Course Information

Course Number: ENG2575

Course Title: Technical Writing

Course Description: An advanced course in effective technical writing techniques, including traditional technical writing forms and internet communication. This course will have students use electronic media such as Internet, presentation, and graphics programs to communicate technical and scientific information to a variety of audiences via written and oral presentations. Students will also analyze readings in science and technology, study technical writing models, and practice collaborative research and presentation. Building on previous writing courses, this course will reinforce clarity of thinking and expression in effective and correct English.

Credits / Hours: 3

Section Number: OL51

Pre/Co-requisites: ENG1121

Class Meetings

Online Space(s):

Faculty Information

Professor(s) Name: Jacquelyn Blain (I know it says Donna, but I don’t go by it).

Online Office Hours/Information: M 6-8, T 1-2 or by appointment on Zoom passcode 766936

Contact Information:

  • Email:
  • also via Slack

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Communicate clearly in technical writing and in oral presentations.
  • Use, develop, and evaluate technical documents.
  • Gather, interpret, evaluate, and apply information from a variety of sources.
  • Use professional tools for technical communication, inquiry, analysis, and collaboration.


Gross, A., Hamlin, A., Merck, B., Rubio, C. Nass, J., Savage, M., Desilva, M. (2019) Technical Writing. Retrieved from CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license — This OER book is available on the course Perusall site.

Tentative Schedule (complete schedule in Weekly Units)

Week One 5/28-5/30: Set-up and introductions.

  • Video Lesson: go over course materials and scope of course.
  • Join OpenLab and post Introduction – due 6/1.
  • Fill out Doodle poll to set up optional class meet-ups.
  • Join Perusall and read/annotate the syllabus – due 6/1.
  • Join Slack and leave message on #questions-and-comments channel – due 6/1.

Week Two 6/1-6/7: Initial Team Project Activities.

  • Optional Zoom meet-up 6/1.
  • Video Lesson: How to write a 500-word summary of a technical article. APA formatting. Due 6/9.
  • Team Project work: Teams assigned 6/2. Set up communication strategies and workflow processes. Do Individual Assessment sheets, write Group Charter, prepare Task List/Schedule completed, establish scope of research for 500-word Article Summary and assign preliminary research parameters.
  • Perusall: Read and annotate assignment titled “Thinking about Writing/Audience.”
  • Weekly private OpenLab post due EOD 6/8

Week Three 6/8-6/14: Expanded Definition, Instruction Manuals.

  • Optional Zoom meet-ups 6/8.
  • 500-word article summary due 6/9.
  • Video Lesson: How to write a 750-word Expanded Definition. Due 6/14.
  • Video Lesson: How to write an Instruction Manual. Draft due 6/18 and 7/1.
  • Team Project work: select words for Expanded Definition assignment.
  • Perusall: Read and annotate assignment titled “Proposals.”
  • Weekly private OpenLab post due EOD 6/15

Week Four 6/15-6/20: Technical Research Report, Project Elements

  • Optional Zoom meet-ups 6/15.
  • Draft of Instruction Manual due 6/19.
  • Video Lesson: Writing a Technical Research Report. Doing the individual contributions
  • Team Project work: Begin work on website, divide up 1000-word contributions to technical report, continue other work per team task list/schedule. Individual contributions due 6/22.
  • Perusall: Read and annotate assignment titled “Technical Reports.”
  • Weekly private OpenLab post due EOD 6/21

Week Five 6/22-6/28: Project work

  • Optional Zoom meet-ups 6/22.
  • Video lesson: design and readability, presentations.
  • Team Project work: Continue work on website, technical report, and presentation
  • Perusall: Read and annotate assignment titled “Design & Readability.”

Week Six 6/29-7/1: Complete project deliverables

  • Optional Zoom meet-ups 6/29.
  • Video lesson: final deliverables (project website including technical report and presentation), individual collaborative reflection, instruction manual, any other revisions
  • Team Project work: complete website due 7/1
  • Individual work: collaboration reflection & Team Evaluation Sheet (via email) and any individual assignment revisions due 7/1.1.


Project 1: Summary of Scientific or Technical ArticleUsing the library’s journals and scholarly databases, find a scientific or technical article from a peer-reviewed journal, and write a 500-word summary of the article using APA style, to be used as part of your team’s project and report.10%
Project 2: Expanded Definition of a Technical or Scientific TermChoose a technical or scientific term that is important to your team’s project, and write a 750-1000 word expanded definition of it to be incorporated into your team’s project. Your expanded definition must be supported by scholarly or vetted sources that are properly quoted and cited using APA style.15%
Project 3: Instruction ManualCreate a 1500-2000 word instruction manual that combines words, images, and design principles to help others accomplish a task.15%
Project 4: Collaborative Final ProjectAfter forming into teams of students, identify a problem and create these solution-oriented deliverables: a 4000-6000-word analytical research report on the problem, a website describing that problem and promoting your team’s solution to the problem, and a presentation directed at a specific audience and designed to convince them to adopt your solution. Individually, each student will also be responsible for a 1000-word contribution to the team research report. As a collaborative project, all team members are expected to contribute equally based on a distribution of responsibilities managed within the team.40%
Individual Collaboration ReportComplete a weekly private OpenLab post detailing you and your team’s progress throughout the project. At the end of the course, you’ll create a private email to send to the instructor giving your overall Reflection about the course and the team project, including evaluations of each member of the team.10%
ParticipationCompleted weekly private OpenLab posts on assigned subjects and/or your perspective on how the team project is goin. This is mostly a reminder to get things in, get them in on time, and don’t disappear. The real repercussions of those things will show up in the Collaboration Project, but this is a general assessment of your participation in the entire course.10%
Total 100%

Required Format for Papers

While there will be exceptions that we will discuss in class, all writing submitted online via our class Google Drive or email should follow APA professional style. It should always include a “name block” in the upper left corner, a title centered, and your writing. If you quote or cite writing by others, it should be properly cited and included as an entry on a concluding “Works Cited” list. Go to Class Resources and scroll down to find links and information for getting to the Purdue OWL for help with APA.

Class Etiquette & Netiquette

Be nice. Be professional. Be personable. Don’t disappear.


This is, well, tricky since we’re asynchronous and don’t have meeting times. Given that’s the case, this is really a Participation grade, and that’s mostly going to show up in each member of your team’s Individual Collaboration Report. If you’re having trouble, get in touch with me immediately! And also your team project manager so your project team won’t be hung out to dry..

Academic Integrity Policy

Students and all others who work with information, ideas, texts, images, music, inventions and other intellectual property owe their audience and sources accuracy and honesty in using, crediting and citation of sources. As a community of intellectual and professional workers, the college recognizes its responsibility for providing instruction in information literacy and academic integrity, offering models of good practice, and responding vigilantly and appropriately to infractions of academic integrity. Accordingly, academic dishonesty is prohibited in The City University of New York and is punishable by penalties, including failing grades, suspension and expulsion. More information about the College’s policy on Academic Integrity may be found in the College Catalog

Course Resources

  • All readings will be available either on the OpenLab site or via Perusall.
  • Writing Center: If you need some help (but not line editing or “grammar hunts”), visit us at the Writing Center. This link will take you to our page on OpenLab and explain how to book an appointment. Required and recommended readings and other major assignments.
  • The Resources page will give you links to the library, counselling, OpenLab help, and some other college resources.
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