Course: ENGL 3260Division: Humanities
Department: English & Philosophy
Title: Technical Communication
Semester Approved: Fall 2017
Five-Year Review Semester: Fall 2022
End Semester: Fall 2023
Catalog Description: This course focuses on professional, scientific, governmental, and technical discourse, including memos, letters, process descriptions, instructions, reports, and others in both print and digital media. Students will develop skills in audience awareness and rhetorical analysis, clarity and precision of expression, and document/visual design.
Semesters Offered: TBA
Credit/Time Requirement: Credit: 3; Lecture: 3; Lab: 0
Prerequisites: ENGL 2010 or equivalent
Justification: A solid background in technical communication is a practical necessity for any student anticipating a career in business, science, social services, non-profit administration, and many other areas. This course is required as part of the B.S. degree in Software Engineering at Snow College but will be valuable to other students who need a technical writing course as part of their major requirements. We anticipate that this course will articulate easily to other USHE schools. The course is most like ENGL 3120, Writing in the Sciences, at Southern Utah University; ENGL 3010, Writing in the Professions, at Dixie State University; and ENGR 3080, Technical Communication for Engineers, at Utah State University.
Student Learning Outcomes:
Students will develop their abilities to craft written communication for specific audiences and specific purposes. Students will demonstrate this development through their writing assignments, reflection activities, and class discussion.
Students will develop their abilities to write clearly, cogently, and precisely in a variety of rhetorical situations common to business, professional, and technical settings. Students will demonstrate this development through their writing assignments, reflection activities, and class discussion.
Students will understand the seriousness of plagiarism, especially in professional situations, and how to integrate and cite outside information according to the conventions of the rhetorical situation. Students will demonstrate this learning through their planning, drafting, and revising of course writing assignments.
Students will explore ethical issues related to technical communication including source attribution, consideration of safety issues, credibility, and brand management. Students will demonstrate this learning through their planning, drafting, and revising of course writing assignments.
Students will manage visual information as part of written communication in ways that account for audience needs and clarity of expression. Students will demonstrate this learning through their written assignments.
Students will consider the different rhetorical choices in digital vs. print media. Students will demonstrate this learning through their written assignments.
Students will learn principles of effective document design and how design choices require consideration of rhetorical contexts. Students will demonstrate this learning though their written assignments.
Technical writing will cover elements of rhetoric, genre, audience, purpose, and clarity of expression. Students will plan, draft, and revise a variety of professional style documents. They will also explore writing with visual elements, designing effective documents, and writing for digital and print venues. Students will also be required to present written information in an oral presentation. The course will be taught with an emphasis on class discussion, in- and out-of-class writing assignments, and many opportunities for peer review. Students will be invited in increase their skills in technical communication rather than simply memorize content for exams.
Key Performance Indicators:
Students will demonstrate their learning in the class by a variety of assignments. Instructors will use the following as a guideline for weighting those assignments:
Formal, written assignments, 40-60%
Analysis of written, sample documents, 20-30%
Other assignments such as oral presentations, writing exercises, peer reviews, etc., 20-30%
Representative Text and/or Supplies:
An instructor may choose from a variety of textbooks (or other resources). A representative sample is Mike Markel, Technical Communication, current edition.
Maximum Class Size: 25
Optimum Class Size: 18