ENGL393: Technical Writing

English 393 satisfies the Professional Writing requirement for undergraduates. This course teaches students how to make the technologies they work with understandable to many different types of readers.

Students learn how to accommodate information to specific audiences; how to use stylistic and visual devices to make information more accessible; and how to edit their own work as well as that of their peers. Students learn the differences between posing (and answering) a scholarly question and a workplace one, and in the process, acquire both primary and secondary professional research skills, while gaining practice polishing the type of documents they’ll be producing during their professional careers.

Assignments parallel the writing demands that students will face in the workplace. Core assignments include topic proposals, technical descriptions, cover letters/resumes, instructions/ procedures, a research-based final project, and oral presentations. The final project may be a technical report, manual, proposal in response to an RFP, or other format, depending on the topic. Students may also write memoranda, progress reports, technical definitions, and comparative web analyses.

English 101 or equivalent and a minimum of 60 credits.

How students are assessed:
Students complete five to six major writing assignments encompassing approximately 6500 words, in addition to in-class exercises, readings, peer review workshops, group work, and oral presentations. Each major assignment is evaluated according to a set of criteria provided to students with the assignments sheets. Students are responsible for the information provided on the course syllabus, as well as on ELMS or other class websites, and for any material provided in a course packet or on handouts distributed in class. Readings may come from an assigned textbook and from other relevant, timely sources. Students are responsible for the readings, which form the basis of class discussion; students may also be required to write responses to reading assignments. 

ENGL 393H: Technical Writing for Honors Program Students
These courses are reserved for students in University Honors programs or Departmental Honors programs.

ENGL 393Q: Technical Writing with NASA Service Learning
Students complete a service learning project for NASA. 

English 393X: Technical Writing for English as a Second Language Students
X sections are limited to students for whom English is a second language who have have extreme difficulty with written English. Students must provide a writing sample to Grace Crussiah (gjc@umd.edu). The same material is covered in X and non-X sections; the difference is smaller class size.

English 393 Syllabus

English 393H Syllabus

English 393X Syllabus