U1: Tech Comm Today

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Overview — In this unit, students research the technical communication skills needed in their professional fields. Students read, summarize, and synthesize information about communication skills, conduct interviews of professionals in their fields, and review websites of potential employers to analyze the range of communication skills required in their profession and to think critically about audience and purpose. Instructors may choose one of the following options.

  • Option A—Students write a report about the technical communication skills they will need as professionals. Students interview professionals in their field and research the websites of potential employers, writing a report that summarizes and synthesizes information about technical communication skills in the student’s field of study. Length: 2–3 pages, single spaced.
  • Option B—Students create a job portfolio. The purpose of this unit is to get students to think rhetorically, analyzing their audience and purpose and creating documents that meet those needs. Deliverables include the following:
    • Two letters of application (tailored for two different positions)
    • Resume
    • At least two relevant samples of your work (print or electronic)
    • Justification memo to instructor, explaining your decisions

Assigned Reading

  • Chapter 1: Communicating in the technical workplace
  • Chapter 2: Communicating in a reader-focused way
  • Chapter 9: Activity reports (Option A)
  • Chapter 11: Starting your career (Option B)
  • Chapter 15: Organizing and drafting
  • Chapter 16: Using plain and persuasive style
  • Chapter 18: Designing documents and interfaces

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