English 105 – Business/Professional Writing
English 208 – Scientific and Technical Writing
Both emphasize the way in which electronic technologies are changing the face of professional communications.
Both require English 1 and 2 as prerequisites.
Both courses are offered for “W” (writing intensive) credit
Both courses are open to students in all majors.
Both courses use common grading standards for all sections.
Both courses emphasize writing in an electronic environment.
Sections are taught by full-time and adjunct faculty and by experienced, supervised Graduate Teaching Assistants.
English 105 is designed to give students training in writing types of documents common to a general business environment. Writing context and audience needs are stressed. Most students are sophomores and juniors in non-engineering and non-medical fields.
English 208 is a more advanced course that offers students training in writing in their professional concentration. Attention is given to graphical elements and layout. Seniors (and occasionally juniors), returning students, and life-long learners take this course.
Flower, Linda, and John Ackerman. 1997. Writers at Work: Strategies for Communications in Business and Professional Settings. HBJ.
Inkster, Robert P., and Judith M. Kilborn. 1998. The Writing of Business. Allyn and Bacon.
O’Hair, H. Dan, et al. 2001. Business Communication: A Framework for Success. South-Western College Publishing.
Pearsall, Thomas E., et al. 2000. How to Write for the World of Work.
6th ed. HBJ.
Harnack, Andrew, and Eugene Kleppinger. 1998. Online! A Reference Guide to Using Internet Sources. St. Martin’s Press.
Houp, Kenneth W., et al. 1998. Reporting Technical Information. Allyn and Bacon.
Lay, Mary M., et al. 1999. Technical Communication. 2nd ed. McGraw-Hill.
Miles, Thomas H. 1990. Critical Thinking and Writing for Science and Technology. HBJ.
Reep, Diana. 1999. Technical Writing: Principles, Strategies, and Readings. 4th ed. Allyn and Bacon.
A. The document is exemplary; a company could use it without further revisions; the writing style is clear and free of errors; graphics and white space highlight the content. The document has unique, creative features that separate it from “more average” pieces of writing.
B. The document meets all the criteria of the assignment and could be used by a company without major revisions of content, presentation, or writing style and mechanics. It has no more than two types of errors in punctuation, grammar, format, and spelling.
C. The document is adequate, but requires substantial revision before it could be used by a company. It has no more than five types of errors.
D. The document is “unprofessional” and would require major revisions just to be presentable for further review.
F. The document has pervasive errors and fails to meet the conceptual requirements of the assignment; in a professional setting, someone else would be assigned to complete the project.
Editing Portfolio: an extended case study or series of short documents that improves the student’s understanding of rhetorical and textual strategies as well as enables the student to practice strategies for improving a text’s content, organization, style, and mechanics. Employment Portfolio: a series of 3-5 documents related to the job-search process, with an emphasis on getting that first job in a general business situation. May include creating an e-Résumé and uploading it onto a personal homepage. Direct-Plan Portfolio: a series of 3-5 short memos, e-mails, or letters communicating positive or neutral news (for instance: inquiries, explanations, instructions, goodwill letters, the explanation of a problem, etc.; a variation may include an internal policy-and-procedures manual) Indirect-Plan Portfolio: a series of 3-5 short memos, e-mails, or letters communicating negative news (for instance: refusals, bad-news letters, and negative performance-evaluations, etc.) Corporate Mission Portfolio: an extended case study resulting in an outreach corporate factsheet and/or a publicly-oriented mission statement Research Portfolio: an extended case study resulting in an annotated survey of researched material designed to be used for a particular purpose A Client-Oriented Project Portfolio: an extended project that requires research and an oral or Web-based presentation; may be cast as a collaborative project
Electronic Communications Portfolio: a series of targeted assignments, including: Web searching and the evaluation and annotation of selected Web sites; the standards for e-mail correspondence and e-mail formatting in a professional setting; and the process of creating a professional homepage. This portfolio may include an assignment focused on professional self presentation (such as creating an electronic résumé for a specific professional position). Recommendation for a Technical Upgrade Portfolio: a series of assignments, including an extensive Web search, designed to produce a report that recommends a technical upgrade. Students choose a topic based on their current professional interests. The report can be directly internally, to an inhouse corporate development team, or externally, to the general public. Long-term Feasibility Portfolio: a series of assignments designed to produce a report that puts some recent technical upgrade in a meaningful historical context directly related to the development of an important technology. Current Status Assessment Portfolio: a series of assignments that allows the student to research and report on the “state-of-the-art” status of a contemporary, significant technology. Process Explanation Portfolio: might include a technical description or definition, a concept analysis, a translation for a non-technical audience, or a set of instructions for a non-expert user that includes a graphic aid.
The portfolio projects result in each student writing at least 5,000 words during the semester (about 20+ pages).
In English 105 and 208, 3 to 5 major writing assignments constitute
the semester’s work.
A 100% online, Web-based section will be offered beginning in Fall 2001.
Enrollment includes regular WVU undergraduates, as well as students from “Bridging the Gap” and the “Southern Regional Electronic Campus.”
Traditional-classroom sections may be offered beginning in Fall 2001.
Dr. Thomas Miles
Interim Coordinator, Professional Writing
Department of English
eMail Dr. Miles
Dr. Laura Brady
Director, Center for Writing Excellence
Department of English
eMail Dr. Brady
West Virginia University, PO BOX 6296, Morgantown, WV 26506-6296