This course is designed to familiarize you with basic principles of professional communication and to give you opportunities to practice creating professional documents. We will define professional writing as any written communication that is designed to accomplish specific tasks in professional settings—both within the workplace and with external audiences such as other workplaces and potential employers.
To better understand professional writing, we will ask a number of questions:
- How do people use writing in workplace and organizational contexts?
- How do people produce writing in workplace and organizational contexts?
- What features do different workplace genres have? Why do they have these features?
- How does language itself (including grammatical features and word choice) make documents easier or harder to use?
- How can we use visual elements and document design to make documents more usable?
By working through these questions this course will enable you to
- Produce and design documents appropriate to a range of professional situations
- Select and use writing and project management tools appropriate to a range of professional writing tasks
- Demonstrate social habits that are valued in the workplace, including the ability to work in teams and to give and accept critique on workplace writing
- Use a writing style consistent with professional contexts
Johnson-Sheehan, R. (2011). Technical communication strategies for today.
- Project 1 – The Fundamentals of Professional Writing: deliverable is a revised portfolio that includes a complaint letter, a short report in memo format, and a tip/instruction sheet.
- Project 2 – Managing a Professional Project with Writing: deliverables are a collaboratively written and revised work plan memo, a collaboratively written and revised short report, and an individually written team performance review.
- Project 3 – Representing Yourself on the Job Market: deliverable is a revised portfolio that includes a résumé, a cover letter, and an email requesting a reference.
- Project 4 – Final Reflection and Samples: deliverables are written reflections on prompts about professional writing and a portfolio that provides samples and summaries of the key features of important professional writing genres.