Technical Communication at the University of Kansas

English 563: Advanced Technical Writing II

Instructor: Chris McKitterick

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English 562

English 563

English 564

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Technical Communication Program at KU

In this course, students apply the principles of communicating scientific and technical information to a variety of readers, ranging from the non-technical manager to the expert engineer. Students concentrate on the varying writing styles for proposals, reports, specifications, journal articles, online documentation, and larger documents, based on their audience.

This course also teaches effective oral presentations and simulates an internship or on-the-job training, especially for students who cannot be matched with an internship opportunity or are not interested in such. Students further develop their technical-writing or -editing portfolio.

Prerequisites
English 562: Advanced Technical Writing I to take this as a writing course
- or -
English 564: Advanced Technical Editing to take this as an editing course.

Students must be comfortable working with computers, specifically email and electronic files. Students are also expected to be familiar with creating documentation plans and abstracts, as well as the basic elements and forms of technical writing.

Course of Study
At or before the beginning of the semester, students and the instructor work out a course of study and as well as research, writing, and editing projects. These projects can range from designing and deploying new websites, to researching and writing grant proposals, to editing several projects written by other students or co-workers. After agreeing on a course of study, students write up a documentation plan - including abstract and problem statement - and update that document as needed during the semester.

Students work independently and turn in a progress report each Friday that details (in the body of the email) the following:

Accomplishments
Goals for the Coming Week
Issues and Questions

Your final grade is based on how well you met the goals stated in your documentation plan, your demonstrated effort and learning, the quality of your work, and consistent communication with the instructor. To earn a high grade, students must show that they have mastered the material from previous Technical Communication courses.

To help students complete the KU Technical Communication program more efficiently, English 563 is available during every semester including Spring, Summer, and Fall. Contact Chris McKitterick for permission to enroll.

Last updated 1/12/2010.