Technical Writing
English 204: Spring 2000
8am, Tu. Th. F.

John McLaughlin, Ph.D
Stroud 309/0

This is a course on writing about technical subjects in clear English. The textbook will supply models, exercises, and discussions for you. You will have an email account, as well as access to the World Wide Web and to the word-processing equipment in Stroud Hall as part of course requirements. Jargon or "technical" language is to be kept to a minimum in papers. Unless otherwise instructed, the audience is assumed to be the professor. Students will use the word-processing equipment in Stroud Hall as "default" equipment; other word-processors will be your backup only. (This is jargon. Is it necessary? Is it clear to all readers?) Attendance is required; late papers will not be accepted. Grading standards are as follows: A = could be used without revision by an employer. B = could be used, with minimal revision, by an employer. C = could be used, without major revision, by an employer. D = an employer would put you on notice for turning in such a paper. F = an employer would fire you for this work.

Diana C. Reep, Technical Writing: Principles, Strategies, and Readings, Fourth Edition. Allyn & Bacon, 2000.


Week 1: Writing on the Job: Collaboration and Ethics.Chapters 1. & 2. Selected Readings, Exercises.
Week 2: Audience & Organization. Chaps. 3. Selected Readings, etc.
Week 3: Definition. Chap.7. Selected Readings, etc.
Week 4: Description. Chap. 8. Selected Readings, etc.
Week 5: Revision. Chap. 6. Selected Readings, etc.
Week 6: Document Design. Chap. 5. Selected Readings etc.
Week 7: Instructions etc. Chap. 9. Selected Readings etc.
Week 8: Continue Week 7.
Spring Recess, Friday, March 17 to Monday, March 27.
Week 9: Short & Long Reports. Chap. 11. Selected Readings etc.
Week 10: Types of Reports. Chap 12. Selected Readings etc.
Week 11: Formal Reports. Chap. 10. Selected Readings etc.
Week 12: Letters, Memos, and E-mail. Chap. 13. Selected Readings etc.
Week 13: Oral Presentations. Chap 14. Selected Readings
Week 14: Continue Week 13.
Week 15: Final Week.