Designed for students interested in developing professional workplace communication and critical thinking skills, ENG-135 focuses on the Critical Thinking & Information Literacy and the Written Communication Institutional Learning Outcomes. Students design documents such as resumes, letters, memos, instructions, proposals, and an extensive, research-based documented report for the kinds of readers they will address as professionals. This course should be especially valuable for students pursuing careers in business, computer science, automotive technology, allied health, and other technical fields.
Goals, Topics, and Objectives
Students will learn to apply the rhetorical principles and techniques characteristic of professional communication. As a result of analyzing and writing documents, such as memos, letters, proposals, instructions, and reports, as well as preparing and delivering a short oral presentation, they will see how communication is an important dimension of professional effectiveness. They will become familiar with the following:
• The role of written, graphical, and oral communication within organizations. • The challenges and problems associated with professional communication, including ethical concerns. • The various audiences targeted by professional communication and the importance of adapting to them. • The importance of information literacy in communicating effectively in professional settings. • The methods of creating an effective professional voice or ethos in a document. • The use of computer technology as a critical tool in professional communication.
Upon successful completion of the course, students should be able to demonstrate their achievement of the Institutional Learning Outcomes described below. • Critical Thinking & Information Literacy Outcome: Ability to analyze and evaluate information and identify the need for research to draw conclusions, formulate inferences, solve problems and make decisions. Students will also demonstrate information literacy skills by locating, evaluating, selecting, organizing, synthesizing, and ethically documenting information from multiple sources using both informal and formal formats, as appropriate for diverse writing situations. • Communication Outcome: Ability to effectively communicate ideas appropriate to their discipline using standard English, through written and verbal communication.
Specifically, using writing and reading skills, students will demonstrate the following: • Ability to read and understand a document and to organize a response suitable for the intended audience. • Ability to develop communication using effective rhetorical techniques and persuasive language. • Ability to generate and develop a defensible inference based on available information. • Ability to find and evaluate research material in terms of its credibility, accuracy, bias, and ethics. • Ability to incorporate selected research material effectively and purposefully into an assignment by using quotation, paraphrase, and a formal documentation style and by distinguishing clearly between sources of information. • Ability to synthesize those sources with the students’ own experience of a topic. • Ability to use page design (including sectioning and headings) and visual aids to enhance a document’s readability and persuasiveness. • Ability to edit prose for grammatical correctness, accuracy, and diction and style appropriate for the audience. • Ability to purposefully critique their own and others’ written documents.
Note that a grade of C- is not transferrable and is not accepted by some programs at HFCC
Assessment and Requirements
Students will complete multiple written assignments that demonstrate business and technical writing principles. One major assessment instrument is the professional, documented, research-based report, required in all sections. That research-based report will be worth at least 20% of the final course grade. This assessment requires students to demonstrate mastery of written communication as well as information literacy skills: finding, evaluating, and using sources effectively and documenting those sources in an accepted format such as APA or MLA style.
English 135 textbooks will satisfy the following criteria: • A highly rhetorical focus that emphasizes how to adapt content, style, and organization to various workplace situations and conventions and that is apparent through both instructional text and examples. • Sections on each of the communication genres taught, including oral presentations. • An emphasis on visual communication strategies, including instruction on using graphics and formatting and examples of such visual aids working coherently and purposefully with written text. • Ample instruction on information literacy principles and skills: finding, evaluating, and using sources with appropriate documentation. • Profiles and analyses of ethical issues particular to professional communication. • Affordability. • Portability. • Access to an electronic resource (e.g., a website) that supplements the text and that provides free exercises and models (preferred but not required). The approved book list is maintained by and available from the English 135 Committee Chair and is reviewed annually.