Enterpreneur Track

In ENGL 2311: Technical and Business Writing, you study the principles, techniques, and skills needed in scientific, technical, or business writing. The course includes instruction in the writing of reports, letters, and other exercises applicable to a wide range of disciplines and careers, along with emphasis on clarity, conciseness, and accuracy of expression. Research techniques, information design, effective use of graphics, and preparation and presentation of oral reports is also covered.

Technical and Business Writing is a writing-intensive course; be ready to produce writing projects every weeks and a lot of reading and practice in between. As a 12-week course, this course is particularly brisk. Whenever possible, try to work ahead of the schedule.

This is the Entrepreneur track (applicable to any major). The other tracks are the Scientist/Technologist track (recommended for science majors) and the Technical Communicator track (recommended for people considering a technical writing career).

Semester/year Fall 2017
Instructor David McMurrey
Class meetings Online class
Office & hours Tuesday and Thursday: Northridge Campus 4225 12:00pm-3:30pm (Always call 512.223.4804 to ensure I'm there.)
Phone 512.223.4804 (Northridge Campus)
E-mail davidm@austincc.edu

Week of September 25

In this first week, find out about the course and get going on the first unit, which is resumes and application letters. You can start this week getting ready to write the resume and application letter.
Introductions & startup. Let's find out who we are and what this class is all about.
Start-up activities Watch the course overview. (ACCstudent is the password.)
Note: You may need to click the Full Screen button to be able to see better and be ready to click the Pause button if things go too fast. This video is from last year; a few things have changed for this year's course.
Go through the list of startup activities to get going in this course.
due—Sept. 27
Online textbook
readings & quizzes
Read about technical communication (no quiz)
Read about audience and take the quiz.
Read about business correspondence and take the quiz.
due—Oct. 1
Writing project Start thinking about your own resume, due on the date shown to the right. (Planning notes are not required.)
Also, start thinking about your own application letter, due on the date shown to the right. (Planning notes are not required.)
due—Oct. 8
Grammar, usage, punctuation review. Use the following exercises and learn to recognize and correct some of the most common errors in writing projects in this course.
Writer's bootcamp No matter how good your writing projects in this course, the errors listed above will be devastating to your grade. Keep in mind that you must complete these exercises before your writing assignments will be accepted. due—Oct. 8
Formatting & revising Note: You are not required to do the optional exercises that are in gray lettering. However, doing them ensures you will have a greater chance of success on your writing projects in this course.

The following formatting and revision practice items are optional:
Using the provided text, build, format, and edit the text of one resume. (Ask me for the key.)
Using the provided text, build, format, and edit the text of one application letter. (Ask me for the key.) Revise this resume. (Ask me for the key.)
Revise this application letter. (Ask me for the key.)

Week of October 2

Resumes and application letters. Use the following to write and revise your resume and application letter. Remember: we are not writing the blah "cover" letter.
Online textbook
readings & quizzes
Read about resumes and take the quiz on resumes
Read about application letters and take the quiz on
application letters
due—Oct. 4

Writing project Start thinking about your own resume, due on the date shown to the right. (Planning notes are not required.)
Also, start thinking about your own application letter, due on the date shown to the right. (Planning notes are not required.)
due—Oct. 8
Formatting & revising Note: You are not required to do the optional exercises that are in gray lettering. However, doing them ensures you will have a greater chance of success on your writing projects in this course.

The following formatting and revision practice items are optional:
Using the provided text, build, format, and edit the text of one resume. (Ask me for the key.)
Using the provided text, build, format, and edit the text of one application letter. (Ask me for the key.) Revise this resume. (Ask me for the key.)
Revise this application letter. (Ask me for the key.)


Week of October 9

Don't forget! Your resume and application letter were due Oct. 8
Instructions, headings, lists, notices, illustrations. This and next week, we focus on the style, format, and organization of instructions. You'll get some practice formatting instructions and reformatting text to include headings, numbered and bulleted lists, and notices (warnings, caution, danger) and also learn some ways to acquire illustrations and incorporate them into your technical documents.
Online textbook
readings & quizzes
Read about instructions and take the quiz
Read about task analysis and take the quiz.
Read about headings and take the quiz
Read about lists and take the quiz
due—Oct. 11
Writing project Start thinking about your own instructions, due on the date shown to the right. (Planning notes are not required.) due—Oct. 22
Formatting

The following practice items are optional:
Using the provided text, format text with headings. (Ask me for the key.)
Using the provided text, reformat to include vertical lists. (Ask me for the key.)
Using the provided text, format to include notices. (Ask me for the key.)

Week of October 16

Online textbook
readings & quizzes
Read about special notices and take the quiz
Read about highlighting and take the quiz
Read about graphics and take the quiz
Here is a recorded overview of what I look for when I review instructions.
due—Oct. 18
Formatting & revising Using the provided text, format to include notices. (Ask me for the key.)
Revise these instructions. (Ask me for the key.)
Using the provided text, build and format instructions. (Ask me for the key.)

Writing project Complete your own instructions, due on the date shown to the right. (Planning notes are not required.) due—Oct. 22

Week of October 23

Don't forget! Your instructions were due yesterday (Oct. 22)
Final-report planning. This week, study technical reports, types of reports, topics for reports, report requirements; look at example reports; and start thinking about your own report project, which is due toward the end of the semester. Specifically, pick a topic, and invent or find a real or realistic audience, purpose, and situation. Think big; be ambitious!
Online textbook readings Read about reports in types of reports
Review report examples and recommendation report examples
Read about technical handbooks
Quizzes Take the technical reports quiz. due—Oct. 25
Writing project Review these requirements and planning suggestions for the final report. Scroll to "Planning" for some great ideas for your final report.
due—Dec. 10
(preliminary draft)
Dec. 13
(drafts returned)
due—Dec. 17
(final draft)
Report memo project Post your report project memo so that your instructor and the rest of the class can view them. (Don't forget: this assignment receives a grade.)

View the report project memo to see what others are doing for their final report projects.

View the past report project memos to see what others have done for their final report projects.

Important note: The project memo asks you about the RFP you are responding to. That's the request for proposals that the organization sends out about the doocument it needs which also happens to be the document you want to write. You answer with a proposal (not the needed document) that shows how how you're the best for the writing project.

Caution: I will not accept the proposal or the final report unless you have done this report memo.
due—Oct. 29

Week of October 30

Don't forget! Your report planning memo was due yesterday.
Proposals. Now that you've planned a formal, researched technical report, picked a topic, and invented or found a real or realistic audience, purpose, and situation, you're all set to learn about proposals, and plan and write a proposal in which you propose to do write the report you have just planned. This week, learn about proposals, practice formatting and revising proposals, and start planning your own proposal in relation to the report project you set up last week.
Online textbook
readings & quizzes
Read about proposals and take the quiz. due—Nov. 1
Information searching. Use a strategy for finfing information for your final report.
Online textbook
readings & quizzes

Read about information searching and take the quiz.
Use the information search guide to step you through the process. (Planning notes are not required.)
due—Nov. 1
Formatting & revising

The following practice items are optional:
Format the following electromagnetic fields proposal. (Ask me for the key.)
Revise the following proposal on ozone depletion. (Ask me for the key.)

Writing projects Start working on your own proposal, due on the date shown to the right. (Planning notes are not required.)

Caution: I will not accept this proposal unless you have done the report memo.
due—Nov. 12
Introductions. Learn what makes up a good introduction—for a long report like you'll be doing later this semester, short reports, and sections within reports.
Online textbook
readings & quizzes
Read about introductions and take the quiz. due—Nov. 1

Week of November 6

Wriing projects. Keep working on that proposal due Nov. 12
Cross-referencing. Learn or review how to refer to other sections of your reports or to other external resources from your reports.
Online textbook
readings & quizzes

Read about cross-referencing and take the quiz.


due—Nov. 8

Week of November 13

Don't forget! Your proposal was due yesterday.
Documentation. Review another system of indicating the sources of borrowed information.
Online textbook
readings & quizzes
Read about documentation and take the quiz.
due—Nov. 15
Abstracts and executive summaries. Learn about the various types of summaries (abstracts, executive summaries) that accompany technical reports and that will be an important part of your own final report. Get some practice writing them by writing the summaries for the recommendation report you format.
Online textbook
readings & quizzes
Read about abstracts and summaries and take the quiz.
Note: Remember! The abstracts go in your final report. Just learn about them here.
due—Nov. 15
Formatting & revising

The following practice items are optional:
Using the provided text, build and format a causal discussion. (Ask me for the key.)
Using the provided text, create tables. (Ask me for the key.)
Using the provided text, create charts. (Ask me for the key.)
Using the provided text, create graphs. (Ask me for the key.)

Recommendation reports. Study recommendation reports and format one. This formatting practice will get you ready to produce your own report.
Online textbook
readings & quizzes
Read about recommendation reports and take the quiz. due—Nov. 15
Formatting & revising

The following practice items are optional:
Get an overview of IEEE documentation style. From the University of Toronto
Get an overview of APA documentation style. From Austin Community College
Create an information-sources list and send to your instructor by e-mail attachment.
Add textual citations and send to your instructor by e-mail attachment.
Catch the plagiarist!

Report format. To get ready for producing your final report, format the text of a recommendation report. This will include practice with citing sources and creating the information-sources list. Putting together a nicely formatted final report in Word is tough. And one of the toughest parts of it is creating a professional-looking table of contents (TOC).
Writing project No writing project for the recommendation report—instead, it is a formatting project. The recommendation-report formatting project is the project for this unit, due as indicated to the right. due—Nov. 22

Week of November 20

Optional revision. If you want to submit one revision for a higher grade, I must receive that revision on or before Dec. 3

Week of November 27

Optional revision. If you want to submit one revision for a higher grade, I must receive that revision on or before Dec. 3
Don't forget! Your recommendation report format was due yesterday.
Oral reports. This week, review the requirements for the oral report, and then start planning for a 7-minute oral-report script on your formal-report project or some other topic. (Because this is an online class, this will be a script instead of audio or in person. If you can produce a computer audio file, contact your instructor.)
Online textbook
readings & quizzes

Read about oral reports and take the quiz.
due—Nov. 29
Report projects Prepare your oral report, due on the date shown to the right. (Planning notes are not required.) due—Dec. 11
Final technical report. For the remainder of the semester, do a variety of activities to get you ready to write your final report: look at examples of technical reports, format and revise technical reports, practice writing the executive summary, and more. (Planning notes are not required.)
Writing project Review this information about the final report requirements
Please use this template for your report, handbook, guide—whatever you call it.
Use this video to see how to use the prototype.
Use this video to see how to construct a professional-looking table of contents for your report.
due—Dec. 10
(preliminary draft)
Dec. 13
(drafts returned)
due—Dec. 17
(final draft)

Week of December 4

Don't forget! Your optional revision was due yesterday (Dec. 3)
Final technical report. Keep working on that final report, the preliminary draft of which is due Dec. 11
Writing project Review this information about the final report requirements. (Send your report by e-mail attachment. If you prefer to print out and bind your report, make arrangements with your instructor.) due—Dec. 10
(preliminary draft)
Dec. 13
(drafts returned)
due—Dec. 17
(final draft)

Week of December 11

Final technical report. The preliminary draft was due yesterday; I'll return my review by Dec. 13; your final draft will be due Dec. 17

Maintained by davidm@austincc.edu.