ENGL 3301 Principles of Professional and Report Writing

Dr. Susan Garza
susan.garza@tamucc.edu
Office FC267
361-825-2483
Contact Info and Office Hours

WELCOME to this writing community. In this setting you will be involved in various writing projects that allow you (1) to identify writing projects related to your academic objectives and your future workplace and (2) to respond to the writing needs of those projects. The main objective of this class is to help you gain the skills needed to think through these writing tasks, analyze the audience(s) involved, secure various types of resources, generate documents, and present those documents in an effective manner. You will work collaboratively with your classmates and community members to benefit from the competencies that each one of you brings to this writing and learning community as we work on various writing projects. And I as the teacher will function as an active participant in the projects as well. I will work with you as you make decisions during many stages of the writing projects, but I will not give you the answers for each decision. You will gather information and use tools to help you make these decisions.

All of the students in this class bring some type of expertise that we can use as we make these decisions. You will also increase your knowledge as you conduct interviews with professionals in your future workplaces, request information from contact persons within the community, study and respond to the ideas of other writers, search for many types of information (both traditional sources and online sources as well), and interact with your peers. YOUR ROLE as a student is to make important decisions and choices based on the information you gather and interpret. You will work as an independent and active learner in a collaborative environment.

The main objective of this class is to help you gain the skills needed in order to be a good writer and thinker in the workplace. If you have problems with writing, do not like writing, or have phobias about writing, hopefully this class will help. If you keep up with the work, even though it may be difficult at times, you will probably see a big difference at the end of the class and hopefully have a much different attitude toward writing.

Required Texts and Materials Every Audience Has a Different Purpose: New Ways to Engage in Technical and Professional Writing 2nd ed., Susan Loudermilk Garza, Fountainhead Press, 2006.

Course Objectives and Outcomes By becoming aware of the writing required to be successful in the workplace and analyzing the different types of writing, you will gain an understanding of the following concepts and be able to apply them to multiple writing situations:

  • Audience - Who are the audiences you are writing for?
  • Purpose - What needs to happen as a result of the documents you produce
  • Format - What is the best way to present the information based on the information you gather regarding audience and purpose?
  • Role of collaboration in the writing process - How do documents move through production? What are the roles and functions of collaborators, experts, reviewers?
  • Revision/Editing - How is revision different from editing? How does revision relate to audience and purpose?
  • Visual Rhetoric - How do decisions about such elements as white space, paragraphing, headers & footers, document styles, typefaces, visual aids, etc. affect the audience and purpose?
  • Gathering Information - What information do I need to produce these docuemtns? How do I gather that information ? Questionnaires & surveys, company publications and in-house documents, computer data bases, experts in the field.
  • Usability - How do I know once I have produced a document that it meets the audience and purpose goals that were set out for the document?

You will understand and use these elements by writing and working with the following types of writing:

  • Memos and Short Reports
  • Proposals and Planning Documents
  • Interviews
  • Instructions and Other Forms of Technical Writing
  • Letters
  • Emails
  • Web pages and other online documents
  • Job Search Documents
  • Progress Reports
  • Numerous Other Formats Based on the Needs of the Audience
  • Meeting Reports and Follow-up Memos

Writing Workshop This class is designed as a hands-on writing workshop class. You will have an active role as you work on the phases of each project and respond to the work of your classmates and the feedback you receive on your work. This class is designed to give you experiences that are similar to those you will experience in the workplace so you will also receive feedback from others outside the class. We will work on your assignments everyday. The work is on-going and hands-on. Writing is an active process and the more you actively participate, the better results you will see in your writing progress.

Grading
60% of your grade will come from 3 portfolio projects.

20% of your grade will be based on Respect and Responsibility, which equals active participation and a professional attitude.

20% of your grade will come from daily work and homework. If you are active in class and complete the assigned work, then you will get full credit. For each day that you are present in class, if you turn in your homework at the beginning of class, participate in class work and discussions, and complete work assigned in class you will receive a full 5 points. If you only come to class but do not participate or turn in your work, you may receive only 1 point. You need to come to class and be actively involved in everything we do in order to get full credit for this part of the course.

Attendance

Late Assignments Late assignments must be accompanied by a cover letter that explains why it is late. Keep in mind that in the workplace there would be serious consequences for turning in papers/projects late. Based on your letter, I will determine how much to deduct from your grade. Late assignments will not be accepted if not accompanied by a cover memo that explains why the work is late. Email memos are acceptable if they are written in an acceptable format. Late work can be penalized up to 50% and is subject to a higher evaluation standard than work that is completed on time. Daily work cannot be made up, unless you make arrangements prior to missing class.

Academic Integrity and Dishonesty Students are expected to "demonstrate a high level of maturity, self-direction and ability to manage their own affairs" and to "conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards of academic honesty." Please refer to the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi General Academic Policies and Regulations for complete information.

Resources for Students