Course Objectives | Class Readings | Course Policies | Schedule
Dr. Jan H. Spyridakis
Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:
- Write standardized American English prose correctly and effectively.
- Identify syntactic elements of sentences.
- Revise quickly and appropriately.
- Articulate the logic behind revisions (as shown through assignments and in-class participation).
- Construct syntactic structures that reveal intended emphasis.
- Create cohesive paragraphs.
- Punctuate sentences effectively.
- Set an appropriate tone.
- Create a style that is appropriate for specific purposes and audiences.
- Williams, Joseph. Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace, 9th Ed., New York:
Pearson Education, Inc., 2007. Buy the NEW EDITION--the 9th edition.
Note: Starting on page 269, the Williams' book includes a section with answers to the exercises that are not
assigned as homework (generally the odd numbered questions in each exercise). These answers can be helpful when you
are doing the assigned exercises or seeking extra practice
- Alred, G.J., Brusaw, C.T., and W.E. Oliu [ABO]. Handbook of Technical
Writing, 9th Ed., New York: St. Martin's Press, 2009.
- HCDE 401 Packet from the University Book Store. Note: Many exercises in
the packet are designed for you to gain more practice on the principles taught in the course; therefore, many
exercises with titles indicating "self practice" are followed by answer keys. Some packet exercises are to
be turned in and some are for class discussion—pay attention to the instructions at the top of the exercises
and on the syllabus. Ask questions in class or by GoPost if you are confused.
- Information and exercises on Web-Based Learning.
- Student samples: a sample of your writing for analysis and sharing with peers (please turn in 4-5 pages of your writing by Oct. 7). Any expository writing that you have done will work—letters,
reports sections, part of a thesis or school paper, etc. Procedures and introspective personal analyses are
generally ineffective (or inappropriate) as samples for analysis (and sharing with your peers) in this course.
- Exercises: Complete and turn in all assigned exercises from the Williams' book and course packet, and other exercises as assigned by the instructor. If you turn in all exercises and you have put effort into doing the work, you will a 4.0 grade for the exercises. Each missing exercise proportionately reduces the grade for exercises as will half-hearted effort or incomplete work. Weight = 15%.
- Mini Quiz. Weight = 5%
- 3 Quizzes. Quiz 1 = 23%, Quiz 2 = Weight = 27%, Quiz 3 = 30%
- Attendance and participation in class discussions. Because active participation in class discussions is critical for your learning and the learning of your peers, class attendance is extremely important. Lack of attendance OR participation can negatively affect your grade.
- If you are unfamiliar with the 4 point grading system, see the grade equivalents table.
- Assigned exercises must be word-processed and submitted IN OR BEFORE CLASS on the day they are discussed in class. I will NOT accept late homework.
- No homework accepted by email.
- No make-up exams (if you believe you have extenuating circumstances, please talk to me).
|Weeks 1 & 2
Sept. 30 & Oct. 7
Course introduction. The place of style in Technical Communication. Style versus grammar. Structural approach to
grammar: the clause and its connections. Some punctuation.
- Lesson One, pgs. 3-10; Glossary pgs. 261-268 (read definitions in this glossary as they become relevant to class discussion).
- Grammar Review, pgs. 1-9.
- Internet Writing Resources, pgs. 10-11.
Dynamic links to relevant Web sites (see the online syllabus).
- Structural and Semantic Links, pg.12.
- Identifying Subjects, Verbs, & Verbals--Self Practice Exercises,
pgs. 13-20. (The amount of self practice you do is up to you,
but I suggest you do as much as you need to become facile with the concepts.
You can do more practice on the Internet--see pg. 10 of the packet for
a list of relevant Writing Resources on the Internet.
- Web-based Exercises designed to accompany HCDE 422. http://depts.washington.edu/wbt401/--for self practice.
- Identifying Sentence Elements--Self Practice, pgs. 21-32. Please start
working on these; we will start discussing them on 9-30 and
continue with it on 10-07.
- Identification of Clause and Sentence Types, pgs. 33-35. Please start
working on this--for class discussion on 10-07.
- Making Structure and Meaning Match, pg. 36, for class discussion on 10-07.
Mini-quiz on grammar terminology. Wk. 2 topics cont. Workshop on
Student Samples (If you have a new sample, please bring it to class).
- Appendix on Punctuation, pgs. 236-260.
- Punctuation Principles, pg. 38.
- Colon and Semicolon use, pgs. 39-41.
- Style Analysis I, pg. 37, to be turned in.
- Colon and Semicolon--Self Practice, pgs. 42-43.
- Punctuation Questions to Accompany Williams, pgs. 44-46, for class discussion.
- Punctuation--Additional Questions, pg. 47, for class discussion.
- Punctuation Self Practice I & II, pgs. 48-59.
- Punctuation Practice, pg. 60, to be turned in.
Usage. Quiz I on grammar and punctuation.
- English Usage Table, pg. 62, for class discussion. Remember to look at Internet Writing Resources listed on pgs. 10-11 of the packet.
- Usage Questions, pg. 63, to be turned in. Type your answers.
- Usage Practice, pgs. 64-66 (hand-write your answers on the pages), to be turned in.
Action verbs. Nominalizations.
From this point on, UNLESS SPECIFIED OTHERWISE:
- Turn in all exercises assigned in Williams, unless otherwise specified. In all cases, regardless of how confusing Williams' instructions may be, revise the homework sentences using the principles discussed in the chapters, and all of the principles we have discussed so far this quarter.
- Pay attention to the syllabus: some packet pages are to be turned in.
- Underline all subjects and verbs on homework.
- Type all homework unless otherwise specified.
- Exercises 3.1 & 3.2, for class discussion.
- Exercises 3.4 & 3.5 (you may want to complete 3.4 and 3.5 in one read through as opposed to completing them as separate exercises) (even numbered items only, i.e., sentences 2, 4, 6, etc), to be turned in.
- Exercises 3.6, 3.7 (even numbered items only, i.e., sentences 2, 4, 6, etc), to be turned in.
- Nominalizations and Adjectivalizations—Self Practice, pgs. 67-73.
- Style Analysis II, pg. 74, to be turned in.
Characters. Passive and active voice, concrete subjects and verbs. Noun stacks.
- Reminder: underline all subjects and verbs.
- Exercises 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.6 (even numbered items only, i.e., sentences 2, 4, 6, etc), to be turned in.
- Exercise 4.5, for class discussion.
- Passive/Active Voice--Self Practice, pgs. 75-79.
- Revise the two paragraphs on pg. 36, to be turned in.
Quiz 2 on usage, nominalizations, passive/active voice, concrete subjects and verbs, and noun stacks.
Conciseness: Limits on short term memory. Affirmative vs.
negatives. Sentence combining. Preview of Chapter 8 grammar issues for next class.
- Exercises 7.1, 7.3, 7.4 (even numbered items only, i.e., sentences 2, 4, 6, etc), to be turned in.
- Practice Sentences for Quiz 2, pgs. 104-111.
- Sentence Combining, pg. 81, to be turned in.
Controlling Sprawl, managing long sentences: misplaced and
dangling modifiers, pronoun reference, S/V agreement, and parallel structure.
- Exercises 8.1 & 8.2 (even numbered items only, i.e., sentences 2, 4, 6, etc), to be turned in.
- Style Analysis III, pg. 80, to be turned in.
- Misplaced & Dangling Modifiers, Pronoun Reference, S/V Agreement, & Parallel Structure--Self Practice,
Sentence topics: Cohesion and coherence. Old vs. new information, sentence beginnings, topic strings. Emphasis: sentence endings, topic/stress. Tone.
- Lesson 5, pgs. 74-90.
- Lesson 6, pgs. 91-108.
- Exercises 5.1 (2); 5.2 (2); 5.3 (2), to be turned in.
- Exercises 6.1 & 6.2 (even numbered items only, i.e., sentences 2, 4, 6, etc), to be turned in.
- Coherence: Old and New Information, pgs. 113-114, to be turned in (a few questions are for class discussion only). Bring the pages to class.
Quiz 3: Comprehensive. Motivating Readers.
- Lessons 10 & 11, pgs. 185-210.
- Analysis of Williams' Revisions, pgs. 115-117.
- Practice Sentences for Quiz 3, pgs. 118-131.
Please read Department of Human Centered Design
and Engineering (HCDE) policies for students registered in TC courses regarding student rights, plagiarism, and the
HCDE human subjects pool.
Student rights: http://www.hcde.washington.edu/intranet/academic/student-rights-policy.
HCDE Human Subjects Pool: http://www.hcde.washington.edu/navresearch/human-subjects-participants.
Students registered in HCDE courses are part of the HCDE Human Subjects Pool, which means that they may be asked to
participate in research studies. Because participation in research studies is voluntary, students who do not wish to
participate will be offered an alternative assignment.
Last updated: Sept. 13, 2010.
2010. Jan H. Spyridakis. All rights reserved