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UM-St. Louis English Dept

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English 313

Instructor: Dr. William D. Klein

     Are they that different?

     Technical writing is technical writing.  How can I possibly need two classes of it?   How could the web change what technical writing means?  Are they that different?  These are some of the questions and points you might make when you initially compare the brief descriptions of the 213 and 313 versions of Technical Writing.  The web is nice, handy, and the topic of every other breath, but can it really have that big of an effect on something as seemingly constant as technical writing?  The short answer is yes.

Technically speaking, It's about the technology.

     If the technology is changing, the way we write about it changes.  Communicating efficiently and  interestingly is the challenge of the new media.  Past technical writing focused more on mechanics, formats, layouts, and setups of primarily textual content.  Text is still very important to the new media of the web, but visuals have equal importance in rhetoric of the web.  On top of this, tone and audience figure more dramatically in the web approach to technical writing.  Needs analysis figures more prominently also in the web-centric 313 offering of Technical Writing.  Given the evolving nature of the medium, Advanced Technical Writing focuses heavily on the necessary analysis skills that will lead any web-tech writer to a successful career.

The Breakdown

213 offers:                                313 offers:

Mechanics study                             Mechanics Study

Grammer study                               Grammer Study

Style Workshops                            Style Workshops

Group Work                                   Group Work

Business document forms study       Web site construction

Semester long profile assignment      Semester long technologies studies                                                        including:

                                                        Photoshop, Eudora, Listserv Listserv, PowerPoint                        Netscape, Pagemill, Powerpoint

                                                                          Group analysis of current sites

        Home | Benefits | Visual Communications | Writing | Genres

        Rhetoric | Group Work | Analytical Methods | Web Technologies