2020 Technical Writing D

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Academic unit or major
Career development courses
Instructor(s)
Ricinschi Dan  Hazel Bantolino Gonzales  Akagi Hirofumi  Ando Mayumi 
Course component(s)
Exercise
Mode of instruction
ZOOM
Day/Period(Room No.)
Wed5-6(Zoom)  
Group
D
Course number
LAC.C657
Credits
1
Academic year
2020
Offered quarter
4Q
Syllabus updated
2020/9/30
Lecture notes updated
-
Language used
English
Access Index

Course description and aims

Technical Writing, taught by active researcher in science and technology trains doctoral candidates to develop the ability of expressing themselves effectively in writing on topics closely related to their research works. In addition to providing information synthetized from relevant textbooks, the instructors offer students practical advice from their own experiences as scientific paper authors, peer-reviewers and/or journal editors. Topics covered include the main steps needed to publish a scientific paper, writing each section of a research paper, and matters related to effective communication of intended messages with appropriate vocabulary, sentences and paragraphs.
The course aims to teach doctoral students "what to write", "where to write" and "how to write" in the context of describing their research in scientific papers that are to be submitted for publication as well as in cases of other formal and informal documents (cover letters, e-mails, grant proposals).

Student learning outcomes

By the end of this course, students will:
1. understand the importance of technical writing for both current stage and future careers
2. acquire and enhance the ability to write effectively each section of a scientific paper by using/selecting appropriate contents, vocabulary and grammar
3. acquire and enhance the ability to express their research-related ideas logically in sentences and paragraphs that effectively communicate their intended messages to the targeted readers

Keywords

written communication, research paper writing, technical writing style

Competencies that will be developed

Specialist skills Intercultural skills Communication skills Critical thinking skills Practical and/or problem-solving skills

Class flow

Classes will be formed based as much as possible on a match between student's and instructor's major and specialized area of research (if needed, a selection process will take place). The course will be offered twice per academic year, in the fall term. Students will attend the classes for 7 weeks (1 credit), either in the Ookayama or Suzukakedai campus. The main format of each class will be a lecture given by the instructor, with students not just listening but also participating in class exercises. A number of individual written homework will also be assigned, which will be evaluated by the instructor.

Course schedule/Required learning

  Course schedule Required learning
Class 1 December 9 (Wednesday), 14: 20-16: 00, Zoom Importance and role of Technical Writing, overall view on the process of writing a scientific paper Understanding the importance of Technical Writing for one's career in science and technology and the necessary steps needed to go through in order to report one's research in scientific journals
Class 2 December 16 (Wednesday), 14: 20-16: 00, Zoom Sections of a Manuscript: Drafting the Introduction and Methodology What to include in Introduction and Methodology sections and how to write them using proper vocabulary and grammar
Class 3 December 23 (Wednesday), 14: 20-16: 00, Zoom Sections of a Manuscript: Drafting the Results and Discussion What to include in Results and Discussion sections and how to write them using proper vocabulary and grammar
Class 4 January 6 (Wednesday), 14: 20-16: 00, Zoom Sections of a Manuscript: Drafting the Conclusions, Title and Abstract What to include in Conclusions and Abstract how to write them using proper vocabulary and grammar; How to give a manuscript a compelling title
Class 5 January 13 (Wednesday), 14: 20-16: 00, Zoom Matters of style in Technical Writing at word level and sentence level (word choice and order, grammar, punctuation) How to select the words, word order, punctuation signs in a sentence and what grammar rules to follow to ensure optimal transmission of intended messages to readers
Class 6 January 20 (Wednesday), 14: 20-16: 00, Zoom Matters of style in Technical Writing at paragraph level (topic and support sentences, topic progression, linking expressions) How to write effective paragraphs by arranging sentences in logical manner and how to connect them to ensure optimal transmission of intended messages to readers
Class 7 January 27 (Wednesday), 14: 20-16: 00, Zoom Matters of style in Technical Writing targeting specific concerns of specialized research fields (equations, chemical reactions, numbers, units of measure) and addressing topics proposed by students How to describe in writing the specialized terms of various disciplines such as equations, chemical reactions, numbers, units of measure and other specific issues of technical writing brought up by students themselves

Textbook(s)

None-learning materials will be provided by instructors

Reference books, course materials, etc.

The Handbook of Technical Writing by Gerald J. Alred, Charles T. Brusaw, Walter E. Oliu, Science Research Writing for Non-Native Speakers of English by Hilary Glasman-Deal, The elements of Technical Writing by Gary Blake, Robert W. Bly, The Craft of Scientific Writing by Michael Alley

Assessment criteria and methods

60% homework assignments, 40% participation to class activities

Related courses

  • Technical Discussion

Prerequisites (i.e., required knowledge, skills, courses, etc.)

None

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