HCT English Language Centre
Course Outline ~ Students’ Version
Course Title Technical Writing
Course Code ENGL 2100
Lecture Hours 3 hours per week
Office hours & Room ____________________________________
1. Calendar Description
This course teaches some of the basic technical writing skills. These skills enable you to write for the
practical needs of a specified audience. You will learn to write about factual information, objectively
and persuasively. The use of information and communication technologies is an important part of this
processing of information.
2. General Aims
Develop clear and accurate written and oral presentations of technical and scientific information.
Promote critical thinking, continuous self-assessment and peer review.
Prepare students to deal with their professional environment.
Encourage independent research as well as cooperative skills.
3. Learning Outcomes
At the end of the course, students should be able to:
Analyze, synthesize, evaluate and interpret information and ideas.
Write in a style appropriate to the technical purpose, showing an awareness of audience.
Plan and manage short- and long-term writing projects in terms of drafting, designing, revising
and editing documents.
Work with various writing technologies and electronic genres.
Identify and explore problems in organizations and design and implement appropriate research
strategies and evaluate sources.
Write collaboratively, providing peers with constructive feedback on their work.
Write ethically and responsibly.
Develop effective style and tone, following business and technical writing
Design visually effective documents (e.g. layout, formatting, incorporating graphics and visuals
Prepare and deliver clear and effective presentations.
Work collaboratively as part of a team.
4. Textbook: McMurrey, D.A. (2002). Power Tools for Technical Communication, Harcourt College
Publishers. ISBN: 0-15506898-9
5. Websites: www.prenhall.com/pfeifer
6. Content Outline
Written communication in a variety of formats (informal reports, business letter reports, memo
reports, formal technical background reports, employment letters, resumes)
Technical writing for the purpose of: description, comparison, classification, persuasion and
Making oral presentations
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7. Assessment Outline
Mid-semester Exam (1 hour) 15%
Final Exam (2hours) 50%
(20% for assignments* and 5% for portfolio presentation)
Homework and participation 10%
Final grades will be based on the following scale.
Letter Grade Percentage Range Grade Point
A 90-100 4.0
A- 85-89 3.7
B+ 80-84 3.3
B 76-79 3.0
B- 73-75 2.7
C+ 70-72 2.3
C 67-69 2.0
C- 60-66 1.7
D 55-59 1.0
F 54 and below 0.0
8. Assessment specifications
a. Mid-semester Exam (15%)
Time: 1 hour
Content: Two writing tasks of 30 minutes each involving any
topics covered up to the MSE. Refer to the Delivery
b. Final Exam (50%)
Time: 2 hours
Content: Two writing tasks of 1 hour each.
Comprehensive and involving any topics covered
throughout the course. Refer to the Delivery Plan.
c. Portfolio (Assignments 20% and Portfolio Presentation 5%)
The final portfolio will consist of two assignments with their drafts, one of which will be
collaborative. The 5% for the portfolio presentation will be distributed as follows:
o Organization (layout, tidiness) 2.5 %
o Content (all necessary documents included) 2.5 %
o All assignments must be typed.
o Each student must submit his or her own first draft (written or typed) for each assignment
before the deadline, as well as a final version (typed). Both are required for the final
o Font: Times New Roman
o Font size: 12
o Spacing: double
Topics for the assignments will be given either by the instructor or taken directly from the
Assignment 1 (5%)
Topics could include an informal site, accident, trip, or field report using descriptions.
Consider audience, proper format, and appropriate techniques for writing drafts.
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Deadline: First draft 7 days after topic is issued
Instructor will return it within 5 days
Final draft 5 days after that
Length: Instructors will specify the words according to the nature of the task,
although the assignment should be between 400 and 1000 words.
Assignment 2 (15%= Written 10% and Oral 5%)
Students will work in a team on this project. The outcome consists of a formal report and
a. Written Report 10%
The report must consist of:
o Title page
o Table of contents
o Executive Summary
o Introduction, Body, Conclusions, and Recommendations
o References & Appendixes
The length of the “Introduction, Body, Conclusions, and Recommendation”
is approximately 1000 to 1200 words.
A draft of the report is due 13 days after the topic is issued.
The instructor will return it within 8 days.
The final is due 10 days after that.
The references should include at least three sources.
The report must be word-processed, double spaced on A4 paper with one
inch margins and size 12 Times New Roman font.
b. Oral presentation 5%
20 minute group presentation (individual assessment)
10. Homework and participation (10%)
Homework: Late homework is not acceptable. Homework will be given on a regular basis.
Homework will include exercises on vocabulary and extra reading. Preparation for assignments
will not be considered as part of homework.
Participation: There may not be sufficient time to go over all the material in a chapter
(whether the chapter is taught in class or assigned for extra reading). Therefore, students should
be prepared to discuss the topics in class and to ask questions about anything which seems unclear.
11. Course Policies
Attendance: Attendance and active participation in class activities are required. Irregular attendance
will be dealt with according to item 75 in section 8 of the “College Bylaws for Technical Colleges”
(Ministerial decree no. 72/2004). Students must have an official sick leave from a government hospital or
written, signed permission from the HoD. 3 incidences of lateness (exceeding 5 minutes) will be
considered one absence.
10% = 4 hours - 1st warning
20% = 7 hours - 2nd warning
30% = 11 hours -3rd warning
Late Assignments: For late submission of assignments, students need a legitimate reason and they
need to inform the instructor in advance of the reason. Otherwise, assignments will be marked down by
5% (e.g. 80% will be 75%).
Plagiarism and cheating: Plagiarism is the presentation of another person’s work, words, or ideas as if
they were one’s own. It ranges from an entire assignment which is not the student’s own work to specific
passages within an assignment which are not the student’s own work but taken from a source without
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Cheating is usually understood as copying from another student. However, it also includes a student or a
group of students, using or attempting to use unauthorized aids, assistance, materials, or methods in
assignments, reports, presentations or examinations.
If the instructor concludes that a student has cheated and/or plagiarized, a grade of zero will be assigned
for the affected assignment, report, presentation, or examination.
Textbook: Power Tools for Technical Communication
Weeks Chapters Involved Activities Extra Reading
Introduction Assignment #1 Ch. 18 Reviewing and
Ch. 19 Audience and Task Analysis (3rd to 5th week) Revising
Ch. 1 Description: Product Specifications , 1st Draft: 7 days after the Ch. 7 Headings
Informal Reports topic is issued. Instructor Appendix A Abbreviations,
Ch. 5 Definition and Classification will return it within 5 days. Symbols, and Numbers
Technical Background report Final Draft: 5 days after the Ch. 11 Illustrative Graphics
first draft is returned. Ch. 8 Lists: Bulleted,
Numbered, and Others
4-6 Ch. 20 Finding Information: Print, Internet, *Assignment #2 15 Formal Reports:
Informal Sources (7th to 9th week) Design, Format, Abstracts
Ch. 21 Citing Sources of Borrowed Deadline: Appendix B
Information 1st draft: 13days after the Punctuation
Ch. 22 Managing Team Projects topic is issued. Appendix C
Instructor will return it Grammar Favorites
within 8 days.
Final Draft: 10 days after
the first draft is returned.
7-9 Ch. 13 Business Communications: Letters, Mid-Semester Exam Ch. 10 Tables, Graphs,
Memos, and Emails (end of the 8th week) and Charts
Ch. 4 Comparison: Recommendation, Ch. 12 Highlighting and
Evaluation, and Feasibility Reports Emphasizing
Ch. 16 Oral Presentations: Preparation,
Visuals, and Delivery
Ch. 6 Persuasion: Proposals and Progress
Ch. 14 Employment-Search Tools:
Application Letters, Resumes
Review and Exam
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