Spring 2017 Course Descriptions

COMP 150-09 The Engineering Method of Technical Writing

N. Ramsey
F 1:30-2:45, Halligan Hall 111B

This course is for graduate and undergraduate students who want to improve their technical writing or who want to learn to write more easily. The course is a full-year, half-credit course, which means that it meets only once per week, and over the course of the year you will earn one full credit.

Participants will read, analyze, and revise their own work, each others' work, and published papers in computer science. The workload is expected to start at 4 to 5 hours per week; as your skills improve, the workload should decline steadily. Grades will be based on in-class exercises and on a portfolio of work done outside of class.

The syllabus and methods for the course are explained at length in my short monograph Learning Technical Writing Using the Engineering Method (http://www.cs.tufts.edu/~nr/pubs/learn.pdf). The books by Williams and Boice will be required.

Prerequisite: This course involves small-group instruction and enrollment is limited; to take the course you must have the consent of the instructor. To obtain the instructor's consent, please send the following information:

  • A short statement of why you are interested in the course and what you hope to get out of it

  • A one-page sample of something you have written on a technical topic

  • Evidence that you can read technical papers in computer science, such as successful completion of at least two of the four courses 40, 105, 160, and 170

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