ENGL 5376 Professional Writing

Dr. Susan Garza
Office FC267
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.

Course Description - A study of the theory, genres, and practices of professional writing and communication. The course is taught in a workshop setting and is designed for students from all disciplines.

Required Texts and Materials - Strategies for Business and Technical Writing by Kevin J. Harty, 5th ed. 2005, & The Work of Writing by Elizabeth Rankin, Jossey-Bass, 2001. Handouts and other texts as related to individual projects.

Course Objectives and Outcomes

Students will:

  • Inquire into the conventions and expectations for professional writing in their disciplines
  • Identify and develop documents pertinent to their disciplines
  • Understand the role of audience and purpose in the process of developing professional documents
  • Apply this information to a Writing Project (a formal, scholarly activity), such as a conference paper, research article, thesis, proposal, etc.


5% Planning Memo

10% Article Analysis

10% Resource Summary

10% Annotated Bibliography

25% Writing Workshop

5% Conference Proposal

25% Writing Project

10% Engaging and Respect and Responsibility


If you miss more than 1 class meeting and/or if you are late to more than one class meeting, your grade could be lowered as much as 10%. Our class meetings will function as just that - meetings where we will report on our activities and findings and continue to develop our Writing Projects. This is valuable time for us to collaborate and learn from each other, as well as plan what our next steps will be.

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.

Writing Center

The Writing Center of Texas A&M Corpus Christi provides free help for students at any stage in the writing process. As you work on revising your work, you may be required to go to the Writing Center and provide documentation for the visit before you can turn in the work again for further grade consideration.

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