Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois


 

DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH

Division of Business & Technical Writing

Course Descriptions

FALL 2015

BTW 250 PRINCIPLES OF BUSINESS WRITING

This course teaches students to apply the principles of successful professional communication to business writing tasks.  Students will also practice editing and supervising the writing of others.  Assignments replicate typical business cases, scenarios, situations and cultures; they also deal with multiple audiences.  They range in complexity, length, formatting demands, and the manipulating of genre.  This course features an extended section on writing longer reports based on information collected, interpreted and compiled from several sources.  This course fulfills the campus Advanced Composition requirement.

BTW 261 TECHNICAL AND SCIENTIFIC COMMUNICATION

This course teaches students to apply the principles of successful professional communication to a range of realistic cases in technical communication.  It emphasizes flexible problem-solving skills and a clear style for communicating technical information to a range of readers.  Students will also practice editing and supervising the writing of others.  Assignments will include correspondence, instructions, proposals, and a technical report or similar project. This course fulfills the campus Advanced Composition requirement.

BTW 263 BE WRITING IN THE DISCIPLINES, Erickson.  ONLINE

        TOPIC: Writing Effectively—Forever

This course is for degree-seeking students who are not attending classes on campus yet need to complete a course that fulfills the university’s Advanced Composition requirement.

The overarching goal of this online-only course is improving your ability to create effective texts throughout your career, and achieving that goal is likely to involve some adjustments to your mental models of what writing-as-a-verb is, who is involved, where (they are involved in a writing process), why (they are involved), how (they are involved), and the likely ramifications (of their involvement).  Genres will include memo, business letter, case study, proposal, and schedule of deliverables.  There will be no regular class meetings or lectures, but there will be online office hours on weekends (and perhaps select weekday evenings).  The course work is not self paced; assignment due dates will be prescribed by the instructor.

BTW 271 PERSUASIVE WRITING

This course teaches students to apply the principles of successful persuasive communicating to the writing of documents in the organizational domains of advertising, marketing, and public relations.  Students will analyze, design, and write a range of documents used by organizations to persuade individuals to perform certain actions. These document genres can range from codes of conduct to media releases, from print advertising to direct mail to website content, from reports to policies to procedural guides.  Students will also practice editing and supervising the writing of others.

BTW 402 1U/1G DESCRIPTIVE ENGLISH GRAMMAR, D. Baron.  TUTH 2-3:15

        same as ENGL 402

This is a course in English linguistics. We will study the English language: how we use it; how it uses us. We will learn and practice techniques for describing English, both its words and sentences and larger elements of discourse in context. We will look at the social, historical, and political forces that shape language and its use. And we will suggest ways to use what we learn about language both in the classroom and in the professional world.

        Text: Curzan, Anne, and Michael Adams, How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction. Latest edition.

BTW 490 C SPECIAL TOPICS PROFESSIONAL WRITING, Gallagher.  MWF 10

        TOPIC: Workplace Writing in a Digital Age

In recent years, the business and professional world has seen a shift towards computing technologies. However, the paperless revolution never happened. We now live in an amalgam of old and new expectations and situations. This class thus aims to investigate new and old technologies, relationships, and documents relevant to workplace writing in the 21st century. We will examine traditional workplace documents and evaluate their new electronic counterparts. Furthermore, we will examine emerging hiring practices and collaborative writing practices of the 21st century workplace.

        Students will emerge from this class with the following skills: the ability to produce a video resume, storyboarding and planning skills, interviewing skills for face-to-face and electronic situations including interviews, screen-casting skills, data refinement methods (using Google analytics and refine). The semester will culminate in an electronic project that meshes written, audio, and visual text.

        Required text: All Edge: Inside the New Workplace Networks, Clay Spinuzzi. 2015. Students will also be required to use Google Docs.