EN 306 Professional Writing in the Disciplines: Scientific and Technical Writing
F1T 2012 DL
Master in EnglishBachelor in English
Monday, August 20, 2012-Sunday, October 14, 2012
Author: John Lannon
Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore
Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore
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Learning Outcomes: Core Learning Outcomes
See the Grading Plan below for the specific assignment weights.
NOTE: Specific due dates for assignments will be posted in the assignment thread.
% of Grade
Paper #1 (Definitions with Audience Profiles)
Paper #2 (Proposal for Analytical Report - with bibliography)
Paper #3 (Information Plan)
Paper #4 (Explanation, Product Description, or Instructions)
Paper #5 (Cover Letter and Resume)
Paper #6 (Analytical Report)
Counts as 10% of your Class Participation.
Late Submission of Course Materials:
Classroom Rules of Conduct:
This course is offered Online, over the Internet, using Park's eCollege
platform. Students are expected to devote a minimum of five hours per
class week either logged on to the eCollege or conducting research or
discussing assignments with your instructor or classmates, the same
amount of time you would spend in the physical classroom.
A class week is defined as the period of time between Monday and
Sunday. The first week begins the first day of the term and ends
midnight the following Sunday. Assignments scheduled for completion
during a class week should normally be completed by Sunday of the week
including online discussions. Writing assignments and formal papers
should be completed and successfully submitted so that they are in my
hands on the due date.
NOTE: Because this is an Online course designed to get feedback on
assignments to you directly via the Internet, you must make prior
arrangements with me before submitting a paper via e-mail or fax. If you ever have problems transmitting your assignments to me,
telephone me or send me an email immediately, and I'll be glad to
1. Paper #1: Develop two audience-and-use profiles for two audiences
(one profile for a semi-technical audience and one profile for a
non-technical audience) for whom you are writing a technical
definition, and then write a definitions of approximately one page for
Document all information using footnotes (or parenthetical citations)
and a bibliography for all written assignments. (Relevant text reading:
Chapter 3, Delivering the Essential Information, and Chapter 20,
First select a technical term you wish to define. Then fill out the
Audience-and-Use Profile for one technical audience and one
non-technical audience (see p. 36 for the form). Next, evaluate what
information you would include for each audience. For example, you might
select the term diabetes and the two audiences for whom you are writing
the definitions might be pre-med students taking an endocrinology
course and the patients of an endocrinologist who has prepared a short
handout for his patients who have been diagnosed with diabetes.
For the first audience of pre-med students, you might consider defining
diabetes in terms of metabolic and chemical disorder. For the
non-technical audience, you might consider adding to a simple
definition of diabetes as a metabolic disorder an analogy of how the
system has gone awry and, most important for this audience, how having
diabetes is going to affect their lives.
In analyzing the information you would include for each audience, you
would consider the various ways in which to define terms and use those
tools to select what would be appropriate to each audience to create an
effective definition. (See Chapter 20 of your text for definition
strategies.) Then, using appropriate diction and level of details, you
would write your definitions.
NOTE: Be sure to document all external information using both footnotes
or parenthetical citations and a bibliography (which you may label
"References," "Works Cited," or otherwise, as appropriate. Also be
sure to enclose within quotation marks any text you have copied. This
is an academic honesty and copyright compliance requirement, not simply
a formatting requirement. See Part VI, Appendix A of our text and the
course Webliography for documentation guidance.
2. Paper #2: Write an Informal Proposal for your Analytical Report.
Using the discussions of proposals and analytical reports, develop your
informal proposal using the general model for proposals given in your
Lannon text in Chapter 23, Proposals. You will need to decide whether
your proposal is a planning, research, or sales type proposal (I must
approve sales or planning proposals). This will determine some of the
contents for your assignment. Other relevant text readings are Chapters
11 and 21.
3. Paper #3: Write an Information Plan for your Analytical Report.
Information planning encourages writers to adopt project management
strategies as a way of managing writing assignments of all
complexities. For this assignment, you must write an Information Plan
for your analytical report in three to five pages. In the workplace,
the Information Plan would be updated as progress was made or changes
occurred on the project. You may use an outline format that addresses
the following information:
Purpose for writing this report:
Audience: For whom is the report intended? Who else will read it?
Goals of the information contained in your report: How will the information in this report be used?
Information objectives: What specific information will be contained in
the report? What information will be given to the reader? How will
Information specifications: Overall structure, Title, graphics production, printing specifications.
Sectional content outline: Working section headings and subheadings and a brief summary of what will be in each.
Methodology: Determine how the information will be gathered and
analyzed, the schedule for research, editorial standards and
strategies, style guidelines.
Information verification: How will the information be verified? Are the procedures used considered to be accurate?
Schedule for completion of assignments related to analytical report.
This assignment requires forethought about the analytical report you
will write. Remember that your Information Plan is intended to help you
map out the writing process and begin to visualize the final document,
and can be adjusted as you actually go through writing of the report.
The integrity of an Information Plan, however, is in its usability as
a planning tool: you should have as few amendments to it as possible.
The more detail that you have here, the more likely that your draft
report will prove to be well designed. Relevant text readings are
Chapters 3, 10, 11, 12 and 24.
4. Paper #4: Write a Description of a Product or Process, or an
Instructional Document. Descriptions and explanations of mechanisms,
processes, organizations, and organisims constitute much of the subject
matter of technical and scientific writing. Instructions are everywhere
in daily life, and are also critical to working with technology. In
this assignment you will focus on one of these types of documents, with
emphasis on clarity and usability.
5. Paper #5: Write a Cover Letter and Resume. Relevant text reading is Chapter 18.
6. Paper #6: Write an Analytical Report. This assignment, a formal
report, should contain the following format features: cover/title page,
letter of transmittal, table of contents, table of figures and tables,
informative abstract, body with sectional headings and subheadings,
glossary, appendixes and attachments as appropriate, and bibliography.
Relevant text readings are Chapters 14, 15, 16, 24, 25, and Part VI,
Appendix A. See also the core assessment for the grading rubric.
Your text offers a general model for analytical reports, which you
should follow where you can. Of course, you may deviate from this model
with good reason -- it is only a tentative model. Your text offers many
suggestions for topics for analytical reports, should you have
difficulty selecting one.
CORE WEEKLY ONLINE DISCUSSION TOPICS: Others may be added as required or requested
The basic weekly online discussion topics are listed below. In general,
your conference discussion topics will be evaluated using the following
Completeness of thought: have you given the question at hand in-depth
thinking? Do you demonstrate an understanding of the context of the
issue being addressed?
Evidence and Analysis: Do you provide examples and illustrations from
your online research, your readings, and your own experience?
Vivid examples from your own professional and personal experience?
Interaction with colleagues?
For your convenience, most of the topics are listed here in summary
form; the detailed requirements of these core topics and other
discussion topics will be posted in our conference.
Week 1 Discussion Topic: After reading the material, in this week's
discussion area, define technical and scientific writing. Give an
example of what technical writing is and what it isn't. Identify the
audience for whom you are defining the term. Clearly differentiate
scientific writing from technical writing.
Week 2 Discussion Topic: This week's topic addresses your goals and
objectives for learning in this course. Describe the skills you seek to
develop in your technical writing course. How exactly will you apply
these skills to your career? Justify your company's paying for this
course (or your paying for this course) by explaining how this course
will help you become more effective on the job.
Week 3 Discussion Topic: Learning how to retrieve information on the
Internet and World Wide Web is an important skill to master. This week
I would like you to search on the Internet for five electronic
references that would be of use to technical writers on the job. When
you find these references, figure out how they could be used. Then,
write into the discussion thread for this week an annotated
bibliography of the five references for writers. Also, tell us what
search engines you used to find these references.
Week 4 Discussion Topic: Analyze and describe the process you have used
to plan how you will study and learn online. What techniques have you
developed? What do you think are the most important processes for
successfully learning online? Your audience should be your classmates.
Week 5-1 Discussion Topic: What are the audience, intended use of
information, and purpose considerations when you design your resume?
Week 5-2 Discussion Topic: Write a progress report or status report of your work towards your analytic report to date.
Week 6 Discussion Topic: Many managers believe that an employee must be
able to present information in a verbal form (or brief it) before they
should be given the opportunity to write anything. This week, discuss
briefing/presentation, how it is different from written presentation of
information, and provide (as an attachment to your commentary in the
discussion thread), a brief slide presentation on a topic of your
choice. I will provide you guidance on the format and technical
aspects of online presentations.
Week 7 Discussion Topic: When writers plan to describe processes,
mechanism, organizations or organisms, or write instructions, they must
consider many issues related to audience, purpose of information,
intended use, and how the hard copy or online documents will be used.
What are the audience considerations when writing instructions? What
are the document planning and design issues?
Week 8 Discussion Topic: How do writers work collaboratively with
authors or subject matter experts? Your discussion task this week is to
develop a set of procedurals that can be used to manage documents in an
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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty (www.park.edu/current or http://www.park.edu/faculty/).from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96
Plagiarism: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. from Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95
Attendance Policy:Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.
Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98
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. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .
Last Updated:7/20/2012 11:36:40 AM