and Technical Writing
T/R: 2:00 p.m. to 3:20 p.m.
Instructor: Crystal Shelnutt
Office: Pafford 315
Phone: (678) 839-4858
Office Hours: T/R: 7: 30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. & 12:30 a.m. to 2:00
W: 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (in the University
have both texts with you by the second class period. For details on assigned reading in
preparation for that day’s class, please see our Course Calendar.)
The Essentials of Technical
Communication. Second Edition. Tebeaux, Elizabeth
and Sam Dragga. Oxford UP. ISBN:
(Abbreviated as ETC in
The Business Writer’s Handbook. Tenth Edition. Alred, Gerald B.,
Charles T. Brusaw, and Walter E. Oliu. Bedford Sts Martins. ISBN:
(Abbreviated as BWH in
Language for Course Syllabi:
Please carefully review the information at the following link: http://www.westga.edu/assetsDept/vpaa/Common_Language_for_Course_Syllabi.pdf.
contains important information about your rights and responsibilities in this
- Increasingly, employers rank
communication skills as essential to career advancement, with “about half
of private employers and over 60% of state government employers” asserting
that “writing skills impact promotion decisions.” Others estimate that writing remediation
costs employers as much as 3.1 billion dollars annually (National
Commission on Writing, 2004, 2005).
With this “writing proficiency crisis” in mind, English 3405 will
familiarize students with rhetorical strategies and writing forms required
for diverse technical and professional situations. Students will learn to analyze the
communication goals of today’s high-technology industries, the audiences
within those industries, and the documents produced by their professionals. Emphasizing the planning, revising, and
editing processes, this course will then instruct students how to construct
appropriate written communications to accommodate workplace needs. Further, material covered in this course
will equip students to edit and adapt their own writing skills to
protocols and expectations within the ever-changing media landscape.
- This course offers intensive
practice in composing powerful, audience-driven documents for a variety of
private and non-private organizations.
- Students will also learn how
to create and render effective business-related presentations, supported
with documentary and visual aids.
- Prerequisites: Successfully passing both ENGL 1101 and
ENGL 1102 with a grade of “C” or better.
- Students will develop the
rhetorical acumen and composing skills needed to prepare a variety of documents
required in common business and technical writing contexts.
- Students will learn teamwork
and collaborative authorship skills.
- Students will develop
real-world problem-solving techniques.
- Students will understand and
practice the scrupulous attention to detail necessary in a business and
technical writing environment.
- Students will become aware
of techniques for adapting their writing to the demands of a highly
audience-driven, context-sensitive field.
- Students will develop
techniques for making effective business presentations to individuals and
- Students will understand and
appreciate internationally and culturally diverse styles of business
- This course fulfills one of
the departmental requirements for the completion of the English major and
the English major with Secondary Education.
- Students will develop the
analytical, oral and written skills to pursue graduate study or careers in
teaching, writing, business, and a variety of other fields.
- This course is a writing
intensive class; therefore the goals, aims, and premises for the
Discipline Specific Writing Curriculum Program will be included as part of
our academic core standards. Expect
that you will engage in both writing to learn (formal and informal) and
writing to communicate exercises as part of your coursework.
- For the specifics of DSC,
visit their website:
General Topics and Assignments
- Each project’s information
sheet will be linked from the reading schedule, with full detail on
protocols, due dates, etc.
Expect a reading quiz each day material from our texts is assigned
on the course calendar—these grades will be folded into your daily
ICAs, & Daily
2 page analysis
a recommendation report)
While many of our documents
will be composed apart from the standard essay model, your paper will nonetheless
be graded according to the English Department’s grading criteria for 2000-level
and above courses.
Please visit the link on the Department’s website for
details: http://www.westga.edu/~engdept/fr/Ruby.doc Along with form and content, I will consider
overall aesthetics when assessing your projects.
- Plagiarism: The Department of English and Philosophy
defines plagiarism as taking personal credit for the words and ideas of
others as they are presented in electronic, print, and verbal sources. The Department expects that students
will accurately credit sources in all assignments. An equally dishonest practice is
fabricating sources or facts; it is another form of misrepresenting the
truth. Plagiarism is grounds for
failing this course. For further
information see: http://www.westga.edu/~engdept/Plagiarism/index.html or The Faculty
Handbook, sections 207 and 208.0401:
http://www.westga.edu/~vpaa/handrev/ or the Student Uncatalogue “Rights and Responsibilities,” Appendix
- Excessive Collaboration:
Students in this course should demonstrate the ability to produce independent writing that shows a
level of competency. Although
classroom activities and out-of-class assignments may highlight
collaborative learning and collaborative research, excessive collaboration (collaboration that results in the
loss of a student’s voice/style and original claims to course-related
work) is considered another form of academic dishonesty and therefore any
assignment discovered to have been constructed in this manner will receive
a grade of “F.”
- Recycled Papers/Work:
Turning in papers written for other professors or courses is not
permitted; projects deemed as such will receive an automatic “F.”
You are allowed three (3) absences this semester: use them at your
own discretion. Should you incur a
fourth absence, however, your course grade will be reduced to a “D.” Should you accrue a fifth, you will
receive an “F” for the semester. Be
aware that no distinction exists between excused and unexcused
• Disruptive Behavior
Although it may appear absurd that discourtesy on the part of her
students must be addressed by a university instructor, I find conduct issues do
arise and therefore must take precedence when outlining my expectations for
your behavior during the course.
So, here are my policies:
Students will be dismissed from any class meeting at which they
exhibit behavior that disrupts my instruction or the learning environment of
others. Such behavior includes but is
not restricted to: arriving
exceptionally late for class, allowing cell phones to ring, incessant chatter,
speaking disrespectfully to the instructor and/or other students, sleeping
during class, checking email or surfing the Web, texting, using/viewing
personal and/or video devices, or completing work for another professor’s
Each dismissal will count as an absence and be applied toward the
attendance-requirement policy as outlined above. Additionally, no personal electronic device
may be located in your hand, upon your person, or on your desktop at any time
during the class—unless previously approved by me. Silence and stow your electronics for the
NB: In order to discourage the disruptions that
accompany late arrivals, I will deduct ½ an absence for each day that a student
is 5 minutes tardy; after 10 minutes, a student will be counted as absent.
- Late work:
No late work will be accepted.
Nor will I accept electronic submissions unless otherwise
This semester I am available for consultation during my posted
office hours. Should you need to
email me directly, please use the address listed above. Keep in mind that if we are to confer,
you must have directed, specific questions to pose; I cannot address your
papers, projects or assignments in a general sense. As per University policy, I can only
communicate with you via your “My UWG” account.
- Special Needs: I pledge to do my best to work with the
University to provide all students with equal access to my classes and
materials, regardless of special needs, temporary or permanent disability,
special needs related to pregnancy, etc.
Students with documented special needs may expect accommodation in
relation to classroom accessibility, special test administration, etc. If
you have a registered disability that will require accommodation, please
see me at the beginning of the semester.
If you have a disability that you have not registered with the
University, please contact Dr. Ann Phillips in Parker Hall 272.
While the syllabus and course calendar have been meticulously
planned, there may be times that I find it necessary, based upon the needs
of our class, to tweak or modify them.
Be aware that it is your responsibility to print a copy of the
syllabus and to stay abreast of the changes to the reading and/or
° Students are expected to
participate actively and constructively in class discussions, as well as show
up prepared for class by completing the assigned reading and writing
required to have all textbooks and materials before the second class session,
and all readings must be completed prior
to coming to class on the date they are noted on the Course Calendar. Books must be brought to class every day—no