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PUB 301: Professional Writing

Course Description

In this course, students will acquire the skills needed to write in a professional context. Assignments will introduce students to the forms, methods, standards, and issues central to professional writing. Students will learn how to shape their writing to suit a range of readers, purposes, and professional contexts. Students will learn effective strategies to analyze writing situations as well as apply those strategies to a semester-long proposal project. This project proposal will complement students’ Concentration-Long Action Research Project. Emphasis in this writing course will be on the writing process, collaboration, research methods, technology and document design.

Prerequisite

Enrollment in Charter Oak’s partnership program with College Unbound. Completion of Cornerstone Course. The College Unbound program is a competency-based program that is a hybrid of on-site cohort support/online course system. With that, course materials are delivered online, but students are frequently asked to engage with fellow students and their communities’ in-person.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Use basic rhetorical principles of information and persuasion as writing strategies.
  2. Apply roles of audience and purpose as writing guidelines.
  3. Identify the various genres of professional writing.
  4. Use design features to make documents more accessible and effective.
  5. Choose appropriate editing practices, including grammar and sentence structure, as part of the writing process.
  6. Summarize the implementation of an actionable project.
  7. Identify and apply the rules of standard written English that govern grammar, sentence structure, and paragraph structure.
  8. Develop effective professional reports for a specific purpose and designated audience.
  9. Design a research plan appropriate to the project.
  10. Use clear, effective writing styles for a variety of audiences.
  11. Evaluate and apply the ethical issues of information technology, such as intellectual property and copyright.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

Assignment(s)Weight

Project Proposal Portfolio

40%

Discussion Board Participation

25%

Reading Response Essays

20%

Recorded Public Exhibition

15%

Total

100%

Required Texts

  • Surma, Anne (2005). Public and Professional Writing: Ethics, Imagination and Rhetoric. Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. ISBN-10: 1-4039-1582-2 or ISBN-13: 978-1-4039-1582-5
  • Terk, Natasha (2010). Professional Writing Skills. 3rd ed. Write It Well Publishers. ISBN-10: 0-9824471-1-6 or ISBN-13: 978-0-9824471-1-6

Additional Resources

  • Guidelines for Effective Professional and Academic Writing
  • Guide to Crafting the Professional’s Resume
  • How to Write Clear, Concise, and Direct Sentences

Course Schedule

WeekSLOsReadings and ExercisesAssignment(s)

1

1,2

Introduction to Professional Writing

  • Readings:
    • Surma, Being Professional by Email: How/Who Are You?
  • Read Assigned Chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture Material
  • Submit Reading Response Paper

2

3,9,11

Developing A Writing Plan

  • Readings:
    • Terk: “Develop a Writing Plan in Six Steps”
    • UF: Guidelines for Effective Professional and Academic Writing
  • Read Assigned Chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture Material
  • Submit Reading Response Paper

3

7,8,10

Write!

  • Readings:
    • Terk: “Write the First Draft”
    • Guide to Crafting the Professional’s Resume
  • Read Assigned Chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture Material
  • Submit Professional Resume and Cover Letter

4

4,5,10

Writing Concisely

  • Readings:
    • Terk: “Use Concise Language”
    • Surma, The Struggle to Relate: Writers and Readers of Corporate and Public Documents
  • Read Assigned Chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture Material
  • Submit Executive Summary

5

4,5,10

Writing Clearly

  • Readings:
    • Terk: “Use Clear Language”
    • Surma, Public Information, Up for Debate or Up for Sale? Writing via the Internet
    • How to Write Clear, Concise and Direct Sentences
  • Read Assigned Chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture Material
  • Submit Outline of Project Proposal

6

7,8,10

Project Update

  • Readings:
    • No readings this week.
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture Material
  • Submit Project Proposal Draft

7

5

Revising and Editing

  • Readings:
    • Terk: “Use Correct Grammar” and “Use Correct Punctuation”
    • Challenging Unreliable Narrators, Writing and Public Relations
  • Read Assigned Chapters
  • Participate in the Discussions
  • Review the Lecture material
  • Submit Final Draft of Project Proposal

8

6

Self-Evaluations and Documenting Exhibitions

  • Readings:
    • No readings this week.
  • Record and Post Public Exhibition
  • Submit Project Portfolio
  • Complete Course Evaluation

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.