engl 6480/7480: technology & 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.


Attendance in this seminar is mandatory. This means that each time we meet, you should come to our discussion prepared with the completed reading for our meeting and any ancillary materials required by the syllabus and your own preparation for our discussions. Your participation in the discussions is also required, and your comments should be well-prepared and appropriate for a graduate seminar.

office hours

My office hours are M 12:30-2:00, T 10:00-11:30, and by appointment in the Ray B. West building, room 312B. My office number is 797-8637 or you may reach me via email at rylish.moeller@usu.edu.


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 technology and 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.


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.


To successfully complete this course, you must attend class and all scheduled conferences, complete all assignments on time, prepare for class, and participate in class activities and discussions. You will not receive a passing grade in this class unless you have completed all major assignments. Late essays or drafts will not be accepted without penalty unless you have made arrangements for an extension at least 48 hours prior to the due date. Late papers will be graded down one grade level per business day late. You are required to retain copies of all of your writing throughout the entire semester.

For grading criteria of the different types of assignments, please see the benchmarks page. The following is a breakdown of the final grade:

participation, tweeting, and blog posts

400 (best 8 out of 9)

professional development


seminar paper



1000 pts.


research and readings

Recently, I learned that providing course readings in the form of .pdf articles via the course site hurts authors and journals that do not receive credit for our class' download and browsing activity. For this reason, I will not be making course readings available from this site unless they are not available online (e.g. book chapter, etc.). You should be prompted to enter your a-number and banner password when you access resources linked to in the course site. Instructions for accessing such resources are available here: http://libguides.usu.edu/database_links. If you have trouble locating a resource even after you have tried the EZ proxy link (http://dist.lib.usu.edu/login?url=), try locating the journal through the USU library's electronic journals list. If you are working on campus, you do not need to configure an EZ proxy link to access the library's resources.


All major assignments are due by 8:00am on the day listed on our course schedule. 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. Incompletes grades will not be negotiated except in unforseen and extreme circumstances. These negotiations must take place at least one-week prior to the end of the course.

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.


I will be available via email, office hours, 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 (housekeeping discussion forum, 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.