English 332/Keith: Writing in the Professions

Spring, 2001

Class schedule: 1-1:50: MWF R-115

Instructor: Philip Keith, Office: R-207, Telephone: 255-3189,

e-mail: pkeith@stcloudstate.edu

Text: Inkster/Kilborn, Writing Business (Allyn & Bacon)

Written Work:

1. Notebook: for keeping a record of major concepts, illustrations, applications from the text, class discussion, etc.

2. Workshop activities: individual and group written and computer projects.

3. Memos to PK: weekly e-mail memoranda registering discoveries, concerns, queries.

4. Correspondence: informational letters, good-news and bad-news letters, letters of inquiry, letters of application.

5. Correspondence file: file of revised letters with a self-assessment.

6. Assessments/evaluations: regular memoranda assessing your own and other's work.

7. Short report: an informative report on types of work, demographics, level of competition, required experience/certification, etc. in an area that you are interested in as a possible career.

8. Group project/report: A 3-week research project on an issue of local or campus concern. Includes a 10-15 minute group oral presentation.

9. Individual report: an individual "formal" report (with executive summary, references, and some graphic presentation). This may be an in-depth follow up on the group report, or may be on a different topic.

10. Career planning file: resume and application letter, with a self-assessment.

11. Course portfolio: final drafts of short report, major report, and career planning file with an assessment cover-sheet/memo of your work in this course.

Grading: This course has a lot of assignments and assessment levels, and is designed to make your time commitment a major variable. As 1/5 of a typical course load, I assume a time commitment of 8 hours per week. Typically the grade range runs 15-20% A's, 50% B's, 20-30% C's at the end of the course.

Course Objectives:

1. To provide an opportunity to understand formal and functional features of workplace/organizational communication: different genres, writing to multiple audiences, writing to different audiences.

2. To enhance your communication management abilities: planning, organizational, and presentational skills in written communication.

3. To enhance your ability to write clear, purposeful, idiomatic, and error-free prose.

4. To enhance your skills carrying out collaborative projects: planning, negotiation, time management, reviewing, document design, oral discussion.

5. To develop your abilities in copy editing and substantive editing.

6. To further develop functional research and inquiry skills: library research, interviewing, surveying, documenting, validating.

7. To further your planning in career development.

8. To enhance your ability to write in a computer environment, and to use computer environments to enhance your writing.

What you should be able to expect of me:

1. That the course assignments be designed to stimulate significant learning for the class as a whole, rather than certification of skills already learned.

2. That my expectations in assignments be clear and understandable, and generally available in writing.

3. That my evaluation of your work be clear, timely, and fair, and suggest techniques and resources for improving your performance.

4. That I be flexible in supporting serious efforts by you to learn and perform effectively.

5. That I make an effort to be aware of and sensitive to your needs while not writing off your potential relative to significant aspects or objectives in the course.

What I want to be able to expect of you:

1. That you complete all assignments carefully/professionally, on time, and with a positive attitude.

2. That you participate constructively in all aspects of the class in terms of attendance, group projects, assessment/evaluation activities.

3. That you communicate your concerns, frustrations, queries to me or to others who are the source or cause as much as possible, rather than contributing to a general atmosphere of complaint. I know this course is a hassle.

4. That you let me and or others depending on you know in advance if you will miss a class, a scheduled appointment or meeting, be late in completing an assignment.

Schedule: First draft

[Code: M,W,F (days of week); a=assignment, c=class activity (hence, Wa is assignment due on Wednesday, & Mc is in-class activity on Monday]



What you do

What you learn


Rude: chs. 1-2

Materials on memos.

Notebook: application section # 1,2,4,5, p. 30-1 (Ra)

Workshops: Airplanes (Rc), Rude applications (Mc), Memo (Rc).

Work with computer in R-10: draft memo on with a table or graphic inserted.(Ra)

Memo to PK #1 Career planning and other information.(Fa)

Discover/review some fundamental aspects of function & style in work-writing.

Review aspects of memo format.

Review and enhance your computer-based communication skills.


Rude: chs. 3,5,6

Materials on correspon-dence.

Copy editing activity.

Correspondence: Informative letter.

PRIOS workshop.

Organizational memos: multiple audiences and routing.

Memo to PK #2.

Some fundamentals of copy-editing: the basic code, some mechanical features.

Correspondence forms.

Reader-based style.


Rude: chs. 7-9

Materials on e-mail.

Copy-editing activity.

Correspondence: good-news letter and bad-news letter.

Memo to PK #3: e-mail version.

Improving copy-editing abilities.

Enhance your ability to write letters in a reader-based style.


Rude: chs. 10-11

Copy-editing activity.

Correspondence: letter of inquiry and letter of application.

Memo to PK #4: e-mail.

Enhance your self-presentation skills in written correspondence.

Enhance your abilities to work with an e-mail medium


Rude: chs 12

Materials on career planning

Substantive Editing activity.

Short report on your proposed career demographics.

Group Project: Start Rc & Fc

Memo to PK #5: e-mail

Understand the difference between copy editing and substantive editing.

Extend your skills in career planning.

Enhance your collaboration/group working abilities.


Rude: ch. 13

Materials on substantive editing.

Materials on surveying and interviewing.

Substantive Editing activity.

Group Project: Proposal Ma, progress report Fa.

Correspondence File due Ra.

Assessment: Your assessment of you correspondence file to be included in the file.

Memo to PK #6: e-mail, group project.

Find ways of utilizing your copy editing and substantive editing skills.

Enhance your collablrative project assessment abilities.

Learn to utilize and develop editing/revising abilities in preparing correspondence file.


Rude: ch. 14-5

Materials on formal reports.

Materials on library researching.

Substantive Editing activity.

Group Project: Oral presentations Rc & Fc. Group reports Fa.

Major report: Proposal

Memo to PK #7: e-mail, assessment of group activity.

Utilize and develop oral presentation and discussion skills in group project.

Utilize and develop your abilities for developing a practical and doable report assignment for yourself.

Develop your ability to assess the performance of your own group.


Rude: ch. 16

Materials on visual thinking.

Materials on document design.

Substantive Editing activity: visuals.

Major report: Progress report

Memo to PK #8: e-mail, response to

Develop your ability to plan and execute a major research project using interviewing, surveying, research data methods.


Spring Break


Rude: chs.17-8

Materials on data-presentation: tables and graphics.

Materials on resumes.

Major report: draft Wa.

Assessment of report by another student.

Career Planning: resume draft

Prepare a well-designed document with graphics.

Assess objectively work by other students on a similar assignment.


Materials on assessment and improvement.

Career Planning: file in portfolio.

Major report: final version in portfolio.

Assessment: Portfolio assessment.

Extend career planning activities and understanding of institutional resources.

Enhance your ability to assess your own performance in a group of projects: identify continuities and irregularities.







Final Exam scheduled Tues. 12/31: 7:30-10.

Conferences in lieu of final exam. Mostly during the final exam period. Some will need specially arranged times.

Achieve a functional understanding of your own abilities and promise as an organizational writer, and to identify methods and resources for follow-up and continued development.

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