schedule of classes
English 305.01 • Fall 2001 • MWF 11:00-11:50 • Coulter 105
Dr. Mary Adams • Office: Coulter 409 • Hours: MWF 10-11, and by
Phone: 227-3921 on campus.
M. Jimmie Killingsworth and Jacqueline Palmer. Information in
Action: A Guide to Technical Communication. 2nd edition.
Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1999. (rental)
Meade, Jim. RoboHELP for Dummnies. (purchase)
Sabin, William. The Gregg Reference Manual. 9th edition.
Guides and Resources:
This course is an intensive introduction to technical writing. It
is designed for students who may have writing experience but no technical
training or for students who have technical backgrounds but need to
learn to write effectively about technical subjects. In this course
you will learn to write for audiences who want clear explanations
about complicated processes or concepts.
You will begin with basic business and technical communications and
move quickly toward technical reports, manuals, and proposals. You
will learn to use computer spreadsheets, databases, and presentation
software to produce technical documents. You will learn to work collaboratively
and effectively on real-world technical projects. Your final collaborative
effort will be an interactive help application designed with RoboHELP,
one of the leading Web Help applications.
When you finish this course, you will have an impressive portfolio
of work that will demonstrate your writing ability, your ability to
work in groups, and your competency in a wide range of computer applications.
You will have completed a professional resume, created two separate
web pages, and c onducted a job search to illustrate your potential
as an employee.
- By the end of the semester you should have a working familiarity
with Microsoft Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint, Netscape Navigator,
basic HTML, and the fundamentals of Web page construction. You will
also become familiar with Web HELP applications.
- You should also be able to write technical communications clearly
and without error for a variety of audiences and purposes.
- You should be able to collaborate effectively on technical communications
projects as a team member.
- You will create a personal resume, cover letter, professional
portfolio, and home pages.
- You should be able to edit your own and others’ writing for grammar,
emphasis, voice, clarity, and grace.
- You should know how create and publish technical documents using
a variety of genres, including reports, instructions, audience analysis,
assessments, proposals, manuals, and information sheets.
- You will create a portfolio of your work which will incorporate
all the work done for the class.
- You will carry out the tasks expected of you by our clients.
- 50%: Individual assignments (exercises, minutes, resume (print
and HTML), job letter, audience-action analysis, white paper, instruction
set (paper and RoboHELP)
- 40%: Linked Group assignments (Report--feasability study or purchase
recommendation; Proposal--plan to solve a problem or funding request;
Documentation; Interactive tutorial or help file)
- 10%: work log; final assessment, portfolio
The class will meet in the computer classroom in Coulter 105, and
you will be expected to do almost all of your work on a computer.
Because the class is to be run like a business, you are responsible
to our customers, to others you work with, and to your supervisor
(me). You should notify your team if you are going to miss a class.
If you miss more than three classes, you will lose 5 points. If you
do not meet your obligations to your team, you will not receive full
credit for the work.
I take assignments seriously. I expect your writing assignments to
be written as clearly as possible and without error.
If you have a project, do what your team needs you to do and do it
the best you can do. If you need help, just ask for it. I will also
expect you to read about 40-60 pages from week to week.
Policies and Requirements:
- You must have completed Composition 101 and 102.
- You must have a computer account.Go to Forsythe basement if you
do not know your password or if your account has been disabled.
- You will need to provide at least two diskettes (IBM format)
to save your work.You can also use a zip disk. Label all your disks
with your name and contact information.
- More than 3 absences for any reason will lower your grade a minimum
of 5 points per absence.
- Late assignments will not be accepted!
- Misspelled words and mechanical errors will not be permitted
in documents for the public.
- Papers marked "Revise" must be revised before they receive a
- You will be required to work in a team and collaborate in your
work. You will evaluate your team’s work and the work of your team
- The class is structured as a workshop. Consequently your work
will be examined publicly.
- Participation and cooperation with others can add as much as
10 points to your final grade.
- Your final project will be to assemble a career portfolio in
two attractive notebooks.
- Do not use special software packages without asking me.