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3359 Syllabus


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3359 Syllabus

  1. 1. English 3359: Technical Writing CRN:14850 Time/Days: 10:30 A.M. – 11:20 A.M., Monday/Wednesday/Friday Place: 313 Hudspeth Hall Professor: Christie Daniels E-mail: Phone:915.747.6242 Office Hours: 10:30 A.M. – 12:30 P.M. Tuesday 2:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. Monday and Tuesday Office Location: 103 Vowell Hall Course Description This course introduces you to principles and methods of technical writing and provides you with skills that improve your ability to communicate through a variety of technical documents. We will examine a number of writing and design principles and learn a variety of technical genre. The aims of this course include your ability to:  learn technical writing principles and methods by reading & discussing textbook;  critically read technical documents via analysis of sample documents;  learn a variety of technical genre by engaging in the production of technical materials; and  hone your writing skills by utilizing various strategies in various stages of the writing process We will be discussing the significance of other topics as well, including technology, the World Wide Web, visual rhetoric, and other areas of interest that you hold. Though this is not a theory driven course, we will be theorizing production, primarily through in-class discussion and exercises derived from simulations or “cases” provided by the textbook and other web materials. Required Texts & Materials Technical Communication Today (2nd ed.) by Richard Johnson-Sheehan Assignments & Projects Group Instruction project (print version) 150 points Instruction project (web version) 150 points Presentation of instruction project 100 points Final project (research proposal) 200 points Presentation of final project 100 points DANIELS ENGLISH 3359 – FALL 2008 1
  2. 2. Individual Web Analysis Paper 100 points Project Assessment Memo for Instruction Project 50 points Presentation Evaluations (5) for Instruction Project 50 points Usability Test for Instruction Project 100 points Project Assessment Memo for Instruction Project 50 points Midterm Examination 200 points Annotated Bibliography for Final Project 100 points Project Assessment Memo for Final Project 50 points Presentation Evaluations (5) for Final Project 50 points Final Examination 200 points Minimum Total Points Possible 1500 points Grading Each or your projects will be assessed by how well you complete the assignment and the general quality of your writing. Final grades will be determined using the following percentage scale: A = 90-100% B = 80-89% C = 70-79% D = 60-69% F = <60% Attendance and Other Policies Attendance is mandatory (simple, isn’t it?). Regular attendance is essential to success in the course, as we may begin or complete several assignments in class.  If you have 6 absences before the published drop date, you will be dropped and receive a W for the course.  If you have 6 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. DANIELS ENGLISH 3359 – FALL 2008 2
  3. 3. Compositions You are expected to produce high-quality sophisticated documents. A part of that quality is the appearance of your work. Neatness, visual appeal, and mechanical and grammatical correctness do matter–– though they do not by themselves guarantee that a text is well made. Your out-of- class assignments should be composed in a high-quality form. Your written documents should have appropriate margins, spacing, pagination, and formatting. Your productions in other media should be well designed. Your documents should adhere to either MLA or APA Style. 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 for further information. 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: Phone: (915) 747-5148 voice or TTY Fax: (915) 747-8712 E-Mail: DANIELS ENGLISH 3359 – FALL 2008 3
  4. 4. Weekly Schedule (Provisional -- Subject to change) DATE MAJOR ASSIGNMENTS DUE M August 25 Introduction/Policies/Syllabus W August 27 Read both Spinuzzi articles F August 29 Read Ch. 1 Communicating in the Workplace M September 1 LABOR DAY—NO CLASS W September 3 Read Ch. 2 Tech. Writing Process F September 5 WEB ANALYSIS DUE; Read Ch. 3 Readers and Contexts of Use M September 8 Read Ch. 4 Working in Teams W September 10 Read Ch. 5 Ethics in the Technical Workplace F September 12 Read Ch. 9 Using Plain and Persuasive Style M September 15 Read Ch. 10 Designing Documents and Interfaces W September 17 Read Ch. 11 Creating and Using Graphics F September 19 Read Ch. 12 Revising and Editing for Usability M September 22 Read Ch. 13 E-mail and IM W September 24 Read Ch. 14 Designing Websites; F September 26 In Class Website Workshop M September 29 Website Design Workshop in Class Part II W October 1 Read Ch. 18 Technical Definitions F October 3 Read Ch. 19 Technical Descriptions M October 6 Read Ch. 20 Instructions W October 8 Read Ch. 16 Presentations F October 10 GROUP WORKSHOP DAY for INSTRUCTION PROJECTS M October 13 INSTRUCTION PROJECT PRESENTATIONS W October 15 INSTRUCTION PROJECT PRESENTATIONS F October 17 INSTRUCTION PROJECT PRESENTATIONS; INSTRUCTION PROJECT ASSESSMENT MEMO DUE M October 20 Read Ch. 15 Starting Your Career; INSTRUCTION PROJECT & INSTRUCTION USABILITY TEST DUE W October 22 Read Ch. 21 Proposals F October 24 INSTRUCTION PRESENTATION EVALUATIONS DUE; MIDTERM EXAMINATION M October 27 WORKSHOP DAY FOR FINAL PROJECT W October 29 Read Ch. 6 Persuasion and Planning F October 31 Read Ch. 7 Researching and Managing Information AND Appendix C DANIELS ENGLISH 3359 – FALL 2008 4
  5. 5. M November 3 Read Ch. 8 Organizing and Drafting W November 5 Read Ch. 17 Letters and Memos F November 7 ANNOTATED BIBLIOGRAPHY FOR FINAL PROJECT DUE; Read Ch. 22 Activity Reports M November 10 Read Ch. 23 Analytical Reports W November 12 Read Appendix A: Comma Splice, Run-on Sentence, Fragment Dangling Modifiers F November 14 Read Appendix A: Subject-Verb and Pronoun-Ant. Disagreement, Faulty Par., Pronoun Case Err., Shifted Tense, Vague Pronoun M November 17 PROJECT ASSESSMENT MEMO FOR FINAL PROJECT DUE; Read Appendix A: Punctuation Refresher, Period, etc. (A-9) W November 19 Read Appendix A: Commas, Semicolon, and Colon F November 21 Read Appendix A: Apostrophe, Quot. Marks, Dashes/Hyphens, Paren./Brackets, Ellipses M November 24 FINAL PROJECT PRESENTATIONS W November 26 WORKSHOP DAY FOR FINAL PROJECT F November 28 THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY – NO CLASS M December 1 FINAL PROJECT PRESENTATIONS W December 3 FINAL PROJECT PRESENTATIONS; FINAL PROJECTS DUE F December 5 DEAD DAY – NO CLASS; FINAL PRESENTATION EVALUATIONS DUE FINAL EXAMINATION = Friday, December 12, 2008@10:00 A.M. DANIELS ENGLISH 3359 – FALL 2008 5