English 362: Foundations of Technical Writing
Hybrid Course Lessons

Module 3: Writing Clearly for the Correct Audience

Module Contents:
    Textbook Readings
    Supplementary Readings
    Discussion
    Assignments
    Peer Review
    Checklist
    Back to Syllabus
    Back to Course Index Page

This module covers the following topics:

  • Writing for the correct reader.
  • Technical-writing grammar rules.
  • Using numbers and equations.

Textbook Readings

Finish the textbook readings before the discussion starting on Monday at noon.

Supplementary Readings

Finish the supplementary readings before the discussion begins on Monday. These and lots more are also available on the Handouts page.

This Week's Discussion

Feel free to all contribute to all prompts, or to split them up between you as you prefer. Topics to include in this week's Blackboard discussion:

  • Writing for the correct reader.
    • What are the best ways to identify and understand your audience?
    • How does that affect your work?
  • Technical-writing grammar rules.
    • Are you having trouble accepting all these rules?
    • Disagree with any, not understand some?
    • Common misapprehensions?
  • Using numbers and equations.
  • Discuss a number of topics from this week's reading, especially in terms of how they apply to your own writing.
  • Post about rules (especially from Blake & Bly's list) that need further discussion.

Discussion leaders: Start the conversations by Monday at noon (or sooner). Everyone else: Get involved right as soon as possible, before projects are due, to get the most out of them! Feel free to continue dropping in to read and respond to new posts throughout the week. Everyone is required to participate in these discussions by posting useful responses to the student leaders' prompts, or at least in response to other comments in the discussion forum. Your participation level - even when not leading discussions - strongly affects your semester grade, so get fully engaged every week! Forget which weeks you've signed up to lead? See the weekly portion of the syllabus for the full list.

Rating Discussions

Please also rate your fellow students' posts and responses each week: If your discussion posts earn high ratings (more stars) from your peers, this gives a bonus effect at semester's end so do your best when posting discussion prompts and responding to others' posts. At the same time, the "star" rating for semester-end bonus doesn't work unless everyone participates.... I'll not keep putting in this note, but please keep hitting those stars as appropriate!

Assignments

Numbers exercise is due to Blackboard by Friday at 5:00pm.


After completing each assignment, make sure to back it up (I recommend using a low-cost USB flash device like this or a Web service like Dropbox) before you turn it in or send it to your peer-review partner. Even if you are late creating a project, you can often avoid getting zero points for that assignment by completing it and turning it in to Blackboard late. Be aware that turning in late projects could harm your peer-review partner's score, as well, so be thoughtful.

Peer Review

Bonus opportunity: No required peer-review this week. Do one for your partner's Number Exercise and turn it in for up to +3 bonus points!

Checklist

  • Read the textbook and supplementary readings by Monday at noon.
  • If you're a discussion leader, post your prompts by Monday at noon.
  • Participate in this week's Blackboard forum discussion starting on Monday. Discussion runs all week, so check back. Get involved as soon as possible, before projects are due, to get the most out of them!
  • Earn bonus points for performing a peer-review of a partner's Numbers exercise before class on Wednesday.
  • Turn in your Numbers exercise to Blackboard by Friday at 5:00pm.
  • Turn in your Reading Response on this Module's required readings before class on Wednesday.
  • Earn a bonus point by uploading a second Reading Response to reflect your thoughts on more readings and reflections on the week's discussions. Due by Sunday at 5:00pm.

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Last updated 8/24/2015.