Writing in the Professions
MW: McIver 231
F: Graham 202
Instructor: Jackie Grutsch McKinney
Office: 01D Petty
Office Hours: W 11-2
This course is an introduction into professional and technical writing—the kinds of writing that you may do on the job. Just like any other community or culture, the workplace has certain discourse conventions. Our work will be analyzing these and producing rhetorically effective texts, graphics, and layouts in print and online that meet workplace expectations. To this end, there will be a strong emphasis on rhetoric and on document design throughout the course. Some of you may be taking this course because you’d like to pursue a professional writing career or a career with a writing component. Others may just want to flex your writing muscle and get some experience at a different kind of writing than is usually required in English courses. Either way, I think you’ll find this course beneficial to you.
This course is designated a writing-intensive course, which means that drafting, revising, conferencing, and editing are a major component of this course. We will work on five major writing units. You will revise each of these for inclusion/creation of your professional writing portfolio. Be forewarned: this course will be time-consuming, but I think you will be amazed by what you’ve accomplished by the end of the course if you put in the necessary time.
In addition to writing proficiency, you will get other experience that will help you in your future professions. You’ll be expected to give oral presentations (group and individual), work collaboratively on several projects, and work with actual clients in the community and/or on campus. In addition, we’ll work on many different software programs, so you’ll develop technical skills too.
§ Technical Communication, 9th ed. by John M. Lannon
§ Production materials: printing & portfolio supplies
§ Zip disk (recommended)
Using someone else's ideas or words as your own on any assignment is plagiarism. It is a violation of the Academic Integrity Policy as defined in the student handbook or at www.uncg.edu/saf/studiscp/Honor.html and will be treated as such. If you are concerned about inadvertently violating this policy, please see me before completing the assignment.
Respect for others is expected. Any behavior that distracts (eating, talking while others are talking, etc.) or is disrespectful (personal attacks, etc.) is unacceptable. Students may be asked to leave the classroom if they choose to act in such a way. Cell phones and pagers should be turned off during class time. You may be reached during classes or conferences at the department phone number (334-5311) in the case of an emergency.
The grading in this course may be different from what you're accustomed to; grades will only be given on the final portfolio instead of on individual assignments. You still will get credit for all work completed on time which will count towards your final grade. In lieu of letter grades on each assignment, you will get comments that will lead you in your revision. Late work is not acceptable.
If you have a disability that could affect your performance in this course or for which you need accommodation, please contact me and/or the office of Disability Services at 334-5440.
Attendance & Participation=25%
Weeks 1-2: Job Application Materials
Weeks 3-4: Brochure Project
Weeks 5-8: Website Design and Publishing
Weeks 9-10: Process Instructions
Weeks 11-12: Analytical Report and Presentation
Weeks 13-15: Professional Writing Portfolio
Blackboard: Periodically, all course materials will be posted on Blackboard: bb.uncg.edu. This way you will always have access to the course syllabus and assignments online. I will show you in class how to access Blackboard if you have never used it before.
Superlab/Help Desk: The superlab is on the first floor of Jackson Library in the back right corner. It is open whenever the library is open and is staffed by lab techs who can help with many computer problems. The superlab also has three computers set up with scanners. To use these, go to the help desk and sign in.
Kinkos/Copy Shops: For some of your projects, you may want to print your final copy on a color laser printer. Unfortunately, UNCG has no color laser printers available for student (or faculty!) use, but Kinkos does. Copy shops also are able to enlarge/reduce your documents and have bindings for a professional look. These services can be costly, so wait until you are in the final draft/portfolio stage to do these.
Office Supply/Paper/Art Stores: For this course, you will be challenged to think outside the regular 81/2 by 11 white page box. To do so, you may use different sizes and types of papers. Office supply stores (like Office Max) and paper stores (like If It’s Paper) have a good assortment of nice paper in various colors, weights, and for various uses (brochure paper, transparencies, card stock, etc.). Art supply stores often have good paper selection too. Any of these stores will also have nice presentation binders that could be used for your portfolio.
Friends with Digital Cameras, Ink Jet Printers, & Scanners: For some of the projects you will do, you may want or need to use a digital camera, printer, or scanner. Knowing which of these you may be able to borrow will help you in planning your project. Remember that you have a computer and laser printer available to you during class time and lab hours, and you can use a scanner at the Superlab.