Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
WR 117
Course Title:
Introduction to Technical Writing
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Focuses on the specific writing needs of career programs: procedures, proposals, letters, memoranda, lab reports, work reports. Prerequisites: WR 115 or placement into WR 121. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Outcomes for this course require working through multiple drafts of several pieces of writing with time to separate the acts of writing and revising; in addition, the reading outcomes require time to read, reread, reflect, respond, interpret, analyze, and evaluate.
Upon completion of WR 117 with a "C" or better, the students will be able to:

  1. Design and produce the most commonly used technical writing specific to their career fields.
  2. Design and produce technical writing that includes visuals and that is accurate, ethical, easy to access and understand, and from which information can be extracted quickly and easily.
  3. Design and produce writing specifically tailored to a number of different audiences that have diverse educational, cultural, and linguistic backgrounds, and various levels of expertise.
  4. Work and problem solve effectively using collaborative techniques.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Assessment tasks will include the following:

  • Technical writing that incorporates text and visuals and that meet the needs of specific audiences
  • Active, positive participation in class and in small group activities

Peer evaluation may be incorporated in the assessment process. Other assessment tools may include group and individual presentations or a midterm and final exam.

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, concepts, and issues may include:

  • Appropriate formats and writing styles for various types of technical writing, including career-specific informal reports such as incident, field trip progress, project completion, inspection, investigation, status, and lab reports)
  • Audience analysis
  • Clear, concise, and accurate technical writing
  • Dynamics of collaborative work
  • Editing
  • Incorporation of graphics
  • Interviewing
  • Legal and ethical issues in technical writing
  • Page layout
  • Readability analysis
  • Researching
  • Revision
  • Safety Messages
  • Summarizing

Competencies and Skills
For Outcome 1
Understanding the differences between the types of technical writing specific to their fields.
For Outcome 2
a. Understanding different types of graphics and their appropriate uses
b. Selecting formatting options to create accessible and readable
c. Researching primary and secondary sources, including using the Internet
d. Editing text and visuals for:
    • Conciseness
    • Preciseness
    • Clarity
    • Legal and ethical issues
    • Safety
    • International audiences
    • Inclusiveness
For Outcome 3:
a. Analyzing audience and purpose
b. Incorporating audience feedback
c. Selecting graphics appropriate for the targeted audience
d. Selecting formatting options to create accessible and readable documents for different audiences
For Outcome 4:
Working collaboratively to analyze audience and purpose and to edit and produce documents