English 313

Instructor: Dr. William D. Klein

Over the past decade, the World Wide Web has become a valid medium for exchanging tangibles and intangibles, for speaking and listening to others, for real human interaction. Good communication skills are critical to human interaction, and to an effective use of the Web, but not all the skills we've learned from non Web-based communications are transferable to the Web.

How can we learn these skills? In this course, English 313, Advanced Business and Technical Writing, we examine Web-based communications from a rhetorical point of view and look for ways to improve our knowledge and skills in using the Web as a medium for communication.

We will pay particular attention to the ways Web technologies influence communication and messages.

We will also spend considerable time on Web-based visual and textual clarity, style, interface design, site architecture and engineering, and page and site navigation.

This course is project-driven and group-oriented. We will work collaboratively throughout the semester to learn and implement our learning, much in the ways professional tech writers work.

The course will begin with a brief introduction to appropriate rhetorical theories and analytical methods, then turn to an inquiry of various commercial and non-commercial uses of the Web, and explore ways to implement what we learn in a website or two of our own.

We will do Web-specific rhetorical analyses, as well as needs assessments, audience analyses, and usability testing as we learn more about the rhetoric of the Web. While we study project management issues and website design and construction, we will also work to improve our presentation skills and interpersonal communication skills.

To the left you'll find links to topics we study in Advanced Business and Technical Writing. Please take a moment to dip into them to get a taste of this interesting and relevant class.

You can always reach me by email at bill_klein@umsl.edu, or by voicemail at 314-516-5593.