Courses Overview

Courses in the certificate program are designed to equip students with a theoretical framework for doing the work of a technical writer in a specific medium or genre while also giving them practical skills them need to succeed in that work. Each course is designed with a focus on production and students spend a good deal of time each week producing content for the course. By the end of a given course, students can also expect to have produced at least one project worthy of inclusion in their professional portfolio.

Below you'll find descriptions of each of the existing core courses as well as some tentative information on planned future offerings. You can also browse through our planned offerings through Spring of 2018.

Core Courses

ENGL 5513 Document Design for Technical Writers
In this course, students will learn the fundamentals of good document design and effective document creation workflows from the perspective of a practicing professional writer. During the course they’ll focus on creating documents that share complex technical information clearly, effectively, and appropriately for a given situation. Work in the course will include Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Starting in Fall 2017, guidance on using open source software alternatives will also be featured. No previous expertise needed.

ENGL 5523 Technical Writing for Online Audiences
Students in this course will learn the theoretical and practical skills needed to put together effective online texts that fit the genre expectations of a given publishing situation. As part of this process, students will learn CSS and HTML from a writer’s perspective, specifically focusing on how they can use the web to effectively present written content. Starting in Fall 2018 the course will feature a persistent focus on the way social media impacts web writing. No previous expertise required.

ENGL 5533 Technical Writing Praxis
This topics course melds a broad introduction to technical writing theory with the application of that theory to a specific content area. In the first half of the course students will study some of the major strands of thought in technical and professional writing and cover the rhetorical use of grammar and style. In the second half, they’ll apply the knowledge to the course’s chosen topic, with potential topics including grant and proposal writing, writing in the sciences, and writing in organizational settings.

Elective Courses

ENGL 5963 Advanced Studies in Technical Writing and Public Rhetorics
In this topics course, students will be able to focus on a specific topic or area of study in Technical Writing and Public Rhetorics. Topic will vary depending on student interest and faculty expertise. Current and planned offerings include the following subjects:

  • Technical Editing
  • User Experience Design

Schedule of Offerings

All courses, unless otherwise noted, are offered online asynchronously.

Spring 2020
ENGL 5963, Technical Editing and User Experience Design

Summer 2020
ENGL 5533, Technical Writing Praxis

Fall 2020
ENGL 5523, Technical Writing for Online Audiences

Spring 2021
ENGL 5963, Technical Editing and User Experience Design

Summer 2021
ENGL 5533, Technical Writing Praxis