Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois


English Course Descriptions: Fall 2013

Business and Technical Writing Courses

 

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 271 PERSUASIVE WRITING

This course teaches students to apply the principles of successful persuasive communication to the writing of advertising, marketing, and public relations documents.  Students will analyze, design, and write a range of persuasive documents, including media releases, print advertising, direct mail, promotional materials, and recommendation reports.  Students will also practice editing and supervising the writing of others.

 

BTW 290 INDEPENDENT STUDY

This independent study course is best suited to students who have already completed either 250, 271, or 272 and would like to do special work in a topic not covered in these courses.  Before attempting to enroll, students should identify a topic for study and talk with the instructor with whom they wish to work.  Students should consult the Director of B&TW if interested in an Independent Study.

 

BTW 402 1U/1G DESCRIPTIVE ENGLISH GRAMMAR, Russell.  MW 3:30-4:45

        same as BTW 402

It’s possible to think of grammar as a “science”: it is the careful collection and analysis of observable facts about how we use the English language.  This course will be an introduction to that science, surveying how linguists and language scholars presently describe the structures of English—its morphology, phonology, phrases, clauses, sentences, syntax, semantics, stylistics, and sociocultural variations.  But grammar is just as much and importantly an “art”:  it is a set of rules and recommendations for how we should use the English language.  And so, this course will also be an introduction to how, why, and to what effects various people have prescribed English usage in various ways, from the 18th century into the present day.  Ultimately, a better understanding of what grammar is, how it works, and what it does in the world not only allows us to be better users of the English language but also invites us to be more conscientious users of the English language, mindful of how our describable practices and prescribable rules have social consequences that accord purity, power, and participation to some and contamination, ignorance, and exclusion to others.