English 115: Technical Writing:
Spring 2014

Rick Dollieslager, Thomas Nelson Community College


Seems more like technical writhing than technical writing, no?

Last Updated, 6 May 2014, 11:45 a.m.

F2F Office Hours: Mon-Weds 9:30-12:30 & Tues-Thurs 10:00-11:00 in room 874 (my office)
Weds 1:45-3:15 in room 916

Online Office Hours: Tues-Weds 6:00-7:15 pm
Email me at dollier@tncc.edu

Resources for English 115

English 115 course syllabus

Important Notice!!

At the start each class, open this web page to look at the agenda for the day. At the end of each class, return to this web page to get your homework assignment and view the agenda for the next class. You'll never miss an assignment, a due date, or an important announcement if you come to this page every day.

Week One

Monday, 1/13
In-class Activity: Introductions.

Wednesday 1/15
In-class activity: Finish the Hartman survey to get your personality type profile, and discuss the
writing assignment for the Hartman profiles.

Take the Hartman Personality Profile

Slide show for discussing the personality colors

Hartman Reading/Writing Assignments for Eng. 111/ENF 3 classes.

Assignments for Wednesday 1/22:
1] Draft
a one-page discussion of your Hartman Profile results per the instructions on the assignment page.
2] Save it electronically on your portable storage device and also somewhere else so that you can access it from the classroom. That can be as an email attachment, in DropBox, on Google Docs., or your preferred method of saving things "to the cloud."

Week Two

Monday, No Class (MLK Day)

Wednesday 1/22 Snowed out!! :- (

Week Three

Monday 1/27
In-class Activity: 1] Colleagues quiz. 2] Discussion and revision of your Hartman profile into our
standard memo format. (A four-point assignment)

Assignments for 2/3:
View and anaylze
the advice of these two professors on how to email your professors: Prof. Richardson's advice. Professor DeCoster's advice.
Take notes from the videos outlining appropriate and inappropriate ways to communicate with your professors via email, the "do's and the don't's" of emailing.
Read Chapters 1 and 2.

Wednesday 1/29 Snowed out, again!! :-(

Week Four

Monday 2/3
In-class Activity: 1] Turn in your draft memo about emailing. 2] Discuss your draft memo on the do's and don't's of emailing. 3] Develop a class policy document outlining how we will communicate with each other professionally via email. 4] Discuss Chapters 1 and 2.

Assignments for 2/5:
Bring in letter head stationery
from your company, agency, dept., service unit, church, civic organization, a community organization, etc.
Read Chapters 1 and 2.

Wednesday 2/5
In-class Activity: 1] Finish the
email policy poster. 2] Discuss the Hartman revisions. 3] Use the handbook and its exercises to correct editing errors on the Hartman memos:

Assignments for 2/10:
Bring in letterhead stationery
from your company, agency, dept., a gov't agency, etc.
Revise the Hartman profile memos per our class discussion. In paragraph 1 of the memo, be sure to explain who Hartman is (thereby establishing his credibility and, therefore, the authenticity of his research on personality types) and, in general, what the four colors represent about the four personality types. Don't go into great depth; however, one word (power, peace, fun, intimacy) does not convey much meaning to your audience. In paragraph 2, be sure that you SHOW that your generalizations about your personality traits are true by giving specific, concrete details: i.e., incidents that could be recorded on videotape. We can't videotape an idea or a generalization or a feeling, correct? We can videotape something that actually happened, so SHOW us.
Be prepared to answer questions from Chapters 1 and 2.

Week Five

Monday 2/10
In-class Activity: 1] Turn in your revision of the Hartman memo. 2] Discuss Chap. One. 3] Group memo: Apply guidelines for technical communicaton to the document on page 16. Turn in by 1:42 p.m. today.

Assignments for 2/12:
Read Chapter 3, pages 41-55
Read a current article about science or technology from an online newspaper, such as The New York Times or USA Today. Were the six journalistic questions (who, what, when, where, why, and how) answered in the article? Make a list of the answers and bring a copy of the article with you either electronically or printed out. You will discuss these in your base group on Wednesday. If not everyone has done the homework, I will collect it from those who have done it in order to award credit points.

Wednesday 2/12
In-class Activity: 1] Turn in the 6-questions activity assigned as homework. 2] Establishing your baseline editing skills. Preview the following editing conventions from the resources provided below and then correct the documents with pencil, fixing the editing errors as indicated. Use the
Guide to Grammar and Writing as well as the handbook section of the Norton Field Guide to Writing.

Assignments for 2/17:
Finish the editing assignment, correcting, in pencil, the errors on the four handouts
Open the attached document 3.1 from page 55 and follow the instructions for assignment #2 on page 54. It is due at the start of class on Monday
Note: The agenda for Wednesday's class was revised, so we will do the 6-questions group activity on Monday.

Week Six

Monday 2/17
In-class Activity: 1] Turn in your revision of the Omni-Tech 1000 memo introduction, (assignment 2 on page 54). 2] In base groups, discuss the 6-questions activity assigned as homework.

Assignments for 2/19:
Read Chapter 4

Wednesday 2/19
In-class Collaborative Base Group Activities: The group project case study

Week Seven

Monday 2/24
In-class Activity: Write a memo to Professor Rogers' trial team. Give each character in the case study your best advice about how to achieve a more successful outcome than a grade of D in a "do-over" of their group project, the trial re-enactment.

Assignment for 2/26:
Read pages 84-103

Wednesday 2/19
In-class Activity: 1]
SURVIVE! Discuss and create a Google share to work on this outside of class. 2] List your answers on a Google Doc that you all share

Assignment for 3/10: Write a story for your local newspaper describing how your group survived the crash experience. Include in it the items you salvaged and their uses. Also include the "unique" detail that each of your group members shared about yourselves in the first week of class. How will you cover the 6 W's? What will be your strategy for organizing the story? From what "point of view" will the story be written (i.e., 1st person, 2nd person, 3rd person).

Week Eight

Monday 3/10
In-class Activity: 1] Finish your group news story to turn in by the end of class today. 2] If you finish early, begin the
information literacy/research tutorials, which are due for completion before 12:30 on 3/17. (Appx. 5-6 hours of homework.)

Assignment for 3/12:
Modules 1-3 of the information literacy/research tutorials (appx. 2 hours)

Wednesday 3/12
In-class Activity: 1] Let's have some fun starting our web folios. Log in to MyTNCC and go to Gmail to get started.

Assignment for 3/17:
Modules 4-7 of the the information literacy/research
Group evaluation for yourself and your fellow survivors. The link is in your college email. Fill out an evaluation for yourself and each member of your group. I will be the only person to read the evaluations; they are completely confidential.

Week Nine

Monday 3/17
In-class, preparing for group writing, Activity I:
Writing concisely--lesson one, sentence combining. Form into your base groups, and I will tell you what to do next.

Assignments for 3/19, two short memos:
1. A bulleted memo to me reporting your scores for each of the seven modules of the information literacy tutorials and your score on the review test
2. Sentence combining exercises. Do these, which we will share in class, and separately do these two paragraphs ("Pinball Machines" and "Street Musician") to submit in a memo to me to be graded.
3. Today, please do the group evaluation that I sent to you in email if you haven't filled it our already so that I may finish grading the group survival news stories.

Wednesday 3/19
In-class activity: 1] Turn in two memos assigned on Monday. 2] Discuss revisions of resume feedback memo to C. Kendall, original due date 2/10, and begin revising.

Assignments for 3/24:
1] Read Chapter VI, pages 119-147
2] Load into webfolios:

Week Ten

Monday 3/24
In-class: Discuss and brainstorm topics for the group problem/solution project. What's wrong at TNCC? What is right and works well? What is the ONE thing that ought to be changed at TNCC?

Wednesday 3/26
In-class: Base groups decide on problem/solution project focus and your Team Name

Assignments for 3/31:
1] Decide your Team Name
2] Determine your problem/solution group project topic

Week Eleven

Monday 3/31
In-class activities: 1] Discuss revisions/edits to survivors news story. 2] Discuss the editing memos. Use the
Handbook section of the Norton Field Guide to Writing.

Assignments for 4/3:
Editing memos are due at the start of class
Begin editing, revising and posting your returned projects in your webfolios

Wednesday 4/3
In-class activities: 1] Discuss revisions/edits to survivors news story. 2] Preview Chapter 16, Writing Proposals. 3] Make a preliminary research/information gathering plan and compose a memo to me describing the topic, how you will research it, and what you hope the outcomes to be and which (1) establishes your team name and your rationale for the team name; and (2) describes the problem your team will focus on and why you selected this topic, how you will research it, and what you hope the outcomes to be.

Assignments for 4/7:
Read Chapter 16
Begin editing, revising and posting your returned projects in your webfolios (not due yet, but don't wait till the last minute.)

***Hey, folks, here is some VCCS scholarship money that may be available to YOU!***

Week Twelve

Monday 4/7
In-class activities: 1] View problem/solution proposals and presentations from 2013, listed below. 2] Discuss in your group the good and bad qualities of the projects and of the project presentations.

Wednesday 4/9 We do not meet in the classroom today.
Activities: During class, you may meet with your team face-to-face, or you may make plans to meet online instead, either synchronously or asynchronously, but hold your meeting--however you decide to do it. Keep meeting notes and log attendance and participation. In one week your team will submit a progress report, and one week later the paper form of the project is due. I will see you all on Monday. Good luck, folks!

Do this ASAP, please: Please do the following on-line surveys (no need to print--the forms save your information on line): TNCC Admissions/Registration Survey; Hampton III Parking Survey; TNCC Student Blackboard Survey; and then copy this survey on TNCC Traffic and paste it into an email to send to the addressee at the bottom of the page. It will take only 10 to 15 minutes to do all of the surveys, and it will be of great assistance to some fellow students who are researching solutions to problems on campus for their Tech. Writing group report.

Week Thirteen

Monday 4/14
In-class activities: Workshop/team meetings on problem/solution proposals.

Wednesday 4/16
In-class activities: Compose status report memo on problem/solution proposals progress and plans for completion.

Week Fourteen

Monday 4/21
In-class activities: 1] Workshop/team meetings on problem/solution proposals, due Wednesday.

Wednesday 4/23
In-class activities: Workshop/team meetings on problem/solution proposals, due today.

Assignments for 4/28:
Webfolio week!! Work on your homepage. Google sites webfolio
help pages

Sample webfolios:

Note: Some of the webfolios may be inactive, and some may require you to be logged in to MyTNCC before viewing, so you may want to go ahead and log in before clicking the links to my former students' webfolios.

Week Fifteen

Monday 4/28
In-class activities: 1] Edit group presentation 2] Webfolio workshop. 2] Discuss qualities of a good resume from Chapter 15

Wednesday 4/23
In-class activities: Preview/review resumes. Submit them today if you are satisfied with yours, but revise and submit on Monday if you are not satisfied with yours.

Assignments for 5/5:
Submit your resume at the start of class if you did not leave it with me on 4/30.
Fill out the self-evaluation and group evaluation form when it is ready.
Webfolio development: Revise, proofread, edit your work that will go into your webfolio (the assignments marked for your webfolio on your grade review sheet). When editing your works follow the instructions below:

  • No 2nd person point of view, please.
  • Use grammatical constructions only: no use of fragments even in a bulleted format.

Week Sixteen

Monday 5/5/ First: Whose book do I have?
In-class activities: 1] Revise proposal reports with your group per my suggestions. 2] Post webfolios for grading.

Wednesday 5/7, 10:45-1:15 our class meets for its Final
In-class activity: Semester Final is the group presentation

Your Webfolios: Work you should be proud of!

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