writing:
>>> Know your reader.
>>> Know your objective.
>>> Be simple, direct, and concise.
Anticipated Course Outcomes
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 technical documents [memo, instructions, proposal, progress report, data report, feasibility report] that are appropriate and effective for various audiences.
6. Balance verbal 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 exercises and preparation of documents.
9. Communicate technical information clearly and effectively in all class discussions, small group work, and course assignments.
Your course work consists of: six (6) written reports in several technical formats; assigned textbook reading; individual and small group exercises from your reading; class discussion; a research project requiring data collection and analysis; group work on exercises, some rough drafts; and for Report 2, a set of instructions.
You will be writing the following 6 technical reports:
1. Memo 4. Project Progress Report
2. Instructions [Procedures Manual] 5. Project Data Report
3. Project Proposal 6. Final Project Report
You should have all assigned reading completed by class time. I have planned interactive and small group work for the course, 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 your work in this class.
Reports 3-6 are generated by 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 early in the quarter. You will be asked to choose a specific topic, purpose, and reader for your project during the third 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 20%
Report 4: Progress Report 10%
Report 5: Project Data Report 15%
Report 6: Final Project Report 40%
All reports are to be typed and presented in the format assigned for each document. Single spacing between lines, and double spacing between paragraphs is the norm in technical writing.
Please note: it usually takes me about 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.
Attendance is required in this class. I grade only those assignments from students who attend class regularly. English 270 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 report that it is difficult to complete the course when taking other time-intensive classes, so plan your schedule accordingly.
Regular attendance in English 270 is important: 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.
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 or who disrupt the class in any way are considered absent from class.
A student who misses 20% of the class meetings (6 or more absences), or who routinely arrives late or leaves early, is considered an inactive member of the class.
Please note: you receive no credit for this course if you…….
1. miss 6 or more classes, or
2. fail to submit all assigned reports by the due dates
3. misses the first week of class
Þ Þ In both situations, you may avoid receiving an “F” for the course by withdrawing on or before, Nov. 8th (in person). Check with Registration about Remote Access Withdrawal.
Unexcused absences affect your participation grade in the following way:
1 absences = A
2 absences = B
3 absences = C
4 absences = D
5 absences = F
Please read the section on “Attendance” in the Arts & Humanities Division Student Procedures and Expectations for the stated requirements that I use in my course design. You may access it on the BCC Arts & Humanities website.
If you are absent for medical reasons or emergencies, please let me know via voice mail or e-mail. 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.
All assignments are due on the dates listed in the course schedule with the following exceptions:
· You may turn 2 of your last four reports in late by arranging it with me on or before the due dates (ie., reports 3-6 only).
Late reports must be turned in no more than one day after the original due date. Any report turned in more than one day late will be dropped one grade level each additional day it is late. Papers turned in late because of illness must be cleared with me before submission.
Submit late papers to one of the secretaries in the Arts & Humanities Office, R 230. She will note the day and time you brought it in. Reports must be received by the day after the original due date.
You may revise the third report, 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.
Saving Your Work
Be sure to duplicate your 270 work from your hard drive to a zip drive/zip disk/CD or other disk copies as backup. Keep your rough drafts until after your paper 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 paper that is destroyed or lost.
As verification of your work, research notes and sources for your Final Project Report should also be saved in duplicate as your work progresses. In other words, there is no bona fide excuse for not having proof of the work you have completed for class, especially at the end of the quarter.
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 p. ???, Reporting Technical Information).
The BCC Student Code is also very clear about the seriousness of cheating and the actions that faculty members are required to take in cases of plagiarizing:
The BCC Student Code prohibits cheating, stealing, plagiarizing,
knowingly furnishing false information to the college, or submitting
to a faculty member any work product that the student fraudulently
represents as his or her own work for the purpose of fulfilling or
partially fulfilling any assignment or task required as part of a program
of instruction. All forms of cheating, stealing, and plagiarizing will be
reported to the Dean of Students.
Please read the entire section on “Academic Honesty” in the Arts & Humanities Division Student Procedures and Expectations for further explanation.
Inappropriate Classroom Behavior
It is important that students in my English 270 class consider the learning environment to be comfortable and inclusive. Students who continually ignore the rights of others in class by talking, doing work for other classes, or disrupting the class in any way, will be marked absent from class. Lack of respect for cultural, physical, or philosophical differences of students in class will not be tolerated.
The BCC Student Code prohibits any inappropriate or disruptive conduct in the classroom. Disruptive conduct is defined as “disorderly, abusive or bothersome behavior that interferes with the rights of others or which obstructs or disrupts teaching, research, or administrative functions.” Violations of this code are also reported to the Dean of Students.
Please read the entire section on “Classroom Environment” in the Arts & Humanities Student Procedures and Expectations for additional explanation.
Most course material for English 270 can be found on the Arts & Humanities division website:
2. Click on #2 Course Materials
3. Fall 2002
4. English Department
5. Scroll down until you find English 270 and click Kurt Kemp
Student samples of Reports 3-6 are online in the BCC Library, Electronic Reserve:
1. Direct Access: http://bcc.ctc.edu/lmc/reserve/dietrich/dietrich.htm
2. Through the library website:
on Electronic Reserve on
· Click on English 270
· Click on specific report to access the four types [Project Proposal, Project Progress Report, Project Data Report, Final Project Report]