Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois


English Course Descriptions: Spring 2008

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 263 WRITING IN THE DISCIPLINES AND THE PROFESSIONS

TOPIC: Newsletter Production

Newsletters have become an essential part of business and organizational communication. This course gives students an overview of the process of developing, designing, writing, and editing newsletters. Students will gain practical, first-hand experience in creating newsletters for print and the web. Students will also learn basic desktop publishing and web design. Experience with desktop publishing and/or web authoring software is not a prerequisite for the course.  The days/time this course will be offered is TBA.  This information will be available here on this page once it has been decided.

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.

402 1U/1G DESCRIPTIVE ENGLISH GRAMMAR, D. Baron.  

MW 11-12:15

Same as ENGL 402

In this course 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.

Attendance: This is a discussion course. Your presence is essential, as is your participation: without both of these elements, as Capt. Renault says to Rick in Casablanca, you will find the conversation a trifle one-sided. Worse than that, excessive absence and poor preparation will affect your final grade.

Assignments: there will be a midterm quiz, a final paper, and a final exam. In addition, each student will sign up for a turn to be part of a “class expert” team. The class expert team will give a brief (ten minute) introduction to the topic of the day (expert days are marked with an asterisk in the syllabus) and ask both factual and open-ended questions to start off the discussion.
The course syllabus, all handouts, and study guides will be posted on the class website.

TEXT: Curzan, Anne, and Michael Adams. 2006. How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction. New York: Pearson.