Writing Module Syllabus Y1

IGERT MNM Writing Module

Fall 2011

Module Description

This module is designed to help improve your technical writing skills through presentations and in-class and at-home revision and writing assignments. The writing assignments will focus on documents that will be useful in your job search and career: cover letter, resume, research description, process description, and proposal. We will receive a lecture outlining important aspects of writing a particular document, work on in-class exercises (consisting of revising online examples), and then complete an at-home assignment.

Objectives

The objectives for this module are as follows:

  • Practice technical writing, focusing on specific document types
  • Develop individual writing skills
  • Improve professional and scientific writing
  • Establish a professional job search portfolio
  • Exercise rewriting as a group

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the Writing Module, trainees should:

  • Have written several technical documents
  • Have reviewed their peers' technical writing and provided constructive criticism
  • Have a well-developed portfolio for use in future job applications
  • Be able to write a technical document from outline to final draft

Assessment

The assessment of this workshop will be based on complete/incomplete assignments. No grading will be done, but trainees will be called on to participate in the discussion, and the writing assignments will be posted online.

Schedule

10/12/11

 

Presentation

  • Dr. Hall

In-class assignment

  • Discussion of Dr. Hall’s Lecture

Homework

  • Brush up on common spelling and grammar mistakes; an excellent online resource can be found at http://www.onlineschools.org/resources/grammar/
  • Read “Introduction”, “Cover Letter Format”, “Standard Cover Letter”, and “A Creative Cover Letter” from Ch. 10 of Scientific and Technical Communication: Theory, Practice, and Policy (Digital Edition), by James H. Collier and David M. Toomey before Wednesday, Oct. 19.

10/19/11

Presentation

  • Cover Letters, by Amanda Harding

In-class assignment

  • Group revision exercises within the presentation

Homework

  • Search for and find a job listing for which you are currently qualified (as if you left school tomorrow to work there).
    • Print it out.
  • Write an excellent cover letter in response to your job listing using what you have learned.
    • Have your cover letter reviewed by at least one peer for content and grammar.
    • Have your reviewer make comments and sign at the bottom of your cover letter.
    • Post your cover letter on the wiki by Tuesday, Oct. 25.
  • Read “Resume Format”, “Types of Resumes”, “Letters of Reference”, and “Post-Interview Correspondence” from Ch. 10 of Scientific and Technical Communication: Theory, Practice, and Policy (Digital Edition), by James H. Collier and David M. Toomey before Wednesday, Oct. 26.

10/26/11

Presentation

  • Resumes, by Lei Gu

In-class assignment

  • Group revision exercises

Homework

  • Revise and tailor your resume for the job announcement you found
    • Have your resume reviewed by at least one peer for content and grammar.
    • Have your reviewer make comments and sign at the bottom of your resume.
    • Post your resume on the wiki by Tuesday, Nov. 1.
  • Read excerpt from Ch. 10 of Scientific and Technical Communication: Theory, Practice, and Policy (Digital Edition), by James H. Collier and David M. Toomey before Wednesday, Nov. 2.

11/2/11

Presentation

  • Research Description, by Chanel Smith

In-Class Assignment

  • Group revision exercises

Homework

  • Write your research statement
    • Have your research statement reviewed by at least one peer for content and grammar.
    • Have your reviewer make comments and sign at the bottom of your research statement.
    • Post your research statement on the wiki by Tuesday, Nov. 8.
  • Read excerpt from Ch. 10 of Scientific and Technical Communication: Theory, Practice, and Policy (Digital Edition), by James H. Collier and David M. Toomey before Wednesday, Nov. 9.

11/9/11

Presentation

  • Process Description, by Amanda Harding

In-class assignment

  • Group revision exercises

Homework

  • Choose a scientific process to describe.
  • Write your process description.
    • Have your process description reviewed by at least one peer for content and grammar.
    • Have your reviewer make comments and sign at the bottom of your process description.
    • Post your process description statement on the wiki by Tuesday, Nov. 15.
  • Read excerpt from Ch. 10 of Scientific and Technical Communication: Theory, Practice, and Policy (Digital Edition), by James H. Collier and David M. Toomey before Wednesday, Nov. 16.

11/16/11

Presentation

  • Proposals, by Lei Gu

In-class assignment

  • Group revision exercises

Homework

  • Online anonymous survey

Resources and Suggested Reading

Books

Scientific and Technical Communication: Theory, Practice, and Policy (Digital Edition), by James H. Collier and David M. Toomey

How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, by Robert Day

Internet Resources

Purdue Online Writing Lab

Penn State's Writing Guidelines for Engineering and Science Students

Writing in the Sciences, The Writing Center, UNC Chapel Hill

Duke Graduate School Scientific Writing Resource

The Consortium of Eastern Ohio Master of Public Health's Grammar, Reference, and Scientific Writing Resources

Wake Forest's School of Medicine Scientific Writing Resources

 

 



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