Syllabus website

Professional and Technical Writing is the study of the design of information. By design, I'm referring to how content is shaped both textually and visually in the planning and production of communicative activites. As an umbrella term, professional communication encompasses the forms of communication used in the workplace including corporate or workplace communication and technical writing/communication.

This course is a seminar and as such will emphasize reading and discussion through which you will gain an understanding of the types and circumstances of communication challenges encountered in the workplace, particularly with the field of Technical Communication. The first half of the semester we will explore the theory and practice of corporate communication and its various characteristics as a form of professional communication. The second half of the semester will focuse on the professionalization of Technical Communication as a case study.

Some documents associated with the class and all assignments will be submitted through Dropbox is a document repository that I use for course materials and student files and documents. You will need to create an account at in order to submit your assignments. This account is free. In dropbox, I created a course folder called Professional and Technical Writing Fall 2015, which contains course documents and student files. You will receive an invitation from dropbox to join this folder. Once you've accepted the invitation, you will be able to see and access this folder.

I created a folder for each of you within the course folder. Each of these folders will contain other folders for each assignment with a "Ready for Grading" folder within each. I will assume that any documents placed into the Ready for Grading folder are ready for grading. You are welcome to save any other documents in this space. Please do NOT delete any documents in the course folder or the Ready for Grading folder.

In order to ensure that all students have access to the course documents in dropbox, I will have to share the entire course folder with everyone, which means that everyone will have access to everyone else’s folder. We will work on the honor system, which says that no one will go into anyone else’s folder without permission.


course books & materials

Cornelissen, Joep. (2014). Corporate communication: A guide to theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.


Karsh, Brad. (2009). How to say it on your resume. New York: Prentice Hall.



Alred, Gerald J.; Brusaw, Charles T.; Oliu, Walter E. (2011). The business writer's handbook, 11ed. New York: St. Martin's Press. NOTE: This book is to be used as a reference manual. I'll expect you to access it on your own as needed for your writing projects.




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