1996-97
Department of Computer Science

Course director: V. Vanstone
Implementation details

COSC 3530.03 (x-listed BC3030.03) Technical and Professional Writing

Section A  Fall         Wed 9:30-11:30, Fri 10:30

NOTE: This course counts as elective credits towards satisfying Faculty degree requirements but does not count as Computer Science credits.

This course is designed to give Computer Science students practice in writing. The course's primary goal is that students be able to produce high quality technical research and documentation for both their peers and the lay public. This writing-intensive course will develop the student's ability to address a specific audience and to communicate complex information in a clear, sensible style. While issues of writing mechanics will be addressed, this course is not intended to be an E.S.L. (English as a Second Language) course; English language proficiency is expected.

The course will focus on four basic areas, each of which will form a discrete course unit. The unit areas are the following.
1 Defining the document (documentation, research article, report, letter, memorandum) and its aim;
2 Preparing to write the document (doing research, identifying topics/skills, documenting lab results, organizing illustrations, etc.);
3 Writing (including the fundamentals of organization, outline, structure, genre [compare and contrast], clear prose, stylistics concerns);
4 Formatting the document for publication.

The greatest emphasis will be placed on steps (1) and (3). The first unit will establish brainstorming and organization as the basis for all clear writing. In the third unit the students will be exposed daily to tasks such as definition of terms, solution of problems in point of view (objective, subjective), context, methods of description, summary, abstract, precis, methods of analysis, explanation of procedures, concepts and rules. The course will also cover basic forms of correspondence, bibliographical styles, and fundamentals of grammar and punctuation.

The aim is for students to be able to take on a solve writing problems without fear or anxiety. The course will provide a formal structure for the student to internalize and follow, whether the item to be written is as simple as a memo or as complex as a book. Because of the small class size, the instructor will be able to address a range of student abilities from the novice to the more advanced writer.

Note: This course counts as elective credits towards satisfying Faculty degree requirements but does not count as Computer Science credits.

Texts: t.b.a

Suggested readings:

Prerequisites: COSC2001.03; COSC2011.03; COSC2021.03; at least 6 credits in Humanities or Social Science.

Degree Credit Exclusions: BC3030.03; BC3050.03.