Technical Writing

Course Details

Course Number: 3203  Section Number: 204

Spring 2013

Location: Bea Wood Hall

Classroom Number: 117

Days & Times:

TR 2 - 3:20 p.m.



Course Attachments

  Syllabus 3203-20130118-154501.pdf

Textbooks

MSU Faculty Member
Anna Lerew-Phillips   
view Profile »

Course Objectives

 

Course

description

The purposes and practice of expository writing in the professions, with particular emphasis on writing related to each student’s major. Topics include audience analysis, communication ethics, collaboration, information design, technical editing, and professional genres (letters, e-mails, memos, instructions, proposals, reports, and presentation software).

 

Departmental learning goals addressed in course

Critical Inquiry (Objective 1.1): Students engage in an increasingly sophisticated discourse and demonstrate aesthetic and critical discernment through close textual analysis. (Objective 1.2): Students evaluate secondary sources and apply skills in information gathering and management, and document design, using traditional sources and emerging technologies.

 

Knowledge of Language and Literature (Objective 2.1): Students understand the usage and structure of the English language. (Objective 2.4): Students are introduced to seminal academic and professional publications in the field of technical and professional communication.

 

Writing as Process (Objective 3.1): Students reflect on their arguments over multiple stages of development. (Objective 3.2): Students reference and format primary and secondary sources using any one style manual consistently.

 

Engagement (Objective 4.1): Students are aware of a cultural context for their own values and those of their sources.

 

Course learning outcomes and measurements

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Analyze communication contexts rhetorically by understanding audiences, purposes, and situations. Measurement: Completion of course reading assignments, and successful completion of individual assignments and collaborative projects.
  • Analyze and apply the ethical responsibilities involved in technical communication. Measurement: Completion of course reading assignments, observation and evaluation of face-to-face and online asynchronous discussions, and successful completion of individual assignments and collaborative projects.
  • Write effective, meaningful technical prose. Measurement: Successful completion of individual assignments and collaborative projects.
  • Apply concepts of information design to create convincing and usable documents. Measurement: Successful completion of individual assignments and collaborative projects.
  • Create technical documents that solve problems and improve situations through communication. Measurement: Successful completion of individual assignments and collaborative projects.
  • Communicate effectively with a diverse audience. Measurement: Observation and evaluation of face-to-face and online asynchronous discussions, completion of proposal presentation, and successful completion of individual and collaborative projects.

 

 


Grading Standards

 

Grading system

100 - 90% — A 

   89 - 80% — B 

   79 - 70% — C 

   69 - 60% — D 

        < 60% — F 

 

Graded assignments will not be accepted more than 48 hours after the original due date; additionally, the grade for the assignment will drop 10% for each day that it is late.

 

 

Graded course assignments

Description

Points

Weight

Totals

       

 

Team participation

 

Group /team member evaluations

 

5

 

   5

       

 

Individual assignments

 

  • Job app. materials
  • Research report
  • Editing exam
  • Instructions

 

10

25

10

5

 

 

 

 

   50

       

 

Collaborative assignments

 

  • Proposal 
  • Proposal presentation (slides)

 

 

  • Completion/recommendation report
  • Team web site
  • Final presentation (poster)

 

 

10

5

 

20

 

5

5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   45

Negative points

Negative points are scored for absences or tardies (i.e., arriving late to class or leaving class early):

 

 -1   points for two absentees

 -3   points for three absentees

 -4   points for four absentees

 

Two tardies are counted as one absence. Arriving 15 minutes late or leaving 15 minutes before class ends counts as an absence.

 

Five absences or tardies: student is subject to being dropped from the course.

   
 

Maximum possible points

 

100

 

 


Submission Format PolicyNote: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Graded assignments will not be accepted more than 48 hours after the original due date; additionally, the grade for the assignment will drop 10% for each day that it is late.


Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

 

Negative points

Negative points are scored for absences or tardies (i.e., arriving late to class or leaving class early):

 

 -1   points for two absentees

 -3   points for three absentees

 -4   points for four absentees

 

Two tardies are counted as one absence. Arriving 15 minutes late or leaving 15 minutes before class ends counts as an absence.

 

Five absences or tardies: student is subject to being dropped from the course.

 

 


Other Policies

 

 

Academic

dishonesty

 

All students are expected to adhere to the Midwestern State University Student Honor Creed when completing any work for this course. When using the content or ideas of others, both published and unpublished sources, students must use accepted documentation conventions (e.g., APA or MLA). See the MSU Student Handbook (attached to course website) to read the Student Honor Creed (4) and the university's policy on academic dishonesty (71). 

 

Professionalism

 

Members of this class are expected to treat one another with courtesy, professionalism, and respect. Repeated unprofessional, rude, or inappropriate behavior will result in a conference with the instructors.  If the behavior continues, the result will be an automatic F for the course.

 

 

Americans with

Disabilities Act

 

Midwestern State University is committed to providing equal access for qualified students with disabilities to all university courses and programs, and by law, all students with disabilities are guaranteed a learning environment that provides reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. 

 

This guarantee is provided through Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA reads: "No qualified individual with a disability shall, by reason of such disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of a public entity, or be subject to discrimination by any such entity."

 

To obtain disability support services, students must

 

  • be accepted for admission to Midwestern State University,
  • complete a request for services form available through the Office of Disability Services,  and
  • provide current documentation from a qualified professional (such as a licensed physician, psychologist, audiologist, etc.) diagnosing the disability, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

 

For information on Disability Services at Midwestern State University see the following: http://students.mwsu.edu/disability/  

 

If the instructor does not have proper notification, she will expect the same performance from each student enrolled in the course.

 

 


Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at http://academics.mwsu.edu/wpr, or call 397-4131.