ENGL 2333: Technical Writing Fall 2000

 

 

ENGL 2333: Technical Writing Fall 2000

Class Meeting Times: TR 2:30-3:45

Class Location: BH 201

Faculty: Dr. Dial-Driver

Office: BH 201A

Office Hours: ARR

Phone/Voice Mail: (918) 343-7747

E-Mail: edial-driver@rsu.edu

Course Description (RSU Catalog)

ENGL 2333: Technical Writing--In-depth study of technical writing required in business and science careers and in graduate schools. Focuses on forms of applied writing in each student's area of specialization.

Course Prerequisites: none

Course Introduction

Technical Writing introduces the student to business and science writing in various forms. It will concentrate on enabling the student to write in his/her own field. Since it is a writing course, it will concentrate on writing projects. In addition to writing, various exercises are included as well as tests.

An ability to read critically and carefully is also important since this is a heavily text-based course.

Textbooks and Resources

Dial-Driver, Emily. Guide to College Writing. Dallas: McGraw-Hill,1999.

Harnack, Andrew, and Eugene Kleppinger. Online! A Reference

Guide to Using Internet Sources. Boston: Bedford/St.

Martinís, 2000.

Lannon, John. Technical Communication. 8th ed. New York:

Longman, 2000.

Library Materials

Materials relating to this course, including the textbooks, are on reserve in Thunderbird Library.

 

Teaching Methods and Evaluation Instruments

You will take several quizzes. Other than the tests, your grade will be based on threaded discussions, writing assignments, and your responses to other studentsí assignments.

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

In accordance with the Rogers State University mission and the mission of the Department of Communications and Fine Arts, this course leads to the following outcomes:

  1. Technical Writing is designed for those students aspiring to associateís or baccalaureate degrees.
  2. Technical Writing is designed to build and display effective communication skills and creative and critical thinking in an atmosphere of academic freedom which encourages interaction in a positive academic climate.
  3. This course is designed to create opportunities for cultural, intellectual, and personal enrichment for students.

 

Student Outcomes

 

The student should be able to demonstrate ability toó

  1. create technical documents that are appropriate to the topic, audience, and purpose for the document
  2. use research techniques to find information and incorporate that research in documents
  3. use visual and supplemental materials to enhance documents in his/her field
  4. produce documents that reveal critical thinking skills.

 

By the end of the semester students will have

Assessment Tool

Student Outcome Measured

Objective Measured

written technical documents

1, 2, 3, 4

1, 2, 3

written technical documents based on research

1, 2, 2, 4

1, 2, 3

practiced exercises

1, 4

1, 2, 3

taken quizzes

1, 4

1, 2, 3

responded to other studentsí documents

1, 2, 3, 4

1, 2, 3

Mid-Level (Class Assessment): Students will be assessed on their ability to write technical documents and to respond to other studentsí comments and documents. Students will also take various quizzes.

 

Exit Assessment: Students will take an exit assessment of a short 50-75 minute test, producing a document and answering multiple-choice, fill-in-the-blank, and/or true/false questions.

Standards of Achievement

All student work will be held to the following academic criteria:

Accuracy of information

Organization and clarity of thoughts

Depth of critical thinking and observation

Satisfaction of defined requirements (deadlines, etc.)

Acceptable writing mechanics

Fidelity of work (no plagiarism, cheating, etc.)

Evidence of creative or innovative thinking

Effective cooperative learning

Grade Composition

Grades will be based on the following:

Assignment Type

Number of Assignments

Points per Assignment

Totals

Assignments

20/21* (you may omit one)

10 points each

200 points

Tests

13

10 points each

130 points

Final Examination

1

20 points each

20 points

Responses

20/21 (you may omit one)

5 points each

200 points

Projects

2 projects

25 points each

50 points

   

TOTAL

600 points

 

Activity

Points

Criteria

Tests

 

Score based on answers

Assignments

10 pts. ea.

Submitted in accordance with instructions

Mechanics 3 pts.

Content 2 pts.

Organization 1 pt.

Visuals 2 pts.

Documentation 1 pt.

Format 1 pt.

Projects

25 pts. ea.

Submitted in accordance with instructions

(Research project: you must submit hard copies of all research sources to receive any credit for the project.):

Mechanics 5 pts

Organization 5 pts.

Content 5 pts.

Documentation 5 pts.

Visuals 2 pts.

Sentence structure, voice, tone, diction 3 pts.

Response

5 pts. ea.

Submitted in accordance with instructions:

Thoughtful? 2 pts.

Complete? 2 pts.

Mechanics 1 pts.

Activity Types

You will be doing several kinds of activities. Most of them will require you to collaborate with other members of the class. Be sure to take the time to make a network with other class members. You can help each other immeasurably. In the business world, as in academics, law, medicine, etc., you will need to be able to work with other people. One of the ways you might have to work with others is in creating written documents. This class should help you begin to use this process.

Another kind of activity is called Assignments and could consist of doing exercises to which the answers are furnished or of creating documents of various kinds. If you are asked to create a document, you will need to have the work reviewed by at least one other member of the class. Then, using that personís comments as a basis, you can make revisions that should strengthen your submission.

Another kind of activity is comments or responses. This assignment will be embedded in the Assignment, which may specify that you are to respond to and/or comment on other studentsí work. Yet another kind of activity is the Project. This can be a large research project or a collaborative creative exercise.

This class is a valuable one for the future; in order for it to be most valuable to you, itís necessary to do a certain amount of writing. That may not be your idea of the best way to have a life, but it is useful!

 

Grading Scale and Academic Profiles

The Communications and Fine Arts Division has adopted a standard grading scale:

90-100% A

80- 89% B

70-79% C

60-69% D

59% and below

Grade

Descriptor

Description

A

Excellent

Students receiving an "A" can be considered to have exhibited extraordinary effort in class and scholarship exceeding the expectations of the instructor and to have exhibited most or all of the following: to have participated regularly (not missed more than one class meeting) and on time; to have participated fully in discussions, revealing personal initiative in both; to have used well-supported and well-structured logical arguments in essay and response; to have revealed a grasp of mechanics that prevents errors; to have revealed depth of critical thought and observation; to have exhibited timeliness in turning in assignments; to have revealed strong interest in intellectual, cultural, and personal growth by reading and discussing assigned material; to have shown consistent improvement in academics.

B

Above Average

Students receiving a "B" can be considered to have exhibited above-average effort in class, revealing noticeable improvement in academics, and showing accurate and complete scholarship. The student will have exhibited most or all of the following: have participated regularly (not missed more than two class meetings) and on time; have participated honestly and solidly in class discussion; have used supported and structured logical arguments in essay and response writing; have revealed a grasp of mechanics that prevents many errors; have revealed critical thought and observation; have exhibited a moderate grasp of timeliness in turning in assignments; have revealed interest in intellectual, cultural, and personal growth by reading and discussing assigned material.

C

Average

Students receiving a "C" can be considered to have exhibited average effort in class, performing satisfactorily but not above average, with some self-direction, and have shown signs of academic progress, meeting assignment parameters accurately. The student will have exhibited most or all of the following: participated regularly (not missed more than three class meetings) and on time; participated willingly in peer evaluations and in class discussion; have used supported and structured arguments in essay writing and responses; have revealed an average grasp of mechanics that prevents most errors; have revealed average critical thought and observation; have exhibited a moderate grasp of timeliness in turning in assignments; have revealed average interest in intellectual, cultural, and personal growth by reading and discussing assigned material.

D

Below Average

Students receiving a "D" can be considered to have exhibited some effort in class, but not enough to show fully engagement with the subject and with the course material, showing little or no initiative and academic improvement, and not meeting the scholarship requirements of assignments. The student will have exhibited most or all of the following: have participated somewhat in class discussion; have participated in all but four class meetings and usually on time; have used some structured and supported arguments in essay writing and responses; have revealed a sub-standard grasp of mechanics that prevents only some errors; have revealed below average critical thought and observation; have exhibited some grasp of timeliness in turning in assignments; have revealed below average interest in intellectual, cultural, and personal growth by reading and discussing assigned material; have not met the scholarship requirements of assignments; have not shown initiative; have not revealed academic improvement.

F

Unsatisfactory

Students receiving an "F" can be considered to have exhibited little or no desire to pass the course. This will usually involve poor participation (missed more than four class meetings) and little or no effort to attempt improvement as well as scholarship deficiencies and lack of effort to complete assignments.

Sample Documents

The Guide to College Writing includes essays and other documents in an appendix. Some examples are included in the body of the chapters. Lannon also includes examples in the text he has written. Some document example are included in Online! Each lesson will include links to examples and resources on the Internet.

 

Important Considerations

Come to class prepared, having read the material to be discussed, ready to discuss and participate, bringing appropriate supplies, such as texts, paper, pen, etc.

Essays should be typed. Other assignments should be typed or written on the front of loose-leaf notebook paper in ink. (No spiral notebook paper or papers written in pencil will be accepted.)

All assignments should be properly assembled to hand in at the beginning of the class period in which they are due. Do not expect time to finish or to assemble assignments during class.

I prefer that you not use ANY tobacco products in the classroom OR wear hats or caps.

Do not bring pagers or cell phones with audible notifications into the classroom.

Failure to comply with these requests will be seen as denoting lack of respect for the class, the instructor, and your classmates.

 

Communication Protocol

Most of your papers will require peer comment and evaluation. Please be prepared to furnish copies to class members.

Please do not email me more than two times per week.

 

Communications and Fine Arts Policy on Plagiarism

Plagiarism is a form of academic dishonesty. Plagiarism is representing someone else's ideas or work as your own. To avoid plagiarism, when you use someone else's data, arguments, designs, words, ideas, project, etc., you must make it clear that the work originated with someone else by citing the source. Please review the Student Code of Responsibilities and Conduct published by Rogers State University for a full discussion of "Code of Academic Conduct" and plagiarism penalties.

* NOTE: The contents of Web sites listed are not certified by Rogers State University and/or the instructor and the information may not be accurate. The sites may contain information, presentation, perceptions, and/or attitudes that are not the views of Rogers State University and/or the instructor. In addition, sites and information on sites are subject to change and/or deletion without warning. You should also know that neither Rogers State University nor the instructor of this course intends that you violate the copyright of the web page by downloading the page in its entirety or by using the information in any way that will infringe on the copyright of the person or entity which posted the page.

 

Attendance Policy

Since this class involves interaction, you must attend regularly to benefit from and to contribute to those interactions. Since one of the class requirements is such participation, please understand that your grade will be affected by lack of participation. Due dates will apply. You will be penalized by 10% per day for late work.

 

Extra Credit and Late Work

No extra credit will be offered.

Late work will lose 10% per day. No late work will be accepted more than two weeks after the initial submission date.

 

Expectations

Failure to comply with these requests will be seen as denoting lack of respect for the class, the instructor, and your classmates.

 

Rogers State University ADA Statement

If you have special physical, psychiatric, or learning disabilities, please let me know immediately so that your learning needs may be appropriately met. You will need to provide documentation to the office of Student Relations, Prep. Hall 110.

 

Computer Writing Labs

Computers are available in the University Preparatory Academy, Thunderbird Library, and Student Support Services. Computers may also be available in BH 205.

 

Closure Statement

The schedule and procedures in this course are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances.

 

NOTE: Much of the structure and content of this course is based on material in John Lannonís Instructorís Manual with Transparency Masters to Accompany Technical Communication (8th edition).

 

An Open Letter to Students

 

Attending college is analogous to being employed. Success on the job is achieved only with hard work and effort. This is also true of college.

Your employer expects you to be on the job every day, on time, and prepared to work. You are allowed only a specific number of sick days each year after which your pay is "docked." This is also true in classes. Regular and prompt attendance/participation is essential.

Meetings are an essential part of the workplace culture, and everyone is expected to attend regularly and to contribute to the discussion. If you miss an excessive number of meetings and/or do not share information, your employment success is in jeopardy. The same holds true for this class. You are not only expected to attend all of our on-line "meetings," but you are expected to contribute to the discussion. This requires that you come prepared to discuss the assigned material. Failure to do so will put your success in jeopardy.

Your employer requires you to submit all reports on time. Failure to do so will endanger your employerís business and your success. The same is true for this class. All "reports" (papers, etc.) are due at the scheduled time (see syllabus). If, for a justified reason, you will not be able to meet the time schedule, you must notify me, just as you would contact your employer if you needed an extension. However, as in the workplace, such extensions do not come without a cost. Extensions result in a decrease in your "salary" (grade).

Performance reviews occur periodically in the workplace, and your employer determines the degree of your success during these reviews. Such is the case in this class. The "performance reviews" for this class are papers and other assignments. These reviews require you to show not only your knowledge of the material, but also your ability to use this knowledge. Your "pay" (grade) depends on the quality of your performance.

If you attend class regularly, participate in class discussions, and submit all materials, well prepared and in a timely fashion, you have the potential to excel in this class. I am looking forward to working with you and to learning with you. I am always available if you need assistance.

Good luck! Good writing!

 

adapted, with permission, from Bremer, Joyce C. "The Responsible Student." Innovation Abstracts 20.17 (4 Sep. 1998): 1.

 

Now that you have read the syllabus and are familiar with the class and its requirements, you should fill out and submit the student contract.

 

Student Contract for Technical Writing

 

Read each statement carefully, sign, and submit this contract. This contract must be on file for you to remain enrolled in the class.

I have read and understood the guidelines and requirements in the syllabus.

I understand that this class is for three hours college credit; this implies three hours of "class meeting." Even though I may not be required to be in "attendance" for that three hours, I understand I have a three-hour participation commitment.

I understand that each hour of college credit usually requires two or more hours per week study time outside of class. I understand that means I have a reading/study/research/writing commitment of six or more hours per week outside the three-hour participation requirement.

I understand that participation is required. I understand that part of that participation involves peer review of my papers and my review of other student papers.

I understand that this class involves deadlines.

I understand literary/academic/periodical/Internet selections for this class may contain controversial or "offensive" material; this is the nature of some works.

Name: ___________________________

Date: ___________________________

Signature: ____________________________