3355 Syllabus

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  • 1. Workplace Writing and Organizational Communication ENGL 3355—Spring 2008—course no. 26893 HUDS 300, Monday/Wednesday 3:00-4:20 p.m. Instructor: Christie Daniels Office: 103 Vowell Hall Telephone: 747-6242 E-mail: cldaniels@miners.utep.edu Office hours: Tuesday and Thursday: 3:00-4:30 p.m. RWS: Living Rhetoric. Writing Knowledge. Course Description In this course we will examine the role that language plays in our lives, from our ways of acquiring and expressing knowledge, to the ways that we perceive the world, ourselves, and others. More specifically, we will examine workplaces as discursive formations, taking a rhetorical approach to workplace writing and communication, and seeing organizations as complex, polycontextual, and distributed. The first half of the course takes a broad theoretical approach, introducing influential readings from researchers in Business/Technical Communication and Rhetoric and Writing Studies. The second half of the course applies these theories to common workplace writing contexts through case analyses and developmental projects. Course objectives: Students will…  Investigate and implement theories of language, rhetoric, and analysis.  Explore methods of rhetorical thinking and metacognition.  Explore and practice the common conventions of workplace writing and organizational communication.  Explore writing research in the workplace.  Investigate writing as a way of thinking, knowing, and being, using their writing to negotiate their world. Key Terms and Phrases Rhetoric—Discourse/Discursive—Metacognitive—Distributed Work—Epistemology —Ontology— Organizational Identity—Agency—Invention—Rhetorical Thinking—Rhetorical Dispositions— Polycontextual—Multilingual—Recursion—Aggregation—Inquiry—Structure—Power—Image— Subjectivity Required Textbooks Community Action and Organizational Change. Brenton D. Faber. SIU Press, 2002. Strategic Business Communication: An Integrated, Ethical Approach. Robyn Walker. Thomson South- Western, 2006. Storage and Backup This course depends heavily on computer-mediated writing and analysis, and much of the work you will do this semester will involve interface with technology. Therefore, it is important that you take
  • 2. responsibility for your assignments, including the storage and backup of digital work. This course will require the consistent use of one or more of the following storage devices:  USB Drive (recommended)  UTEP My Space Storage  CD  Hard Drive Grading Policy Assignments are graded according to criteria distributed in class (or on WebCT). A tentative grading schedule follows, but is subject to adjustment. Course Assessment and Calculation of Final Grade Participation In Class and Online 50 WebCT Reading Responses (5) 50 Applications/Case Analyses (5) 50 Mid-Term Examination 200 Report on Current Scholarship in Business/Tech Communication 150 Oral Presentation of Final Project/Proposal 150 Final Project Business Report or Proposal 200 Project Assessment Memo 150 Final Exam 200 Total: 1200 Attendance, Withdrawals, and Incompletes  Regular attendance is essential to success in the course, as we may begin or complete several assignments in class.  If you have 4 absences before the published drop date, you will be dropped and receive a W for the course.  If you have 4 absences at the end of the term, you will receive an F.  Please arrive on time for class, be prepared to work, and respect others.  Please turn off your cell phone before the start of class.  Notify me ahead of time about absences for official University business or for religious holidays.  Repeated failure to turn in assignments will result in a drop for neglect of course work (before the drop date with a W; after that date, with an F).  Please see the University Catalog for more information on Withdrawals and Incompletes.  Late work: If you miss a deadline for any reason, you may still choose to submit your work, but you will be docked one letter grade for each day (not class period) that passes beyond the deadline. Plagiarism and Academic Dishonesty Proper citation is a hallmark of good scholarship. Plagiarism is using information or original wording in a paper without giving credit to the source of that information or wording: it is not acceptable. Do not submit work under your name that you did not do yourself. You may not submit work for this class that you did for another class. If you are found to be cheating or plagiarizing, you will be subject to disciplinary action, per UTEP catalog policy. Refer to http://www.utep.edu/dos/acadintg.htm for further information.
  • 3. Students with Disabilities I will make any reasonable accommodations for students with limitations due to disabilities, including learning disabilities. Please see me personally before or after class in the first two weeks, or make an appointment to discuss any special needs you might have. If you have a documented disability and require specific accommodations, you will need to contact the Disabled Student Services Office in the East Union Bldg., Room 106 within the first two weeks of classes. The Disabled Student Services Office can also be reached in the following ways: Web: http://www.utep.edu/dsso Phone: (915) 747-5148 voice or TTY Fax: (915) 747-8712 E-Mail: dss@utep.edu
  • 4. COURSE SCHEDULE Schedule of Readings and Major Assignments Complete the reading assignments before the class for which they are assigned, and be prepared to participate in discussion. Major Assignment Due Dates (subject to adjustment) 3/3 Mid-Term Examination 4/21 Report on Current Scholarship in Business/Tech Communication 4/21-4/30 Oral/Visual Presentations 4/30 Final Project/Proposal and Project Assessment Memo 5/5 (1:00-3:45 p.m.) Final Exam Spring 2008 Calendar (subject to adjustment) 1/14 Course Preliminaries—syllabus and introductions—buy books! 1/16 Introduction to Business/Organizational Writing—Philosophies and Methods Spinuzzi, C. (2006). What do we need to teach about knowledge work? Computer Writing and Research Lab, White Paper Series. Spinuzzi, C. (2007). Guest editor’s introduction: Technical communication in the age of distributed work. TCQ 16 (3), 265-277. 1/21 NO CLASSES – MARTIN LUTHER KING HOLIDAY 1/23 Brummett, B. (1979). Three meanings of epistemic rhetoric. SCA Convention. Emig, J. (1982). Inquiry paradigms and writing. College Composition and Communication 33 (1), 64-75 WebCT Reading Response Due 1/28 Faber Ch. 1 1/30 Faber Ch. 2 WebCT Reading Response Due 2/4 Faber Ch. 3 2/6 Faber Ch. 4 WebCT Reading Response Due 2/11 Faber Ch. 4 (cont.) 2/13 NO CLASS – INSTRUCTOR AT CONFERENCE
  • 5. 2/18 Winsor, D. (2006). Using writing to structure agency: An examination of engineers’ practice. TCQ 15 (4), 411-30. WebCT Reading Response Due 2/20 Faber Ch. 5 2/25 Faber Ch. 6 WebCT Reading Response Due 2/27 Faber Ch. 7 (pp. 166-181) 3/3 Mid-Term Examination 3/5 Introduction to Case Analysis, Projects, and common Business Writing/ Organizational Communication Practices 3/10 Walker Ch. 1, Ch. 8 (pp. 208-217) 3/12 Walker Ch. 2 3/17 Walker Ch. 3 Case Analysis/Workplace Application Due 3/19 NO CLASS – INSTRUCTOR AT CONFERENCE 3/21 NO CLASS – GOOD FRIDAY 3/24-3/28 NO CLASS – SPRING BREAK 3/31 NO CLASS – CESAR CHAVEZ DAY 4/2 Walker Ch. 4 Case Analysis/Workplace Application Due 4/7 Walker Ch. 5 Case Analysis/Workplace Application Due 4/9 Walker Ch. 6 Case Analysis/Workplace Application Due
  • 6. 4/14 Walker Ch. 7 Case Analysis/Workplace Application Due 4/16 Walker Ch. 8 Kostelnick, C. (1988). A systematic approach to visual language in business communication. JBC 25 (3), 29-48. 4/21 Oral/Visual Presentations 4/23 Oral/Visual Presentations 4/28 Oral/Visual Presentations 4/30 Oral/Visual Presentations Final Projects Due 5/5 (1-3:45 p.m.) Final Exam For course or program information, contact Dr. Helen Foster, Director of Rhetoric and Writing Studies, 101 Vowell Hall 747-6623