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Butler Community College
English Department 
Humanities/Fine Arts Department
Fall 1998

Professional and Technical Writing

Course Outline

EG112. Professional and Technical Writing. 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: EG101. Professional and Technical Writing develops writing skills pursuing careers in industry, science, engineering, and business. The course focuses on clear, well-organized, detailed writing directed at specific audiences for specific purposes.

Brusaw, Charles; Gerald Alred and Walter Oliu. Handbook of Technical Writing, 4th Edition. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1993.

Piotrowski, Maryann. Effective Business Writing. New York: Harper and Row, 1994.

After completing the courses, students will be able to:

  1. design and develop written messages that help a specific audience understand a subject or carry out a task.
  2. demonstrate the writing techniques that enhance conciseness, clarity, accessibility, tone, accuracy, and correctness in professional and technical writing.
  3. write detailed memos, letters, reports, and proposals for industry, science, engineering, or business.
  4. Use executive summaries in written reports and proposals.
  5. explain the need for planning, outlines, revisions, and rough drafts prior to preparing final professional and technical writing assignments.
  6. use library references and research databases to obtain data for professional and technical writing assignments and projects.
  7. effectively select illustrations, charts, and other graphics to enhance writing projects.
  8. describe how writing tools, including word processors, spell checkers, grammar checkers, and desktop publishing programs, can be used to produce professional-quality writing.
  9. analyze models of organizational communication and correspondence for their effectiveness.
  10. analyze typical professional and technical writing problems and propose written solutions.
I. Audience Analysis
   A.   Models for Audience Analysis
  1. Defining Audience
  2. Analyzing Your Audience's Needs
  3. Identifying Basic Audience Types
  4. Writing For Specific Audiences
II. Effective Professional Writing Style
  1. Conciseness
  1. Active/Passive Voice
  2. Expletives
  3. Zero Words and Redundancy
  1. Clarity
  1. Pronoun Reference
  2. Misplaced Modifiers
  3. Gender Inclusion
  1. Tone
  1. "You" Approach
III. Writing Tools
  1.     Word Processing
  2.     Grammar and Spell Checkers
  3.     Desktop Publishing
IV. Applications
  1. Instructions
  2. Investigative Reports
  3. Proposals
  4. Progress and Performance Reports
  5. Technical Publicity Announcements
  6. Job Search Writing
  7. Correspondence
Methods of class instruction may include the following: lectures; demonstration; class discussion; daily reading assignments; reports; writing assignments, including instructor criticism and student revisions; semester-long professional and technical writing projects; field trips; and speakers from industry and business in the professional and technical writing field.

Telecourses: Independent study of audio/video materials augmented by text and study guide; collaboration and participation with class members and faculty via available means. Faculty role is facilitator of learning experiences.

Methods of evaluation may include the following: objective tests; written professional and technical reports, proposals, letters, and projects; class participation; and other methods as deemed appropriate by individual instructors.

Students with impaired sensory, manual or speaking skills are encouraged and have the responsibility to contact their instructor, in a timely fashion, regarding reasonable accommodation needs.