What is this course?
Technical Writing is a course that will equip you to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences. The course expands on skills that you learned in ENGL 1030: research, analysis, rhetorical situations, fallacies, and multimedia/multimodal communication. As with ENGL 1030, you will use visual, digital, written, and oral/sonic rhetoric to persuade your audience. In the case of Technical Writing, your audience may be a future employer, viewers of a webpage, potential employees, or a number of other audiences. Technical Writing is vital to effective communication, so you will find this course to be practical, hands-on, and focused on digital and web-based writing.
Technical Writing focuses on workplace communication and writing in the disciplines. Every field and profession has its own genres and conventions for how writing is accomplished. This course is designed to help you gain proficiency with technical writing in general, but also to give you an opportunity to explore and research how technical communication functions in your chosen field of study or future profession.
By the end of the course, what will I be able to do?
- To present yourself and your ideas professionally across media
- To write emails, memos, texts, and letters to a variety of audiences and for various purposes
- To write with clarity and conciseness
- To explain what makes for good user-centered writing
- To recognize good document design and be able to apply it to your own work
- To analyze technical writing
- To create a website and use social media to propose an idea
- To transfer knowledge from this course to other situations/fields
- To write a grant for a nonprofit organization
What materials do I need?
- Elizabeth Tebeaux and Sam Draga – The Essentials of Technical Communication, Fourth Edition
- Cheryl A. Clarke – Storytelling for Grantseekers – Second Edition
- Any additional pdfs will be supplied via Canvas
- Technologies: Computer with internet connectivity, Canvas, Google Docs, Adobe Creative Cloud (specifically, InDesign), Adobe Spark Page, Adobe Spark Post, Adobe Spark Video, Microsoft Sway, ArcGIS
- * In the course we will be using multiple Adobe programs. This is offered free through Clemson, but you will need to acquire an Adobe enterprise account and download the program. DO NOT SIGN UP FOR AN ADOBE FREE TRIAL. Rather, figure out how to use your Clemson privileges to access the Adobe Creative Cloud that your tuition is already paying for (instructions are provided below).
What do I need to do?
Your semester portfolio consists of the following deliverables:
Writing Practice/Discussions (10%)
Prompts will be provided for weekly written and video responses to be posted to the Discussion page.
Projects (90%) The projects will be an opportunity to put theory into practice. The assignment sheets for each of the 6 projects can be located on Canvas.
This project gives you the opportunity to practice writing in different technical writing genres. It is composed of 2 parts: a Field Overview and Workplace Analysis. (15%)
2. Project #2 – Building a Professional Identity
This project will help you develop and communicate your professional identity and is composed of 3 parts: the Resume, Cover Letter, and LinkedIn Profile. (15%)
3. Project #3 – Professional Website
You will create a website using wix.com that includes the following tabs: about me, resume, projects/examples of best work, and links to all your social media profiles. (15%)
4. Project #4 – Field Research and Audience Ethnography Report (Group)
You will write a 3-4 page report in preparation for the grant that you will write for Project #5. (15%)
5. Project #5 – Service Grant Letter (Group)
You will collaborate with a nonprofit organization and write a grant. (15%)
6. Project #6 – Professional Panel Presentation
Our final project is part of a mock conference at which you will present a topic related to your field. You should use this opportunity as a way to further professionalize yourself for your future employment. If you wish to advance in your career, you will need to enter into your field’s discourse by both attending and presenting at conferences (15%)
A note about Canvas:
All discussions will be posted within the Discussions tab in Canvas. These assignments are often collaborative in nature and require you to read/respond to your classmates’ posts. Pay careful attention to any “Discussions” that are to be emailed. All projects will be posted within the Assignments tab in Canvas. For the most part, you will be “turning in” the Discussions in the Discussions tab and the Projects within the Assignments tab. Get used to navigating between the Assignments and Discussions areas within Canvas.