To order your
books online go to Tarleton's Online Bookstore Order
TextBooks. You will need a credit card. Plan ahead.
There are two required texts you must
purchase for this course. They are
A Reader-Centered Approach, Paul V. Anderson, 6th edition;
Readings in Technical Writing,
ed. Nick Lilly. 10th edition; Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company.
Please contact the Campus Store on the Tarleton Stephenville
campus. The phone number is (254) 968-9007.
The bookstore here in Stephenville
is VERY helpful and can get these books to you immediately.
There is one additional, required
text book we will use this semester.
- The Mayfield Handbook
of Technical & Scientific Writing, Leslie Perelman,
James Paradis, and Edward Barrett (electronic copy: bound
inside our courseware. You do not have to buy a print copy of this book. You can get to our handbook from
the Handbook link either from the left Navigation bar or
from the Handbook link from the "Course Content and
Related Materials" organizer page.)
Also, a further course
requirement is that you have access to Microsoft Word
as your word-processing program. The Technical
Writing labs at Tarleton have Word MX installed. Even
as an Online student, you will be completing the same
assignments as my face-to-face students do. Some of your
assignments will require that you use tables and book
format documents. All of my instructions about how to
achieve these tasks will be about how to achieve these
results using Word. Therefore, you will need to have Word
on your computer at home or have access to a computer
which does have Microsoft Word installed. It does not
have be MX. An older version of Word would be fine, but
you will need Word. Works alone will not work
for these assignments.
for your research needs, you can always access the Tarleton
Dick Smith Library
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Why This Course?
This course possesses great professional and
personal value whatever your major. No matter how adept you are in your
future field, your success depends upon your ability to communicate
effectively. Only by communicating can you make your knowledge and insights
useful to your employees and clients, gain a fair hearing for your ideas
and innovations, and win the kind of recognition and respect that leads
to advancement. This course, therefore, is designed to help you toward
mastery of a subject that will enable you to realize your potential
as intelligent, creative professionals.
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Basic Goals of the Course
The overall aim of English 2303 is to help
you to become confident, flexible, effective communicators who can size
up an on-the-job communication situation, make a plan for writing in
that situation, and carry out that plan with skill and flair.
This course is designed to prepare you
to accomplish the following objectives:
To achieve these course objectives, we will
try to follow the these three strategies:
- Analyze each communication situation
fully and accurately for information needs, audience, uses of information,
and communication constraints
- Gather, interpret, and document information
logically, efficiently, and ethically
- Develop professional work and teamwork
- Design usable, clear, persuasive, and
- Select the appropriate method for presenting
- Organize information using reader-based
- Use graphics effectively
- Develop an effective, clear writing
- Learning general approaches and principles
to prepare you to write effectively in the wide variety of communication
situations you will encounter on the job.
- Learning to think constantly about
your readers. By thinking about your readers in the act of reading,
you will be able to predict your readers' thoughts, feelings, needs,
and desires--and you will be able to design your messages accordingly.
- Focusing on real-world writing. Through
class discussions, examples, exercises, computer workshops, and
assignments, you will think about and work with communication situations
that involve the kinds of readers, purposes, and circumstances you
will encounter at work. By doing so, this course will begin to prepare
you to make practical, effective use of the general principles and
techniques you will learn.
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Basic Student Responsibilities for this Course
Online courses can be a wonderful accommodation for students with burdens of work schedules and far distances, but they are not for everyone. You must, you must be self-motivated and self-reliant to be successful in this learning environment. Your responsibility as an Online student is to keep up, on you own, with the work that I assign every week, to read each page in your Course Content Modules, and to complete your work on time, in the time-line that I establish. Your primary textbook author, Paul Anderson, will tell you that, in the work world, it is better to be incomplete than it is to be late. Your boss will not take late work, so neither can I—not without it greatly effecting your grade. For every day an assignment is late, I will take five (5) points off the potential grade your document could have earned. This late-work policy will include week-end days. The Web, our course site, and the Assignments Tool are available 24-7.
So, how are you going to make sure that you follow your responsibility to stay current in this class? First, it will help if you understand how this course is organized. Every week of the semester corresponds to one week in our Course Content Modules. Week one of the semester is Unit 1; week two is Unit 2, and so on through the entire semester. To be certain that you are on track for each week/unit, get accustomed to using the Schedule page that you will find either by going to the Schedule link from our Course Menu (which is listed on the left side of your monitor when you are inside our class) or by going from the course Home Page, to the "Study Tools" organizer page and then to the "Schedule" link. Use this course schedule. Also use our course Content modules.
Each unit of course content has the exact same structure:
- Each content begins with a Banner Page that establishes the topic for that week.
- Following the Banner Page, each unit has a Set-Up Page.
The unit Set-Up page will list every requirement for that week: reading, discussions, daily work, quiz, or major assignment.
- After every Set-Up page, you will find my Instructor's Comments for that week.
The Instructor's Comments are equlivant to my course lectures. Read them. I am always available to help you in any way I can and to answer any questions that you might have, but I really do not want to answer questions about information that I explain in my week's lecture, especially when I track you and see that you have not read my lecture. Some weeks/units, my lectures, or comments, are only one page long. Other weeks, they may be longer. Please understand that I expect you to read the pages that I put inside our course content. That is how you "come to class" for this cyber course.
- After each Instructor's Comments page, or pages, I put an Evaluation Page in each unit.
On the Evaluation page I list only the graded activities for that particular week/unit.
- Finally,each unit, or content module, ends with a Wrap-Up page. On the Wrap-Up page I try to create a bridge between what we are finishing in each week and what we will be beginning the following week.
Find the Schedule page now. Go look at it. It is your responsibility to keep up with the work you will find there.
Go into the Content Modules, expand the course Table of Contents, and see the repeated structure that is in each unit/week. That is where you will find what I would cover if this were a traditional face-to-face class. It is your responsibility to read each content page during the week that unit is assigned.
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The formal assignment you will complete this semester represent distinct types of communication that most of you will need to prepare in your careers. Most of the assignments are freestanding, but one belongs to document cycle. A document cycle is a group of communications that all concern a single undertaking. Document cycles are very common in the workplace, and arranging course projects into document cycles will help you begin to understand the interrelationships that often exist among workplace communications. Here are the seven assignments.
Project 1: Interview and Investigative Report
Interview and Investigative Report (One free-standing assignment):
Learning Objectives Evaluation
- Learn the basics of gathering
- Learn the basics of structuring
- Learn the basics of good
- Learn the Style Sheet for
- Learn the nature of Superstructures
- Learn the Superstructure for
- Learn memo header format
- Writing Situation: documents
reflect an adequate understanding of this introductory
- Research: documents reflect
skill in creating and gathering personal information
- Presentation: reflects careful
consideration of presentation of information on the page
as appropriate for professional documents
- Reflects proper superstructure
- Demonstrates correct memo
See the Schedule Page for due date.
Project 2: Researched Professional Project
Research: Supported Stance
(Three joined assignments; two daily grades and one major grade):
Leaning Objectives Supported Stance/ Research Writing / Recommendation
Report / Proposals
Research Project Evaluation Points:
- Practice professional gathering
- Practice identifying places
where visual aids would help and using those effectively
to communicate empirical data immediately
- Practice anticipating questions
readers will ask about support
- Learn the Superstructure of
- Learn how to use Microsoft
Word to book format a document
- Presents a well-researched
and well-analyzed list of options for action and will
guide the reader through those options, providing clear
recommendations and a potential plan for action
- Answers questions the readers
are likely to have and covers major areas of investigation
- Uses visual aids to enhance
and augment its argument where needed
- Incorporates good design
issues such as effective and parallel headings, effective
use of white space and color, and appropriate font style
and size selections
- Demonstrates full book formatting
For this assignment, you will be
conducting actual empirical research to support a stance you
want to make. This must be a real-world document. It must be tied directly to your major. Use the professional vocabulary,
tone, and presentation of your major field of study. You
will also learn to use Microsoft Word to generate a Table
of Contents and other portions of book formatting a document.
First, you must get permission from me by posting your proposed topic on the discussion board. In this post, you will explain the topic you are requesting my permission to investigate. You must also demonstrate your preliminary research in this message. You will then complete the researching, writing, revising, and book formatting of your semester project. Finally, you will also write an accompanying Letter or Memo of Transmittal for this researched document. The purpose of a transmittal document is to explain your document and your audience to me so that I am informed when I begin reading your document.
See the Schedule Page for due date.
3: Instructions Manual: Directions Presentation
- Modified Instructions presentation
- Directions presentation
Modified Instructions Manual
- Perform an audience analysis
- Understand the difference in an Instructions Manual and Directions.
- Write directions according to sound,
reasoned consideration of information needed, visuals needed, and professional presentation
- States clearly the purpose
- Recognizes and addresses
audience by considering the users' expertise through audience
analysis for consideration of what you need to include
- Considers ethical implications
such as the types of warnings or other information that
may have an impact on the reader
- Defines the subject in an
overview, summarizes its content, and provides a mapping
statement and lists necessary tools and materials
- Includes only one task per
- Provides any necessary follow-up
advice; includes a troubleshooter's guide, if appropriate;
and describes how to recognize success in the conclusion
- Provides adequate content
clues through titles and headings
- Reflects appropriate design
- Reflects the professional
presentation of Directions: text placement, visuals, reference
to visuals, headings, type of fonts used, correct use
of ordered lists.
In this document assignment, you will
evaluate an existing set of Instructions, and you will write
your own missing elements. Work on this document
also introduces you to another important technical writing
superstructure: Instruction sets. As you work on the Instructions,
you will also learn about some critically important non-text
dimensions of technical communication, including visual
aids and manual page layout.
See the Schedule Page for due date.
You will notice that all five assignments
share this in common: all of them are representative of the kinds
of writing you may one day be expected to produce. Also, in all but
the Instructions Cycle, you pick your own topics. My experience is
that most students prefer to do most or all of their work on topics
of their own choosing. This increases their interest in and enthusiasm
for the course work, and it enables them to practice writing about
the very topics that will be the focus of their careers.
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Course| RequirementsEvaluations. As much as possible, I
will take the point of view of the intended readers in your projects.
I will ask the following questions:
I cannot give A's to projects that wouldn't
work on the job, and I will give lower grades to some projects that
might merely suffice at work. Based on a workplace scale:
- Does the organization make sense from
the point of view of the way that audience will use the communication? Does the communication answer the questions
the readers will want it to answer? Does the project achieve the real or
realistic purpose for which it was designed? Does the project demonstrate a mastery
of the particular skills, strategies, forms, and structures that
we are focusing upon at a particular point in the course?
- Is the project error free? (Keep in
mind that in the workplace the "Hallmarks of Illiteracy" are spelling
errors, usage errors, punctuation errors (particularly comma blunders),
and grammatical mistakes (i.e., subject/verb agreement, unintended
fragments, noun/pronoun agreement, run-on's).
- excellent = A, High B (100-88)
- good = B (87-83)
- acceptable = Low B, High C (82-78)
- marginal = C to low C (77-70)
- unacceptable = F (59 and below)
Please notice that I do NOT give D
Deadlines are nonnegotiable. I will deduct
a half letter grade for every day an assignment is late.
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Your course average for your final grade will
be figured using these averages:
ready on time
planning ready on time
comments made on time
You will have several kinds of activities
that comprise your Daily Average. Certainly, the requirements
listed under "Evaluation" in each unit will be heavily figured into
this portion of your course grade. You cannot make up unit quizzes
or daily work. Daily work means exactly that: you either did or did
not make your posts, take your quizzes, or submit your required exercises
in the allotted time that a daily grade was assigned.
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General Procedures and Requirements:
The following policies intend to help you
develop and display professional work habits, both in individual work
and teamwork. These habits include meeting deadlines, doing required
work, and regular participation in class work:
- Submit work correctly to ensure
prompt and fair grading. All work for this class will be submitted
in electronic form using the WebCT Assignments Tool. I will make comments on your documents and then return them to you. You need to go back to the Assignment link and look in your Graded Files drop-box to see your graded documents with my coments on them. Be certain to be thorough when you complete your WebCT Orientation
so that you will know how to use the Assignments Tools well before
a major project is due.
Complete and turn in work on time.
Our units run from Tuesday at noon through to the following Tuesday
morning until noon. I will always give you until 1:00 PM on the
Tuesday a unit ends to submit all quizzes, exercises, and major assignments.
After that hour, assignments will be late and quizzes will not be available for
you to use. You may turn in your major assignments late, but I will deduct a half-letter grade [five (5) points] for every day your assignment is late. This does include week-end days because the assignments tool is available to you 24-7. However, remember, you need to begin
a new unit every Monday, beginning at noon, in order to say up with
your other classmates and our assignment schedule.
Do your homework. I will expect
you to complete all the assigned homework exercises, readings, and
draft activities. Thirty percent of your course grade comes from
your daily average, so do not take these activities lightly.
- Plagiarism. Be certain that
you clearly understand the university Academic Honesty Policy. Briefly,
this policy states, "Academic dishonesty includes, but is not limited
to, cheating on an examination or other academic work, plagiarism,
collusion, unauthorized use of technology, and the abuse of resource
material." See you Student Handbook for further clarification and
explanation of this policy, but in essence, count of this: if you
plagiarize, you will fail the class and possibly face being suspended
from the University. Offering the work of someone else's as your
own, without proper acknowledgment, is plagiarism; therefore, any
student who fails to give credit for quotations or essentially identical
expression of material taken from books, encyclopedias, magazines,
and other reference works, or from the theses, reports, or other
writings of a fellow student or any other person, is guilty of plagiarism.
Digital sources need to be properly quoted as well. If you use someone
else's work or ideas, be careful to properly cite your source. Don't
copy, and always turn in only your own work. I don't care how good
a writer your Aunt Lucy is, don't get her to do your writing for
you. I can't help you become a better writer if I'm not seeing your
own writing. It's your grade; earn it yourself.
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Distance Learning Information:
TSU Center for Instructional Technology and Distributed
Education:Elsa DeLeon: Administrative Secretary,
CITDE Website: http://online.tarleton.edu/
Student Help for WebCT: http://online.tarleton.edu/stud_serv.htm
Please note that this contact information concerns only technical
issues for WebCT. For course content questions, please contact me.
Research Components:You may need access to the Dick Smith
Library materials for one or more of your writing projects. The
links below will help you acquaint you with our library's distance
education services and how to access library databases from your
Tarleton Campus Assistance:
For help with your username, password,
or dial-up, call Information Resources (254 )968-9885 or try http://www.tarleton.edu/~helpdesk
For help accessing library databases, connecting from home, or using
the proxy server, call Library Systems toll free (866) 339-5555,
locally (254) 968-9466, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Killeen Campus Assistance:
For help connecting from
home, contact the Computer Lab, University Center room 117) or call
For help with library databases, call Tarleton Library-Central Texas
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Course Prerequisites, Co-requisites and Fees
Entrance Competencies and Skills:
Because the course is a web-based course,
you need intermediate to advanced Internet-skills. For a good assessment
of your current skills, take the Prentice Hall's online "test"
to see if this kind of course is for you. You can find that test
You know the prerequisites to the course:
ENGL 111 and 112 or approval of the department head. What does
that mean? Even if you have met them, you might not understand entrance
competencies. You should be proficient in the following:
- Writing an academic essay and document
sources using a documentation standard such as MLA or APA; Writing using the rules of usage and
grammar for Standard Academic English; Working in a self-directed environment;
- Word-processing skills in a software
application such as Microsoft Word.
English 111, 112 (You must have credit
for these courses or their equivalents). By enrolling in this course,
you are certifying that you have meet the prerequisites. If I find
that you have not, you will be dropped from the course.Fees / Misc. Expenses:
Course Fee, $10; Distributed Education
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Learning the Software/Understanding the Online Environment: First:
Go to Tarleton's Distance Education link
and CAREFULLY read the first two links you will find on the Student
Commons' page: ARE YOU A CANDIDATE FOR DISTANCE LEARNING? and IS A WEB-BASED CLASS RIGHT FOR YOU? An Online class is designed
for an Online student. If you are not already VERY comfortable using
your computer, surfing the Web, using e-mail, creating electronic
documents, attaching files, etc., this class simply is not for you.
Knowledge of these activities is a prerequisite for this course. You
cannot expect to learn how to do all of these things and then learn
all the content material of this course also. You would be taking
two courses at once. Also, I think it should go without saying that
you cannot confidently expect to complete an Internet class without
your own computer and Internet connection.
We will be using a course management system
called WebCT. The first week of our semester will be devoted to making
sure you learn now to use WebCT. If you are proficient with your computer,
you can easily meet the following objectives of our Class and WebCT
- Learn to log on to WebCT Learn to use the basics of WebCT's
- Learn to use the repetitive structure
of each of our course units: Banner Page, Set-Up Page, Online Lecture Page(s), Evaluation Page,
and Wrap-Up Page.
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AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES
If you have special needs due to a
learning disability or other disability, please contact Ms. Trina Geye, the Director of Student Disabilities Services. Her
phone number is 968-9400; email email@example.com . Her office is located in the Mathematics Building, Room 201, Stephenville campus. Students who have special instructional
needs because of a physical or learning disability should discuss them
as soon as possible with Ms. Geye. No instructional accommodations
can be made unless requested by her office.
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