specialized documents

proposal writing


This syllabus and all the materials under this domain are subject to change at my discretion. However, these documents do represent the general requirements and criteria for the course to the best of my knowledge at the time they are posted.

participation

In order to successfully complete this course, you must participate in several key ways each week. By participate, I mean that you are contributing significantly to the content and environment of the course in throughtful, well-reasoned, and productive ways. You should approach each of your posts and assignments by asking yourself: "how does this enhance and support the class discussion on proposal writing?" Because of this approach, I will expect your discussions to engage with the theories we read and discuss in class and you to apply those theories to specific situations in your workplaces, daily encounters with generic artifacts, and in your other studies. Posts that simply dismiss theoretical perspectives without significant reasoning and support will not count toward your participation grade.

I encourage you to do reading above and beyond the course texts and to bring your own administrative, industry, scholarly, and teacherly experiences to bear on our class discussions. I anticipate vigorous exchanges that will challenge each of us intellectually. Healthy disagreement on readings is not discouraged but lack of engagement or dismissal of one another's ideas is.

Along these lines, I expect you to adhere to this basic professional principle: treat others with the respect that you would wish them to grant you. "Others" includes the people you work for and with (classmates, instructors, corporations, clients); the people you write to (audiences); and the people you write about. Please strive to be supportive of one another and make this place a safe environment to conduct intellectual inquiry. If you feel as though you are being treated unfairly by a member of the class, please email privately and I will do my best to handle the situation.

collaboration

Peer collaboration is encouraged in our course. You will be sharing your weekly discussion posts and peer review of your projects for the course. These opportunities will allow you to further develop your presentation and editing skills.

Beyond this, you are welcome to collaborate on the final project for the course, provided you let me know in advance and inform me of your protocol for resolving workload issues and problems that may arise.

Each class member should respect the working style and efforts of others. For the betterment of all of us, foster collegial relationships and help strengthen one another's ideas and works.

grading

Overall, you will be assessed on your contribution to the course; on your attentiveness to issues and trends in genre theory, proposal writing, and technical communication; and on the thoroughness, complexity, and perceptiveness of your projects and your posts. The quality of your writing, style, tone, and formatting will also carry significant weight in the evaluation process.

I will discuss these assignments more fully under the benchmarks section of this site; however, here is a brief overview of each.

participation (400 pts. or 30 pts. per week)

Your participation grade will largely consist of your ability to demonstrate critical engagement with the content, ideas, and people in the course. Full points will be awarded to students:

proposal and audience analysis (200 pts.)

Early in the semester, you will write a proposal for the research and work you would like to conduct for your seminar project. Your project should include a researched proposal or argument and will include primary and secondary sources where appropriate. Your proposal will inform me of the work you wish to conduct, the course resources upon which you will draw, and will provide me with an analysis of your audience. This latter item might be a journal review if you are writing for a specific journal like Technical Communication, Intercom, or the Journal of Business and Technical Communication; it might also be a comprehensive description of the audience you are writing to, describing their situations and needs, and the appeals you will make to them to motivate them to action.

seminar project (400 pts.)

This project includes a researched proposal that is targeted at a specific audience for action or a publishable article documenting original research in proposal writing.

timeliness

All major assignments are due by midnight on the day listed on our course calendar. In certain cases, I am willing to renegotiate due dates if you contact me at least 48 hours in advance. Failure to do so will result in a significant lowering of your final grade. Weekly due dates for discussion materials and position papers are made to facilitate greater discussion across the class. These must be adhered to.

For the purposes of this course, the week begins at 8:00am each Monday and ends at midnight the following Sunday.

grammar and mechanics

I assume you have a standard competency in grammar and mechanics and will be able to demonstrate this to the class. You will not pass this course unless you possess such a competency. If your final projects contain multiple mistakes per page-equivalent, you will not receive a passing grade. If you feel that you may need some help in this area, even more than we will cover in class, please contact me so we can make arrangements early in the semester.

academic dishonesty and plagiarism

You are expected to do your own original work in this course. Whenever you borrow graphics, quote passages, or use ideas from others, you are legally and ethically obliged to acknowledge that use, following appropriate conventions for documenting sources. To borrow someone else’s writing without acknowledging that use is an act of academic as well as professional dishonesty, whether you borrow an entire report or a single sentence. An act of plagiarism will usually result in an E for the course and be reported to the proper university administrators. All USU students are responsible for upholding the Student Code of Academic Integrity, available in electronic format at: http://www.usu.edu/policies/PDF/Acad-Integrity.pdf

students with disabilities

Students who require reasonable accommodations in order to fully participate in the course should document the disability with the Disability Resource Center (435.797.2444) and contact me within the first week of the course. Any request for special consideration relating to attendance, pedagogy, taking of examinations, etc., must be discussed with and approved by me. In cooperation with the Disability Resource Center, course materials can be provided in alternative format, large print, audio, diskette, or Braille.

questions

I will be available via email, via phone on Tuesdays between 2:30-4:00 pm and Wednesdays from 10:00-11:30 am (mountain time), and via this course site to answer any questions you may have. Please post any questions that are *not* of a personal nature to the course site in an accessible space (weekly discussion forums, housekeeping, bulletin board, etc.) to better disseminate information to the whole class. If you find that I have not posted a response to your question within 1 business day, please send me an email, letting me know where it is posted so that I can respond quickly.

As a general rule, I will be devoting two hours each weekday to the day-to-day management of this course. This means that I will do my best to read everything that is posted to the site; however, I will not be able to respond to every thread of discussion. If there is something that you feel warrants my response particularly, please send me an email, and I will make it a priority.