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Course Description:
Scientific and Technical Writing offers students practice in the forms and discourses of scientific and technical writing as they develop, research, and revise an independent project.  The purpose of the class is to prepare students for their professional lives in scientific, technical, or public service fields by helping them organize their knowledge while exploring ways of applying it, thus developing their professional expertise.

We begin by working on the resume and cover letter, both as a professional document and as an example of writing for a specific audience.  Then each student develops an independent class project through several stages of revision, culminating in a final paper.  Topics are freely chosen, though students taking the course usually propose experiments, construction projects, or education initiatives.

Required Texts:
Scientific and Technical Writing Today: From Problem to Proposal, second edition (Magrino and Goeller)
The Technical Writer's Companion, third edition (Alfred, Brusaw, and Oliu)

Course Requirements:
Prompt attendance is expected for every class meeting.
All papers must be submitted in class, in 12 point Times New Roman font with one-inch margins, unless otherwise specified.
Late papers will not be accepted.

Final grades will be based on the following:

  • Attendance, Class Participation and Daily Work     10%
  • Resume and Cover Letter     10%
  • Midterm Paper     15%
  • Oral Presentation     15%
  • Final Paper     50%

Grading Criteria:
All instructors of Scientific and Technical Writing grade work according to the same standards.  Please see Grading Criteria for Proposal Writing Classes for more information.


Writing Program Calendar