Course Descriptions

ENGL 472: Professional  Writing        
Randy Gonzales, Fall 2016

This online course prepares students for professional writing situations. The project-based course focuses on the analysis of professional writing contexts and the creation of documents for businesses, non-profit organizations, and/or community groups. The course will mimic a virtual workplace, placing an emphasis on digital documents, collaborative methods, and project management tools and strategies. Students will produce a range of documents, which depending on the work context, could include standard operating policies and procedures, feasibility reports, handbooks, and business proposals.

ENGL 474: Document Design               
Randy Gonzales, Fall 2016

This online professional writing course introduces students to document design. In the first half of the semester, the emphasis will be on document analysis. Students will collect professional documents, use principles and theories of design to analyze them, and present the documents and analysis in an online design portfolio. In the second half of the semester, students will begin to apply their design knowledge to original compositions. They will create a style guide that they will utilize to design web-based and physical documents. Students will be introduced to graphic, web, and layout design software. Course materials include Document Design: A Guide to Technical Communication, video lectures, instructor-designed resources, and online resources.

ENGL 462: Special Projects in Professional Writing      
Randy Gonzales, Summer 2016           

Blogging in Professional Contexts is a project-based course in which students plan, design, and create their own professional blogs. Students will take a systematic approach to creating a blog, progressing from a statement of goals to a published blog with a content plan and editorial calendar. The course reinforces professional writing methods with students conducting audience analysis and usability tests, producing social media content strategies, and writing professional content targeted to a specific audience. Course materials include Writing & Editing for Digital Media, video lectures, instructor-designed resources, and online resources. This class will NOT meet face-to-face.

ENGL 462: Special Projects in Professional Writing      
Keith Dorwick, Spring 2016

“E­Publishing Online” will begin by exploring various social media spaces, such as Facebook, YouTube and WordPress (somewhat old school but still very much used as a blogspace), with a special emphasis on the creation of e­texts and appropriate online personae by the professional writer working in a variety of fields. We’ll also create a project using Storify, which is a useful and free space for standalone online research or non­fiction essays involving media. The final part of the semester will explore the use of Drupal as a model for the use of a Content Management System (CMS), rather than the very old school use of HTML and direct Web coding, including the use of pre­written modules that add functionality but require configuration by the site administrator. For their final project, students will create a Drupal ­based project that would fit their areas of interest, and doing the project and writing a defense of it would be part of the academic work of the course. This course is part of the new online certificate in professional writing; rhetoric students, creative writers and literature scholars welcome, with the cheerful note that many English MAs and PhDs have managed very successful and lucrative careers as professional writers as the market prospects for teaching positions worsen with each passing year; projects may also be creative or research­ oriented in nature. Certificate students who work outside academe may write in a number of genres, but are encouraged to create real world projects, including those assigned as part of their work lives, with permission of the instructor. No textbooks required. No tests. No quizzes. Just writing/digital text production and lots of it. Online only.

ENGL 473: Professional Editing (poster)                
Randy Gonzales, Spring 2016

Professional Editing is a practical course designed to familiarize students with the tools and techniques of editing print and digital documents. As a core course in the Professional Writing Certificate Program, it provides students the opportunity to develop the skills to confidently edit the work of co-workers, colleagues, and/or clients. The course will be project-based with students applying their knowledge of professional editing to authentic documents from non-profits, business, technology, and the academy. Students will learn to use editing tools like proofreader’s marks, style guides, and standard editorial reference materials, and digital tools like the editing features of Google Docs and MS Word. Carolyn Rude and Angela Eaton’s Technical Editing (5th Ed.) will be the course textbook.