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Syllabus: ENG 3050 Technical Communication I: Reports

Section: 001

CRN: 25364

Days/Times: Tuesday/Thursday 9:35 - 11:00

Location: 335 State Hall

Instructor: Dr Jared Grogan

Instructor email: jaredgrogan@wayne.edu

Instructor phone: n/a

Instructor address:  10.501 (10th floor), 5057 Woodward

Office Hours:  Wednesday 10:00-1:30pm (and Monday or Friday by appointment)


WSU Undergraduate Bulletin Course Description


Instruction in basic technical writing skills. Requirements include writing summaries, letters, memos, instructions, and technical reports. Topics include audience and purpose analysis, textual and visual aspects of technical document design, and formatting.


Department of English Course Description 


ENG 3050 prepares students for reading, researching, writing, and designing technical documents. While some technical writing addresses a general audience (e.g., instructions), technical documents are often written for multiple audiences with different specializations (e.g., technical reports for executives and implementers). Technical documents incorporate both textual (writing) and visual (graphics, illustrations, etc.) elements of design.


BC Prerequisite for ENG 3050 


To enroll in ENG 3050, students must have completed their WSU Basic Composition (BC) requirement (ENG 1020 or equiv.) with a grade of C or better.


ENG 3050 Prerequisite for ENG 3060 


A grade of C or better in ENG 3050 is a prerequisite to enrollment in ENG 3060.


ENG 3050 General Education Designation and Prerequisite for WI 


With a grade of C or better, ENG 3050 fulfills the General Education IC (Intermediate Composition) graduation requirement. Successful completion of Intermediate Composition (IC) with a grade of C or better is a prerequisite to enrolling in courses in the major that fulfill the General Education WI (Writing Intensive) requirement for graduation. More information on the General Education requirements is available from the WSU Undergraduate Bulletin:


Course Learning Outcomes 


To pass ENG 3050, students must demonstrate their ability to do the following:


Writing and Designing

Write effectively as individuals and in teams in standard genres of technical writing (including summaries, professional correspondence, resumes, instructions, technical descriptions, reports, and performance assessments), including the appropriate use of grammar, mechanics, style, and document design for formal and informal documents and standard conventions of citation and documentation.


Reading and Analyzing

Read, analyze, and evaluate the design of, and the audience(s) and purpose(s) for, technical documents, including text, visuals, format, usability, citation, documentation, and mechanics.


Researching and Documenting

Design and conduct primary and secondary research; evaluate appropriate sources in support of composing technical documents.


Using Technology and Media

Make productive use of current technologies for reading, researching, writing, and designing technical documents.


Required Textbooks 

Anderson, P. (2014). Technical communication: A reader-centered approach (8th "Wayne State" Edition)


Class Size


Enrollment in ENG 3050 is capped at 24 students. Per Department of English policy, enrolled students in any English class must attend one of the first two class sessions; otherwise, they may be required to drop the course.


Attendance Policy:

As this is a discussion and workshop-driven class, attendance of all participants is particularly important.  For each of our major projects, we will have group work and review workshops to improve our ideas, drafts and final products.  You are allowed two unexcused absences, though it would be congenial if all absences were discussed in person or online; subsequent absences will result in a reduction of your final grade by 5% for each unexcused absence. You are also encouraged to make use of office hours either by appearing in my office in person or chatting online to catch up on any missed work.




There is a much earlier deadline for final withdrawal from courses than previously at Wayne State.  The late registration timeline (adding 70$ only) and first week late Adds runs from Jan 12- Sun Jan 18, while second week late Adds (requiring departmental permission) runs from Monday Jan 19 to Monday Jan 26. Additions to this course will likely not occur, given our class-size requirements and computer classrooms.



Incomplete Grades: 

As detailed in the WSU Undergraduate Bulletin, the mark of “I” (Incomplete) is given to a student when he/she has not completed all of the course work as planned for the term and when there is, in the judgment of the instructor, a reasonable probability that the student can complete the course successfully without again attending regular class sessions. The student should be passing at the time the grade of ‘I’ is given. A written contract specifying the work to be completed should be signed by the student and instructor. Responsibility for completing all course work rests with the student.


Academic Dishonesty 


Cheating is the act of submitting papers written by another person as your own. Cheating includes submitting papers that were written by another student as well as papers that were purchased or downloaded from the internet. Plagiarism is the act of copying work -- in whole or in part -- from books, articles, and websites without citing and documenting the source. Plagiarism includes copying language, texts, and visuals without citation (e.g., cutting and pasting from websites). Cheating and plagiarism are serious academic offenses: the minimum penalty for cheating or plagiarism is an F for the assignment; the full penalty for cheating or plagiarism may result in an F for the course. All cases of cheating or plagiarism in ENG 3050 will be reported to the Department of English; information about plagiarism procedures is available in the Department of English.


To detect plagiarism, all major assignments in ENG 3050 will be reviewed in SafeAssign on Blackboard. SafeAssign includes in its database papers previously written by WSU students as well as papers copied or plagiarized from print or internet sources. All papers submitted to SafeAssign become part of the WSU database.




Project 1: Resumé, Cover Letter and Professional Website (includes a digital resumé, cover letter and portfolio)  

  • Components Due Week 3-4  
  • Value 15% 


Project 2: Technical Instructions (Wiki-How) and User Test Memos (both can be collaborative) 

  • Components Due Weeks  6-8
  • Value 25%


Project 3: Two-Component Report:  Collaborative Research plan and Technical Report

  • Components Due Weeks 10-15
  • Value 40%


Project 4: Performance Review Memo  

  • Due Week 15
  • Value 10%


Short Written Assignments and Group Work

  • Due on a 'Just-in-time' basis
  • Value 10%




Final grades are based on the following scale:


• 94-100 A

• 90-93 A-

• 87-89 B+

• 84-86 B

• 80-83 B-

• 77-79 C+

• 74-76 C A grade of C or better fulfills the Gen Ed IC graduation

• 70-73 C-

• 67-79 D+

• 64-66 D

• 60-63 D-

• 00-59 F

Student Resources




The WRIT Zone (2nd floor, UGL) provides individual tutoring consultations free of charge for students at Wayne State University. Undergraduate students in General Education courses, including composition courses, receive priority for tutoring appointments. The Writing Center serves as a resource for writers, providing tutoring sessions on the range of activities in the writing process – considering the audience, analyzing the assignment or genre, brainstorming, researching, writing drafts, revising, editing, and preparing documentation. The WRIT Zone is not an editing or proofreading service; rather, students are guided as they engage collaboratively in the process of academic writing, from developing an idea to editing for grammar and mechanics. To make an appointment, consult the Writing Center website: To submit material for online tutoring, consult the Writing Center HOOT website (Hypertext One-on-One Tutoring):


• Adamany Undergraduate Library http://www.lib.wayne.edu/info/maps/ugl.php


• Student Disability Services http://studentdisability.wayne.edu/


• Academic Success Center http://www.success.wayne.edu/


• Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) http://www.caps.wayne.edu




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