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CSS 301 - Technical Writing

Fall 2003

Prof. Michael Stiber

While it might not be possible to be a successful computer professional without technical skills (at least, one hopes, not for long), it is certainly possible to be unsuccessful even with excellent skills. What often makes the difference are your communication abilities. It would be a very unusual situation in which your personal success or failure (or the success or failure of a product or company) didn't depend on the actions of other people. Other people will only act to your benefit if you can convince them to do so, and that requires excellent technical communication. In this course, you will learn about and practice the fundamentals of technical communications, including researching new topics, analyzing your audience, summarizing information, convincing others that your ideas are good ones, clearly describing how something should work, comparing different problem solutions, and writing understandable instructions.


Finals week assignment: Create a set of web pages based on your instructions assignment. This will be graded like an in-class exercise (S/U); to get a grade of "satisfactory," you will need to show that you have considered some of the issues of good web design (in other words, "Save as HTML" in Microsoft Word won't cut it). You don't need to convert the entire instructions document; just enough to flesh out the web design. This is due by Wednesday, December 17; email the URL to

I'm looking for a volunteer to help set up a web site for a conference. I can't offer money, but the site will be up until 2006, so it can be something you can point to as an example of your work. Actually, it won't be that complex; no e-commerce, for example. On the other hand, if you want to play with Servlets or JSP, that would be a possibility (but not a requirement).

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Last updated: Tuesday, 7-October-2003