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Technical and Professional Writing I

Course Number: WR 227
Transcript Title: Technical/Profession WR 1
Created: September 1, 2012
Updated: December 19, 2014
Total Credits: 4
Lecture Hours: 40
Lecture / Lab Hours: 0
Lab Hours: 0
Satisfies Cultural Literacy requirement: No
Satisfies General Education requirement: No
Grading options: A-F (default), audit

Prerequisites

WR 121, basic computer literacy, and intermediate word processing skills

Course Description

Introduces technical and professional communications. Students compose, design, revise, and edit effective letters, memos, reports, descriptions, instructions, and employment documents Emphasizes precise use of language and graphics to communicate complex technical and procedural information safely, legally and ethically. Prerequisites: WR 121, basic computer literacy, and intermediate word processing skills. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes

Outcomes for this course require working through multiple drafts of several pieces of writing with time to separate the acts of writing and revising; in addition, the reading outcomes require time to read, reread, reflect, respond, interpret, analyze, and evaluate. Upon completion of WR 227 with a "C" or better, the student will be able to:

  1. Read, interpret, analyze, and evaluate complex technical and professional documents and visuals.
  2. Design and produce the most commonly used business/professional communications.
  3. Design and produce the most commonly used technical communications.
  4. Design and produce communications specifically tailored to a number of different audiences who have diverse educational, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds, and who have various levels of expertise.
  5. Design and produce communications that include visuals that are accurate, ethical, and accessible and from which more than one audience can extract the information quickly and easily.
  6. Work and problem solve effectively with others to achieve a common communication goal, using collaborative techniques, respecting the work of colleagues, and meeting deadlines; listen and speak reflectively.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment tasks include the following:

  • Weekly or twice-weekly writing assignments.
  • Attendance in class and at three instructor conferences.
  • Active, positive participation in class and in small group activities.
  • Meeting assignment deadlines.

Many instructors may have students submit a portfolio of the best revised versions of each of their written assignments at the end of the term for final evaluation. Oral reports, in-class interviews, or group presentations may also contribute to the final grade. Instructors may require in-class writing assignments and exams. Peer evaluation may be incorporated in the assessment process.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts, Issues

  • Appropriate formats and writing styles for various types of technical and professional communications
  • Audience analysis
  • Communication with international audiences
  • Document design
  • Documentation
  • Dynamics of collaborative work
  • Editing
  • Incorporation of graphics
  • Interviewing
  • Legal and ethical issues in technical and professional communications
  • Readability analysis
  • Researching
  • Revision cycle
  • Safety Messages
  • Style guides
  • Summarizing
  • Usability testing

Competencies and Skills

  • For Outcome 1:
    • Reading, interpreting, analyzing, and evaluating complex technical and professional documents and visuals.
  • For Outcomes 2 and 3:
    • Understanding the differences between and the appropriate audience and purpose for the most common types of technical and professional communication.
    • Composing, designing, revising and editing the most common types of technical and professional communications.
    • Researching primary and secondary sources, including the Internet.
    • Documenting source.
  • For Outcome 4:
    • Analyzing audience and purpose.
    • Incorporating audience feedback.
    • Selecting graphics appropriate for the targeted audience.
    • Selecting formatting options to create accessible, readable, ethical, and visually interesting documents for different audiences.
  • For Outcome 5:
    • Understanding different types of graphics and appropriate uses.
    • Editing page layout, text and visuals for:
      • Conciseness
      • Preciseness
      • Clarity
      • Legal and ethical issues
      • Safety International audiences
      • Inclusiveness
  • For Outcome 6:
    • Working and problem solving with others to achieve a common communication goal, using collaborative techniques, respecting the work of colleagues, and meeting deadlines; listening and speaking reflectively.