EN306A Prof Wrtng in the Disciplines: Scientific & Technical Writing

for U1LL 2005

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Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

CourseEN 306 Professional Writing in the Disciplines: Scientific and Technical Writing LR
FacultyAutrey, Karen S. (Ellis)
Degrees/CertificatesM.A. University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 1998
B.A. Hendrix College, 1992
A.S. Navarro College, 1990
Office LocationLRAFB
Office Hoursby appointment or by e-mail
Daytime Phone501.351.5425 (emergency only)
Other Phonenone
Semester DatesMay 16 -- July 10, 2005
Class Days-M-W---
Class Time6:00 - 9:00 PM
PerquisitesEN 105, EN 106, passing the Writing Competency Test, and 60 credit hours
Credit Hours3

Lannon, John M. (2003). Technical Communication. (9th ed). New York: Longman.

Hacker, D. (2004). A Pocket Style Manual. (4th ed). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's.

Textbooks can be purchased though the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:
All students may access the Park University library online.

All students may access the Central Arkansas Library System and apply for a library card.

Military personnel may access the base library from home or from a base computer connected to a LAN.

All students may use the base library; however, civilian students will need to ask for assistance from the resource librarian who must enter the appropriate password to allow civilian students access to the databases.

Once logged into the base library system, students may reference the following database systems:

NewsBank: "a comprehensive, news resource consisting of regional and national sources...[supplying] news articles covering social, economic, environmental, government, sports, health, science, and military issues and events from more than 500 U.S. regional and national newspapers and wire services, as well as general news, subject-specific, and military magazines. Coverage from 1992 to the present" (2).

OCLC FirstSearch: "an online reference system that will help you access a wide range of resources to meet your information needs....access to 39 databases that include thousands of journals (some with full-text)" (4).

OCLC netLibrary: "e-book collection has over 15,444 titles available for your use. eBooks are full-text electronic versions of published book that library customers can search, borrow, read and return over the Internet" (4).

"Internet Toolbox." Little Rock AFB Library. 5.2 (2005).


Course Description:
This course is the third course in the required writing sequence at Park University.  It emphasizes professional writing skills and expectations in various disciplines while developing further basic writing skills.  Specific departmental courses may be deemed equivalent and will be used to satisfy this course.  This course helps students do scientific and technical research and prepare reports that will address the needs of various audiences in science, government, and industry.  Pre-requisites: EN105, EN106, passing the Writing Competency Test, and 60 credit hours. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
In his book From Orality to Literacy, Walter J. Ong theorizes how and why cultures experience a shift from orality to literacy, pointing out the value of each position on the literacy continuum. Using Ong's metaphor, I believe the writing student takes a similar and sometimes more personal journey from orality toward literacy-in-writing: when intellectual awareness is awakened within an individual, he or she slowly moves forward along the continuum, discovering his/her voice and recognizing diversity in the voices of others.  I challenge my students to question their place on the continuum as they (like I) continue to discover who we are as members of a larger community.  Although students do exist on different points along the writing-literate continuum, they can each move forward successfully if given the tools with which they learn to construct a strong writing-literate foundation.  When students begin to use their writing to communicate knowledge, ideas, and perspectives with each other, multiple discourses are created within the writing classroom.  Through this process, students become aware of their power as individual, as writers, and as synthesizers of information, and they are finally able to recognize, understand, and perhaps even alter the discourses of the classroom, the university, and, ultimately, the society and world in which they live.

Learning Outcomes:
During this course each student will individually and collaboratively
• research, read, and analyze scientific/professional discourse and discuss critically on subjects of scientific/technical social significance
• become familiar with technical documents including but not limited to questionnaires, surveys, company publications, letters, memos, resumes, and interviews
• document research resources correctly using APA and MLA documentation styles
• experience ethical decision making during individual and team document design
• constructively critique one's own work and the work of others
• participate in individual and group collaboration and express and evaluate personal/professional opinions and hear the opinions of others
• experiment with tone/clarity/style in scientific/technical writing and strengthen communication skills and revision/editing skills

Course Assessment:
o PROFESSIONAL PORTFOLIO to include the following:

• Individual Document Design for Professional Field of Choice:
1) Database/Internet search on company/job of choice (to include job Code of Ethics)
2) Written Abstract (critical analysis) of findings from search above
3) Lit Review and Annotated Bibliography (APA) (at least five (5) current articles about job field of choice)
4) Collect and revise at least five previous documents (from past experiences) to prove one's credibility and professional capability for job of choice
5) Resume' and Cover Letter applying for job of choice

• Team Project Proposal Directed at a Government Agency:
1) Statement of Work (from each team member)
2) Proposal Shell Outline
3) Proposal Annotated Outline
4) Written Proposal
5) PowerPoint Presentation

o SIMULATED WORKPLACE COMPETETION: Students will “compete” against each other (and be ranked) both individually and collaboratively during the eight week term in a simulated workplace scenario to experience the ethical questions that arise as one competes individually for corporate positions/individual advancement while at the same time one must collaborate on team projects for the good of the company

• Each student will present and defend his/her professional portfolio during a simulated interview
• Each team will present and defend its team proposal

• Professional Portfolio: 70%
o Individual Document Design: 40%
o Team Proposal 30%

• Simulated Workplace Competition
o Individual Ranking 10%
o Team Ranking 10%

• Final Exam 10%

A = Manager/department head/client would be very impressed with you, your effort, your work ethic, and the documents you produce or help produce. Your name is first on the list for promotion.

B = Manager/department head/client satisfied with you, your effort, your work ethic, and the documents you produce or help produce, but you are not considered for promotion because your work can be improved upon.

C = Manager/department head/client would be disappointed and ask you to revise or rewrite sections before allowing others to see your work and would be eager to replace you in the workforce as soon as another could fill your position and work independently of the boss to get the job done.

D = Work is so poor and below average that a manager/department head/client would not offer feedback and fire you immediately.

F = No work is evident at all

NOTE: Students meeting the minimum requirements for coursework may expect to receive a “C” in this class; students wishing to earn a “B” will be expected to produce a level of academic work that is above average and demonstrates above average effort; students earning an “A” will consistently demonstrate mastery in course objectives, will consistently demonstrate excellence for each course requirement, and by the end of the term will have mastered outstanding academic achievement in critical research and written and spoken discourse.

Grading Standards

“A” Personal Writing:
Writing of superior quality; and essay that is a pleasure to read, insightful, and thought provoking; writer displays a confident “voice” within the piece of writing and shows mature perception and judgment; writer knows exactly what he or she intends to say with a clearly stated or implied thesis, and develops the writing into its final form; writer consistently supports sweeping generalizations with specific examples, reasons, explanations, and quotations. The final writing is free of grammatical and usage errors and has a fluent, varied, and individual style,  and consistently demonstrates the confident voice of the writer. Notes and drafts of essay are complete and in order.
“A” Academic Writing:
Thesis is precise, thoughtful, and preceded by an imaginative, provocative introduction that provides necessary background information
Organization is logical, efficient, clearly stated but not mechanical; headings are precise and reveal direction of essay and critical key points
Development is thorough and convincing and blends relevant examples, facts, and testimony in support of the thesis and topic sentences
Diction and Sentence Structure (language) is mature, direct, colorful, precise, and appropriate for audience and purpose; sentences are varied, emphatic, and coherent.
Mechanics writing is free of all major errors; few if any minor errors
“A” Professional Writing:
Outstanding document design. Writing that is clearly researched, audience aware, professionally formatted, completely effective

“B” Personal Writing:
Writing of competent quality; and essay that is easy to read and excellent in several areas; writer exhibits moments of confidence but cannot maintain the momentum; writer knows what he or she hopes to say, but the flow of the paper is interrupted momentarily, either by a few minor flaws in organization or development, or a few usage or grammatical errors that should not require extensive revision for correction; writer shows evidence of serious thinking skills and more than adequate confidence in “voice.” Notes and drafts are sufficient and together.
“B” Academic Writing:
Thesis is precise, sound, but not necessarily original, preceded by an effective lead and a narrowing of focus
Organization is logical, efficient, clearly stated, but may be mechanical and predictable; headings are precise and reveal plan and stress key points
Development is ample and writer uses relevant examples, facts, and testimony to support thesis and topic sentences but may lack vividness or breadth; may miss supporting a key point
Diction and Sentence Structure (language) is mature and direct but may lack freshness; sentences are varied and coherent but may be occasionally unemphatic
Mechanics: writing contains extensive errors in grammar, punctuation, and usage
“B” Professional Writing:
Above average document design. Writing that is not thoroughly researched, may not be totally audience aware, contains flaws in formatting, and/or is less effective overall

“C” Personal Writing:
Writing that is adequate at the college level—average. The writer presents some ideas of substance and interest and may be competent in organization, development, grammar, and usage, but the writing contains little that leaves a lasting impression on the reader; ideas are not thought provoking. The writing is “voiceless”, mechanical, and dry, and the writer's personality is absent from the piece entirely. An effort at notes and drafts is made.
“C” Academic Writing:
Thesis is clearly stated but not original and shallow in thought with an ineffective lead
Organization is solid but entire structural framework is mechanical and obvious; headings lack precision
Diction and Sentence Structure (language) is clear but occasionally inappropriate in tone; sentences lack variety in length and type
Mechanics: writing contains extensive errors in grammar, punctuation, and usage
“C” Professional Writing:
Document design of average quality. Average writing is not acceptable in the workplace. Average writers lack the initiative to research  document design, do not consider an audience, fail to meet standards of formatting, and produce documents that are ineffective and embarrassing to the organization. Average writing is usually edited by others for the good of the organization.

“D” Personal Writing:
Writing that is consistently deficient in organization, development, and logic and contains consistent errors in grammar and usage; the writing is difficult to understand and only frustrates and confuses a careful reader. A paper will also receive a D credit if the writer fails to follow the requirements of an assignment, fails to hand-in the writing on time, or fails to turn in drafts and notes.
“D” Academic Writing:
Thesis is not clearly stated, not thoughtfully conceived, and not effectively introduced
Organization is unclear and repetitive; headings are imprecise
Development is adequate but presents skimpy evidence and invalid support material; imprecise and hard to read
Diction and Sentence Structure (language) is careless and inappropriate; sentences are tangled or choppy
Mechanics: writing is filled with grammatical errors, punctuation errors, and usage errors
“D” Professional Writing:
Students who produce writing on this level are not considered for positions in white collar professions.

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late assignments will not be accepted.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
If a student knows in advance that he/she will miss a class, the student must contact the instructor ASAP.  Student is still responsible for meeting same deadlines for assignments.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:
A detailed Course Outline will be available to students on the first day of class:

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.  
Park University 2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog
Page 101

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. <a href="http://www.park.edu/catalog">
Park University 2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog</a> Page 101

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "WH".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2004-2005 Undergraduate Catalog Page 100
INSTRUCTOR NOTE: Absences will negatively affect student grade.

Disability Guidelines:

Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all learners that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to learners concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the American with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding learners with disabilities and, to the extent of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page:

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