Course Instructor Days Times Room



Course: English 3590 – Technical and Professional Communication
Section: 79-641 (MWF 1010-11am, Park 149)

Instructor: Dr. Christopher Alexander
Email: (I will respond to your emails as soon as possible; however, if you email me after 9pm, please do not expect a response until the next morning)
Office: Park Hall 102
Office Hours: M 1230-230pm; TR 11am-12pm

Course Objectives: This course is designed to introduce technical communication to students in a variety of disciplines, including health sciences, technology and computer sciences, and the humanities. We will concentrate on writing in a variety of technical forms of discourse. We will also emphasize practicing writing processes, secondary research, and problem-solving; recognizing the rhetorical character of scientific and technical discourse with its multiple purposes and audiences; evaluating and integrating a variety of written, visual, and oral elements of design; and developing field-specific vocabularies for talking about this discourse.

Students enrolled in this course can expect to:
• Learn the organization, style, and conventions appropriate to various forms of technical communication.
• Practice writing processes, learn research methods, and develop an appropriate style.
• Create effective documents for professional and technical settings, as well as for non-technical audiences.
• Work with each other as a group of professionals, and use new communicative technologies.

In English 3590, students will engage in critical thinking and writing by developing their writing processes and producing finished prose – both technical and expository.
We will be writing in a predominately electronic environment on topics related to technical and scientific situations.


Assignment: Weight:

Responses 10%
Definitions  10%
Set of Instructions 10%
FAQs 5%
Short Technical Report 10%
Persuasive Proposal 20%
Midterm Exam 10%
Final Team Project 25%


Attendance: This course is of course based on writing, but there is also a high emphasis on the discussions we’ll be having in class. The work we do every day in class is designed to help your assignments. With this in mind, it is absolutely vital to attend class. Thus, over 6 absences will result in an “F” for the final course grade. This includes unexcused and excused absences (with the exception of university-mandated absences, such as religious holidays). Regardless of the reason for the absence, all absences will count towards this limit. Once 6 absences have been reached, I will speak to you. You will then have the opportunity to withdraw from the class, with the plan of taking it at a better time when you are able to focus on the class’s workload.


Required Text: MacLennan, Jennifer, ed. Readings for Technical Communication. Oxford UP, 2008.

Makeup Policy

Makeups for daily work will not be offered, as these assignments are often specific to the content of daily class discussions.

Late Work: All assignments should be submitted on time.
If you have a legitimate reason for turning an assignment in late, you must notify me before it is due. As there should be sufficient time for preparation, illness is not wholly adequate. Unless we have made arrangements in advance, late work will receive a deduction of one letter grade for each day it is late.