Dr. Kristi Siegel

Assistant Professor, English
Mount Mary College
Milwaukee, WI 53222
EPW Technical Writing 331 - Accelerated
  Spring 2002
  Tuesdays 6:00-9:50 pm
   Smart Classroom - 2nd Floor, Haggerty Library
   Office: Fidelis 223, ext. 461
   Office Hours: Tuesdays, 4:00 - 5:50 pm and by appointment

Required: Gerson, Sharon J. and Steven M. Gerson. Technical
                Writing: Process and Product
, 3rd Ed.  Upper Saddle
                River: Prentice Hall, 2000.
A good dictionary
A good grammar handbook and/or
The Associated Press Stylebook
A basic handbook on FrontPage 2000/web publishing
A pocket folder to hold my endless handouts!

Course Objectives:
to understand the purpose and process of technical writing;
to produce documents reflecting different types of technical
  communication such as technical descriptions, proposals, reports,
  web pages, and instructional manuals;
to use mechanically and grammatically correct language in written
  and oral communication;
to learn how to adjust technical content to meet the needs of a specific target
to learn how to produce clear and concise prose;
to appreciate principles of document design and how they enhance meaning;
to give a professional oral presentation on the final project (web site).

~In-Class Assignments - 15%
~Instructions, Manual, Proposal, Report - 40%
~Website - 15%
~Oral Presentation - 10%
~Participation - 10%
~Final Portfolio - 10%
Class Schedule

Before Mar 19
Read (skim) first four chapters of text, pp. 1-85; focus particularly on definition
and types of technical writing, methods for achieving clarity, and determining

Be prepared to discuss reading for first class (Mar 19). 
Bring in one example of technical writing for first class.


Week 1 - Mar 19
Orientation and Introductions
Discussion of syllabus and scope of course
Definition of technical writing and types of technical writing
"Chopping block" of tech writing: clarity and audience
Basic word processing shortcuts and techniques
**Speedy Beginnings with Word 97/2000 -
**Speedy Editing with Word 97/2000 -
**Speedy Formatting with Word 97/2000 -
-Design principles - in class exercise
**Basic Principles of Document design -
Document design.doc

Read Chapters 8 and 9
Bring in example of good technical design and example of poor
  technical design for next class (be prepared to explain why examples
  are good or poor).


Week 2 - Mar 26
Visual design and Graphics - in-class work and assignments
**Summary Design Document -
**Memo _Re-design exercise -
Narrative strategies for writing technical content (in-class exercises and
**How to Put Your Reader into a Coma without Really Trying (
-Lego Block assignment explained -

Read Chapters 11 & 12
Lego Block assignment due on Apr 9

Apr 2 - Easter Break


Week 3 - Apr 9

Lego Block presentations
Principles of technical descriptions and instructions (in-class exercises
  and assignment)
**Structural and Functional Partitioning  -
**Effective Technical Descriptions - Technicaldescription.doc
Instructional Chapter/manual assignment explained - in-class work and
FullShot 7 Instructions
- Progress/Status Report explained and assigned. -

Read Chapters 13 & 14
Status Report on Instruction Manual due Apr 16
Instructional Chapter/Manual due Apr 23

Week 4 - Apr 16
Types of reports explained and discussed (in-class exercises and
In-class work on Instruction manuals
Principles of proposal writing
In-class work on
Web site Proposal
Status Report on Instructions' Manual collected
- Sign up for GeoCities web site

Read handout on
website design.
Website Manual - Tutorial on PageBuilder and FrontPage
Read Internet links on website design and construction.
Instruction manual due next class (Apr 23)

Week 5 - Apr 23
Proposals and Grants (cont.)
Instruction Manuals collected
In-class exercises and assignments
In-class work on Website Proposal
In-class work on Web pages - design, techniques, and writing effective
  web text
Oral Presentation assigned

Web site proposal due Apr 30
Read suggested Internet Links


Week 6 - Apr 30
Discussion of Website Proposals
In-class work on webpages
In-class work and discussion on presenting effective oral communication
  film on effective oral presentations
- Explanation of Final Portfolio

Read Chapter 17


Week 7 - May 7
In-class work on websites
In-class work on oral presentations
- In-class work on final portfolios

Complete website, oral presentation and final portfolio for
May 14


Week 8 - May 14
Oral Presentation on Website
Assessments of Oral presentations
Task Analysis
Final Portfolios collected

Additional Links:

Basic HTML Tutorial (by Dr. Joe Burns)
How to Build Lame Websites (this website, developed by Charlie Morris,
  offers some very true--and funny--advice on website design and
Glossary of Internet Terms
~1,000 Free Internet Web Publishing Tools (e.g., clipart, fonts,
  animation, etc.)
Web Style Guide