ESC-102 Technical Writing & Professional Communication

Spring Semester, 2010

 

Course

Description:     Technical Writing & Professional Communication teaches you how to plan, write, and revise different types of documents you will encounter in the business world. The course covers how to write documents that present technical information clearly and describes how to prepare and give oral presentations.

Prerequisite:    ENG-101 English I

Instructor:       Lauri Burkons

                        (330) 338-7064 (cell)

                        lburkons@neo.rr.com

Textbooks:      A Guide to Writing as an Engineer, Third Edition

David Beer and David McMurrey

John Wiley & Sons, Inc, 2009

The Everyday Writer, Third Edition

Andrea A. Lunsford

Beford/St. Martins, 2004

Course            The goals of this course are as follows:

Objectives:      ► Provide an overview of technical writing

► Improve students writing for readability, clarity, and development of logical argument

► Ensure students understand acceptable ethical standards in writing and appropriately document sources of information

► Introduce students to various media for information research

► Enable students to development effective communication skills through written and verbal means

Grading:          The following lists the weight of each required activity during the semester:

Short writing assignments & in-class exercises              Þ                                   20%

1 informal report (3-5 pages)                                              Þ                                   10%

1 comprehensive project                                                     Þ                                   25%

(15 page group proposal/formal report + group presentation)

Mid-term Examination                                                         Þ                                   20%

Final Examination                                                                Þ                                   25%

       You must maintain an average performance level (C or better) in the application of the elements of standard written English to receive a passing grade.

       Class attendance is important. Some classes include in-class exercises, which relate to the graded assignments.

       Failure to attend class during group presentation sessions will affect your comprehensive project grade.

       Late assignments incur a half grade demerit.

Please turn off cell phones, pagers, and all other communication devices during class.


Course Outline

Week

Date

Main Topic(s)

In-Class Exercise(s)

Writing Assignments

Reading Assignments

Due Today

1

Tu., Jan. 19

Course Overview

Class Expectations

Introduction to Technical Writing

Student information forms

Exercise 1 – Write a one page explanation of your major and area of focus, as well as why you chose it as a major

Chapters 1 & 2

 

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Th., Jan. 21

Business and technical writing basics

Grammar review

Mechanics

Punctuation

Parts of speech

Vocabulary

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Chapter 3

 

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2

Tu., Jan. 26

Words, sentences, and paragraphs

Paragraph rewrite

Exercise 2 – Rewrite exercise 1

Chapter 11

Exercise 1

Th., Jan. 28

Plagiarism

Copyright, Trademarks

Documenting sources

Citing sources

Vocabulary

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3

Tu., Feb. 2

How Do I Start?

Identifying Your Reader

Establishing Your Purpose

Brainstorming

Outlines

Identify your reader

Establish your purpose

Create an outline

Exercise 3 – Identify a summer job for which you want to apply – bring contact and job information to next class

Chapters 4 & 10

 

Exercise 2

Th., Feb. 4

Letters, memos

E-mail messages

Job search communication

Choosing the medium

Vocabulary

Exercise 4 – Write the cover letter for your summer job application

Chapter 5

 

Exercise 3

4

Tu., Feb. 9

Common engineering documents, Part 1:

-   Inspection & trip reports

-   Lab & field reports

-   Recommendations reports

Formatting an informal report

Exercise 5 – Recommendation report

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Exercise 4

Th., Feb 11

Common engineering documents, Part 2:

-   Specifications

-   Progress reports

Parts of a progress report

Vocabulary

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Chapter 6

 

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5

Tu., Feb. 16

Engineering reports, Part 1

Body content

Abstract versus executive summary

Exercise 6 – Write an abstract for the provided report

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Exercise 5

Th., Feb. 18

Engineering reports, Part 2

 

Introductions

Conclusions

Vocabulary

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6

Tu., Feb. 23

 

Instructions

 

Writing instructions

Exercise 7 – Instructions to complete a task

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Exercise 6

Th., Feb. 25

Proposals

Parts of a proposal

Proposal formats

Vocabulary

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7

Tu., Mar. 2

Review for mid-term exam

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Exercise 7

Tu., Mar. 4

MID-TERM EXAM

Chapter 7

 

8

Tu., Mar. 9

Tables

Graphics

-   Illustrations

-   Charts

Photographs

 

Exercise 8 – Add tables and graphics to your exercise 7 assignment

Chapter 8

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Th., Mar. 11

Research

Gather information

Internet research

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9

March 8-12

SPRING BREAK

10

Tu., Mar. 23

Working on teams

Individual contributions

Running effective meetings

Teamwork exercises

Comprehensive Project scenarios

Chapter 9

Exercise 8

Th., Mar. 25

Preparing presentations

Group meetings

Vocabulary

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11

Tu., Mar. 30

PowerPoint

Create a 4-slide Powerpoint presentation (group activity)

Exercise 9 – Create a 10 slide Powerpoint presentation – include graphics

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Th., Apr. 1

Speaking skills

Public speaking exercises

Vocabulary

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12

Tu., Apr. 6

New Internet media, Part 1

-   Forums

-   Instant messaging

-   Blogs

Selecting a blog subject

Group meetings

Exercise 10 – Write a blog post

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Exercise 9

Th., Apr. 8

New Internet media, Part 2

-   Social media

-   Screen-sharing software

LinkedIn accounts

Vocabulary

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13

Tu., Apr. 13

Group Meetings

Final edit of report/ proposal

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Exercise 10

Th., Apr. 15

Group Presentations

Presentation review form

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Group report/proposal

14

Tu., Apr. 20

Group Presentations

Presentation review form

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Th., Apr. 22

Group Presentations

Presentation review form

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15

Tu., Apr. 27

Group Presentations

Presentation review form

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Th., Apr. 29

Group Presentations

Presentation review form

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16

Tu., May 4

Group Presentations

Presentation review form

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Th., May 7

Course Wrap-up

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17

Th., May 13

Session 1 (T/Th 10-11:30) FINAL EXAM 8:30-10:30 am

Tu., May 11

Session 2 (T/Th 1-2:30) FINAL EXAM 1-3 pm

Tu., May 11

Session 3 (T/Th 4-5:30) FINAL EXAM 406 pm