Welcome to Technical and Business Writing!

Welcome to ENGW 3335: Technical and Business Writing. This website will function as the online headquarters for our class this semester. Each week, I will post an update to the website with details about coming week, deadline reminders, links to helpful resources, etc… I plan to use SEU’s Blackboard site to record your grades, but otherwise, everything related to this course will be posted here. If you ever wonder what’s due on a particular date, or what you need to read before you come to class, you can check this website for the answer. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, you can email me or stop by my office (211 Premont Hall) during my office hours (T/Th 1:30–3:30, F 9:00–11:00).

A bit about me: I’m a new assistant professor at St. Edward’s University. For the past six years, I have been completing my graduate work at Iowa State University and teaching classes in ISU’s English Department. I study the relationship between rhetoric and technology, and I love experimenting with new technologies in the classroom and in my personal life. I’m married to a brilliant freelance writer and we have two daughters. Austin is a little hotter than we expected, but we’re slowly adjusting to the climate.

We’re going to dive right in to our first project this week, so you’ll need to complete the following items before you come to class on Thursday:

  • Please read pages 3–10 in The Essentials of Technical Communication and bring that book with you to class.
  • Complete a short biographical sketch (no longer than 1 single-spaced page) that answers the following questions: Who are you? (Tell me a little about yourself and your background.) Where are you going? (Describe your plans for post-SEU life.) Why are you here? (Help me understand what you hope to get out of ENGW 3335.) You will submit your biographical sketch at the beginning of class on Thursday.

Finally, a quick note about this website. Throughout the semester, I’ll be asking you to respond to posts on this website. To help you get comfortable with that process, please add a comment to this post that introduces yourself and answers the following question: What is the longest and/or most complicated document you have ever written (either alone or collaboratively)? Before you post, a couple of warnings: (1) Your classmates will see what you write, so don’t include anything intended just for me. (2) This website is public, so we will stick to using first names only. Also, please be sure to use the same email address every time you post to the class website. Once I “approve” your first comment on the site, you will be able to post comments for the rest of the semester without waiting for me to approve them.

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19 Responses to Welcome to Technical and Business Writing!

  1. Kelli says:

    The longest and most complicated document I have written thus far is my capstone paper debating the issue of abstinence education in Texas public schools, which turned out to be 65 pages total.

  2. Anna says:

    This summer I worked for a nonprofit organization that sends motivational speakers to schools with poor student achievement in an attempt to better students’ academic performance and attendance. I elaborated on the key words/speaking points I was given into 32 pages of speeches, which was the longest document I’ve ever written.

  3. blake says:

    I don’t know what I am suppose to say to introduce myself, but I am Blake, obviously. I have a terrible, terrible, terrible memory; I’m trying to think back to the hardest things I’ve completed, but I’m stuck. I can say the most complicated document I have tried to produce was for Legal Writing. I actually dropped the class before I finished the project. It wasn’t the writing that was challenging (in fact, it was pretty straight-forward); it was understanding the legal documents. Like I told the Professor, a blonde like me just doesn’t belong there. haha (I don’t think he liked my sarcasm though).

  4. BLH says:

    I worked on a U.S. Dept. of Education grant, which was about 60 pages long.

  5. Sarah says:

    This is Sarah B. and the longest and most complicated document I have ever written is summary of the new homeowners tax refund. I had to summarize a document for a law firm that was 9 pages front and back to a one-side page document for clients to have to help them understand what they would be receiving when filing for a new homeowners tax form and what they needed to be eligible.

  6. Jennifer says:

    The longest document I’ve ever written was the young adult novel that I started in high school and have not had time to complete since beginning college. The most complicated document I’ve ever written was my American Dilemmas paper in which I discussed pros and cons of various curbside recycling programs, including ones in areas where participation is mandatory. That was pretty complicated because recycling programs are implemented on various levels (federal, state, city, community, neighborhood, individual) so they ended up being difficult to compare.

  7. Dominique says:

    The most complicated document I ever had to work on was a grant this past fall for the campus police. The grant was only complicated because the officers kept e-mailing outdated information from the previous year’s grant while not following the new format of the grant. The grant didn’t get done for the second year in a row because the campus police weren’t prompt about giving the correct information.

  8. Aine says:

    The most difficult piece of work that I have done so far would have to be writing a social media critique for a business in Austin that was assigned during the course, Media Writing, last semester. The paper was difficult because I had to write with the intention of the owner reading it, so my suggestions and critique had to be delicate without being too harsh.

  9. Emily says:

    The most complicated document I ever wrote was a grant for KLRU. I had an internship with the non-profit last spring where I rummaged up funding for a documentary special called “Wildflowers of Texas.” Look for it this December on your local PBS station!

  10. Holly says:

    The longest paper I’ve ever written was in my American Dilemmas class last year. For the paper, I chose to write about the legalization of physician assisted suicide and euthanasia. My teacher was too laid back and not helpful at all, so I had no idea what he expected. It was all cool, though, as I ended up acing the class.

  11. Eileen says:

    The longest and most complicated document that I have ever written was my Senior Research Paper in high school. It was 18 pages (about the length of the American Dilemmas paper you have to write at St. Eds), but I also had to defend my position to a panel. I haven’t taken Capstone yet, so I don’t know how similar the processes are, but at the time it was terrifying for me because I am not particularly adept at public speaking. I tend to shake and sweat and forget everything and I feel like bursting into tears and throwing up at the same time. Charming, right?

  12. Chelsea says:

    The longest and most complicated document that I have written is capstone. I ended up with 39 pages of text, not including appendices and the works cited page. However, I really liked my topic, which made the process easier.

  13. Cameron says:

    I think the most complicated thing I ever wrote was the roots paper for American Experience– not because it was especially difficult but because no one in my family had any helpful information and I mostly made it up.

  14. Collin says:

    Hello classmates. I’m (still) Collin, and I enjoyed meeting you all on Tuesday.

    Some of you have worked on some seriously long documents. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I have never been on the writing end of such a document. I guess my most complicated work would be a paper for an honors class that discussed the concept of theatre as communication and vice versa. The essay was a response to a book written by Paul Woodruff whose rambling style and use of technical lingo made the project slightly complicated. It weighed in at a whopping 14 pages.

  15. CJ says:

    Hey, I’m CJ, as stated above! Sadly, the most complicated and longest document I’ve written by far was my Capstone. My paper was over genetic human engineering and though it was an extremely interesting topic, it has absolutely zero to do with my English Writing degree, so over all I feel it was a big waste of my time as a student (because there really is not topic over English Writing that fits the Capstone requirements). But, I won’t rant here about how I feel about the Capstone course and its design.

    See y’all tomorrow!

  16. Jessica says:

    Hi I’m Jessica, I normally go by Jess. I think the longest and most complicated document I have ever written is documentation for using Drupal for the different St. Edward’s departments. I have a hard time writing instructions for something I know fairly well so I think I write steps more intuitive instead for someone who has never worked with certain software.

  17. Josiane says:

    The most complicated document I’ve ever written was a research paper for one of the CULF classes. The topic was on the history and development of theater. I thought the topic was a simple one, but I later found it to be difficult to write about. It was difficult because there are many forms of theater, so it took some time for me to find out all the different forms in each country and place everything in order.

  18. Stephanie says:

    I wrote a 35 page research paper with three other people for a summer program during high school. It was about the Animal Control departments in El Paso and Texas. All of us had different ideas about what direction the paper should go, so it was difficult trying to ensure that our paper remained focused. Thankfully, we worked well together and published our paper.

  19. Diana says:

    Totally forgot about this.

    Otherwise, the longest paper I’ve written is probably my Capstone (discussing online behavioral advertising) which ended up being 33 pages with work cited and appendices. However, the most difficult paper I can remember writing recently was for The Age of Milton class last year. I just couldn’t formulate an adequate thesis, and being a bit stubborn when it comes to asking for help, I didn’t speak with the instructor until a couple of days before the paper was due. My paper was horrible, but Br. George was super lenient and gave me a passing grade on what I turned in (I didn’t deserve). I still feel bad about it.

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