professional writing technologies


spring 2006
ryan moeller, ph.d.

t & th 4:30-5:45

rwst 101


rwst 312e

course description and objectives

This course is designed to give you rhetorical training and experience in professional communication technologies. Specifically, you will use html editors, word processors, document design software, and graphic manipulation software to create electronic, web-based portfolios of your work. Along the way, we will think about the processes we learn and the documents that we produce in this class as being both technical documents as well as persuasive arguments with a specific audience, purpose, and application in mind. This course is designed to address the following objectives of the professional and technical writing emphasis area within the English Department:

  • use graphic production/manipulation software (e.g., Photoshop);
  • understand mark-up language production/editing (e.g., HTML, Dreamweaver);
  • create functional digital media publications (e.g., websites, CDs);
  • use file manipulation software (e.g., FTP, Adobe Acrobat); and
  • create a digital portolio;

Perhaps more specifically, upon completing this course, you should be able to

  • understand basic html markup tags and headers;
  • understand the basics of web clients and servers, site architecture, and document design;
  • manage short- and long-term benchmark goals;
  • demonstrate the ethical and technical dimensions of electronic documents and document design;
  • design and implement appropriate strategies for researching, designing, and producing professional documents;
  • demonstrate the value of constructive criticism and feedback through basic usability strategies; and
  • successfully draft and edit appropriately for grammar, mechanics, and diction.

In this particular course, we will be studying and producing web portfolios. These will be electronic collections of your work for the course (and some outside of it) that are connected by a common interface and hyperlinked to one another. These documents will represent your professional persona and your work to the class and, eventually, to possible employers. We will discuss appropriate design strategies, learn how to create web pages and electronic documents in several formats, and demonstrate this learning through working electronic portfolios.

Individually, you will be responsible for attending all classes and for completing all assigned readings and all written assignments, including a group project; a proposal, and an operational web portfolio, either on-line or burned onto a CD.