Professional Writing Syllabus (ENC 3250)

This syllabus pertains to Sections 4 & 32 of ENC 3250, Professional Writing, Fall Semester 2022. This syllabus represents a compilation of documents written by multiple employees of the University, including the instructor of record, General Education Council, Undergraduate Studies, English, and Legal Counsel. Version: Fall 2020. Email me with any questions you have.

Fall Semester, 2022

Course Schedule | GEA1 | GEA2 |

Writing Commons | GCF Global Tutorial for Working with Google Docs

ENC3250.004
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12:30-1:45
BSN: 1309

ENC3250.032
Tuesdays & Thursdays,
2:00-3:15 pm
BSN 1403
Professor: Joseph M. Moxley (he/him/his)
Email: mox@usf.edu
Office Hours: by appointment. Please email me to set up a meeting. If possible, let’s meet before or after class.
Contact Details

Last Updated: 8/17/22


Summary

Professional Writing Syllabus addresses USF’s policies and outcomes for ENC 3250.

For particulars on course assignments, see the Course Schedule.

University Course Description

Professional Writing (ENC 3250) is an introduction to the techniques and types of professional writing, including correspondence and reports. It is designed to help strengthen
skills of effective business and professional communication in both oral and written modes.

Course Purpose

Professional Writing aims to help students develop their workplace writing competencies (aka cognitive, intrapersonal, and interpersonal competencies). The course explores strategies for working in groups and addressing conflicts in a professional manner. Students work in teams to identify, research, and solve problems.

Course Prerequisites

ENC 1101 and ENC 1102 or ENC 1121 and ENC 1122.

Course Topics

Students completing this course will develop the following skills and abilities:

  • Collaborative writing and collaboration skills
  • Rhetorical strategies for writing in the workplace
  • Genres and conventions of professional communication 
  • Document design and writing technologies
  • Ethics, accessibility, and inclusion in the workplace.

USF General Education Council

Effective Fall, 2021, ENC 3250 is an approved general education course under the high impact practice of collaboration. As a result, all students across sections of ENC 3250 are required to complete GEA#1, Recommendation Report; GEA#2, Self & Team Presentation, and GEA#2, Presentation.

General Education Statement

Students enrolled in this course will be asked to participate in the USF General Education assessment effort. This will involve submitting copies of writing assignments for review via Canvas.

Below are USF’s General Education Council policies and outcomes for ENC 3250. All of the sections of ENC 3250 share these common core course outcomes.

Student Learning Outcomes

General Education

  • Students will engage in meaningful critical reflection in required coursework.
  • Under professional oversight, students will utilize contextually-appropriate behaviors, tools, techniques and/or dispositions.
  • Students will integrate discipline-specific knowledge into the contextualized experience.
  • Students will synthesize discipline-appropriate learning via a culminating assignment.

Collaboration High Impact Practice

  • Students will utilize collaborative skills to plan and execute a rigorous project central to the course learning outcomes, employing flexibility, and internal conflict resolution as necessary
  • Students will identify, acknowledge, and manage conflict.
    • Students identify, acknowledge, and manage conflict.
  • Team Leadership
    • Each student supports a constructive team climate by doing the following: Treats team members respectfully, motivates teammates, and provides assistance and/or encouragement to team members.

Course Specific

  • Students will analyze and write in a specific context defined by purpose and audience
  • Students will demonstrate effective document design
  • Students will develop your writing process, style, and editing techniques specific to workplace genres.

By completing course readings and assignments, students will obtain

  • Rhetorical Knowledge
    • Analyze and write in a specific rhetorical context defined by purpose and audience
    • Analyze professional cultures, social contexts, and audiences to determine how they shape the various purposes and forms of writing, such as persuasion, organizational communication, and public discourse.
  • Design Knowledge
    • Learn to argue with visual data, understanding and implementing various principles of format, layout, and design of documents that meet multiple user/reader needs.
  • Genre Knowledge
    • Learn and practice writing in various genres of professional discourse like the memo, infographic, letter, technical reports, proposals, and descriptions, etc.
  • Process Knowledge
    • Develop and understand strategies for planning, researching, drafting, and revising documents.
      • Collaboration
        • Learn and apply strategies for successful collaboration, such as working and communicating online with colleagues, setting and achieving project goals, and responding constructively to peers’ work.
  • Style Knowledge

Integration of This Course into Your Academic

Professional writing complements your disciplinary coursework by helping you gain the skills you will need to write on the job and in your life. This course builds on your previous coursework as it encourages you to bring that knowledge and experience into the course as part of the projects, while providing problem-based scenarios that mirror writing situations you will face in the workplace. The basic skills in collaboration, analyzing audience and purpose, and additional practice in writing in different ways are things that you can carry with you as you finish your degree or move into the workplace.

Course Materials

Required Texts and/or Readings and Course Materials

Canvas

Use Canvas, the course Learning Management System (LMS), to view course assignments, upload assignments, contribute to discussion posts, and communicate with the instructor. Your questions regarding Canvas should be directed to USF’s IT department at (813) 974-1222 or help@usf.edu.

Course Sandbox

See Announcement #1 at Canvas for the gdoc link to the Course Sandbox.

This gDoc serves as a collaborative sandbox for course work, drafts. I especially use it to keep track of your collaborative work. Once you’ve received your grade and have no use for the gdoc documents you write during the semester, you may delete them or move them elsewhere.

University email and Canvas Account

To succeed in this course, you need regular access to the internet via a laptop or desktop.

Grading Scale*

*Note: Students may not take this course S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory).

Extra Credit Policy

There is no extra credit planned for this course.

A+ (97–100) 4.00A (94–96.9) 4.00A– (90–93.9) 3.67
B+ (87–89.9) 3.33B (84–86.9) 3.00B– (80–83.9) 2.67
C+ (77–79.9) 2.33C (74–76.9) 2.00C– (70–73.9) 1.67
D+ (67–69.9) 1.33D (64–66.9) 1.00D– (60–63.9) 0.67

Grade Categories & Weights

In-Class Assignments

The In-class assignments will be be introduced in class. They will include assignments such as reading quizzes, summaries of reading, and writing exercises. My standards for evaluating the in-class assignments will vary depending on the complexity of the assignment. Some assignments will graded pass/fail. Some will be graded for completion. Some assignments will be based on a three point scale, depending on context:

A grade of 3 will be assigned when your assignment demonstrates

  1. you have read and thought about assigned readings and scholarly conversations
  2. your assignment adopts the conventions of a professional writing prose style

A grade of 2 will be assigned when your assignment demonstrates

  1. you have at least partially read and thought about the readings and class discussions
  2. your prose is understandable, if difficult to understand at times due to various stylistic infelicities

A grade of 0 will be assigned when you have not completed an in class assignment by the due date. Late in-class assignments will not be reviewed, excluding exceptional circumstances as discussed below.

You may find it useful to write your assignments in Word or Google Docs. That way you can use spell check your posts. You may also want to use Grammarly’s free tools to grammar-check your work. At the very least, before submitting your work, you should carefully proofread it.

Grade Dissemination

Grades are available in Canvas.

USF Policies

Grades of “Incomplete”

For undergraduate courses: An “I” grade may be awarded to a student only when a small portion of the student’s work is incomplete and only when the student is otherwise earning a passing grade. The time limit for removing the “I” is to be set by the instructor of the course. For undergraduate students, this time limit may not exceed two academic semesters, whether or not the student is in residence, and/or graduation, whichever comes first. For graduate students, this time limit may not exceed one academic semester. “I” grades not removed by the end of the time limit will be changed to “IF” or “IU,” whichever is appropriate.

2022 COVID-19 Protocols

For the most recent communication regarding COVID-19 protocols, please visit: https://www.usf.edu/coronavirus/.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the foundation of the University of South Florida’s commitment to the academic honesty and personal integrity of its university community. Academic integrity is grounded in certain fundamental values, which include honesty, respect, and fairness. Broadly defined, academic honesty is the completion of all academic endeavors and claims of scholarly knowledge as representative of one’s own efforts. The process for faculty reporting of academic misconduct, as well as the student’s options for appeal, are outlined in detail in USF Regulation 3.027.

Academic Grievance Procedure

The purpose of these procedures is to provide all undergraduate and graduate students taking courses at the University of South Florida an opportunity for objective review of facts and events pertinent to the cause of the academic grievance. An “academic grievance” is a claim that a specific academic decision or action that affects that student’s academic record or status has violated published policies and procedures, or has been applied to the grievant in a manner different from that used for other students.

Disability Access

Students with disabilities are responsible for registering with Students Accessibilty Services (SAS) (SVC 1133) in order to receive academic accommodations. SAS encourages students to notify instructors of accommodation needs at least five (5) business days prior to needing the accommodation. A letter from SAS must accompany this request. Please visit the Student Accessibility Services website for more information.

Disruption to Academic Progress

Disruptive students in the academic setting hinder the educational process. Disruption of the academic process (USF Regulation 3.025) is defined as the act, words, or general conduct of a student in a classroom or other academic environment which in the reasonable estimation of the instructor: (a) directs attention away from the academic matters at hand, such as noisy distractions, persistent, disrespectful or abusive interruption of lecture, exam, academic discussion, or general University operations, or (b) presents a danger to the health, safety, or well-being of self or other persons.

Food and Housing Insecurity

We recognize that student facing financial difficulty in securing a stable place to live and/or in affording sufficient groceries may be at risk of these financial issues affecting their performance in classes. Students with these needs are urged to contact Feed-A-Bull (feedabull@usf.edu or their website), or Student Outreach and Support (socat@usf.edu or their website). 

Intellectual Freedom and Viewpoint Diversity Act (House Bill 233) 
Preliminary Guidance Document

Students may, without prior notice, record video or audio of a class lecture for a class in which the student is enrolled for their own personal, educational use. A class lecture is defined as a formal or methodical oral presentation as part of a university course intended to present information or teach enrolled students about a particular subject. Recording class activities other than class lectures, including but not limited to lab sessions, student presentations (whether individually or part of a group), class discussion, clinical presentations such as patient history, academic exercises involving student participation, test or examination administrations, field trips, private conversations between students in the class or between a student and the faculty member is prohibited. Recordings may not be used as a substitute for class participation and class attendance and may not be published or shared without the written consent of the faculty member. Failure to adhere to these requirements may constitute a violation of the USF Student Conduct Code

Religious Observances

All students have a right to expect that the University will reasonably accommodate their religious observances, practices and beliefs (USF Policy 10-045). The University of South Florida, through its faculty, will make every attempt to schedule required classes and examinations in view of customarily observed religious holidays of those religious groups or communities comprising USF’s constituency. Students are expected to attend classes and take examinations as determined by the university. No student shall be compelled to attend class or sit for an examination at a day or time prohibited by his or her religious belief. However, students should review the course requirements and meeting days and times to avoid foreseeable conflicts, as excessive absences in a given term may prevent a student from completing the academic requirements of a specific course. Students are expected to notify their instructors at the beginning of each academic term if they intend to be absent for a class or announced examination, in accordance with this Policy.

Sexual Misconduct / Sexual Harassment

USF is committed to providing an environment free from sex discrimination, including sexual harassment and sexual violence (USF Policy 0-004). The USF Center for Victim Advocacy is a confidential resource where you can talk about incidents of sexual harassment and gender-based crimes including sexual assault, stalking, and domestic/relationship violence. This confidential resource can help you without having to report your situation to the Title IX Office unless you request that they make a report. Contact the USF Center for Victim Advocacy: 813-974-5757. Please be aware that in compliance with Title IX and under the USF Policy, educators must report incidents of sexual harassment and gender-based crimes including sexual assault, stalking, and domestic/relationship violence. If you disclose any of these situations personally to an educator, he or she is required to report it to the Title IX Office. For more information about Title IX, a full list of resources, or to report incidents of sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence or stalking visit: usf.edu/title-ix

Statement of Academic Continuity

In the event of an emergency, it may be necessary for USF to suspend normal operations. During this time, USF may opt to continue delivery of instruction through methods that include, but are not limited to: Canvas, Teams, email messaging, and/or an alternate schedule. It is the responsibility of the student to monitor the Canvas for each class for course-specific communication, and the USF, College, and Department websites, emails, and ALERTUSF messages for important general information (USF Policy 6-010).

Campus Free Expression Act

On March 10, 2022, the Florida Legislature passed Florida House Bill 7/Senate Bill
148 (HB 7) titled the “Individual Freedom Act.” This bill amends the Florida Civil Rights Act (FCRA) by placing limitations on how an employer can discuss certain topics or “concepts” when conducting diversity training in the workplace. It amends the Florida Educational Equity Act (FEEA) by placing limitations on how certain topics or “concepts” can be discussed as part of any instruction or training to
which a student or employee is “subjected.” The law takes effect July 1, 2022.

It is fundamental to the University’s mission to support an environment where divergent ideas, theories, and philosophies can be openly exchanged and critically evaluated. Consistent with these principles, this course may involve discussion of ideas that you find uncomfortable, disagreeable, or even offensive.

In the instructional setting, ideas are intended to be presented in an objective manner and not as an endorsement of what you should personally believe. Objective means that the idea(s) presented can be tested by critical peer review and rigorous debate and that the idea(s) is supported by credible research.

Not all ideas can be supported by objective methods or criteria. Regardless, you may decide that certain ideas are worthy of your personal belief. In this course, however, you may be asked to engage with complex ideas and to demonstrate an understanding of the ideas. Understanding an idea does not mean that you are required to believe it or agree with it.

Title IX Policy

Title IX provides federal protections for discrimination based on sex, which includes discrimination based on pregnancy, sexual harassment, and interpersonal violence. In an effort to provide support and equal access, USF has designated all faculty (TA, Adjunct, etc.) as Responsible Employees, who are required to report any disclosures of sexual harassment, sexual violence, relationship violence or stalking. The Title IX Office makes every effort, when safe to do so, to reach out and provide resources and accommodations, and to discuss possible options for resolution.  Anyone wishing to make a Title IX report or seeking accommodations may do so online, in person, via phone, or email to the Title IX Office. For information about Title IX or for a full list of resources please visit: https://www.usf.edu/title-ix/gethelp/resources.aspx. If you are unsure what to do, please contact Victim Advocacy – a confidential resource that can review all your options – at 813-974-5756 or va@admin.usf.edu.

End of Semester Student Evaluations

All classes at USF make use of an online system for students to provide feedback to the University regarding the course. These surveys will be made available at the end of the semester, and the University will notify you by email when the response window opens. Your participation is highly encouraged and valued.

Food and Drink Policy

Please adhere to the firm policy of no beverages (other than bottled/capped water), food, tobacco products, or like items in the classroom. Your understanding of the necessity for this policy and cooperation will be greatly appreciated.

Course Policies: Technology and Media

Email

I check my email just about every day. I’ll respond to your email asap, usually within a day.

Canvas

Use Canvas to track due dates and assignments.

This course will be offered via USF’s learning management system (LMS), Canvas. If you need help learning how to perform various tasks related to this course or other courses being offered in Canvas, please view the following videos or consult the Canvas help guides. You may also contact USF’s IT department at (813) 974-1222 or help@usf.edu.

Laptop Usage

I do encourage you to bring your laptops and other writing tools to class. I won’t be lecturing in this class. Come with a professional mindset. Be prepared to work.

Classroom Devices/Student Recording

Students may, without prior notice, record video or audio of a class lecture for a class in which the student is enrolled for their own personal, educational use. A class lecture is defined as a formal or methodical oral presentation as part of a university course intended to present information or teach enrolled students about a particular subject. Recording class activities other than class lectures, including but not limited to lab sessions, student presentations (whether individually or part of a group), class discussion (except when incidental to and incorporated within a class lecture), clinical presentations such as patient history, academic exercises involving student participation, test or examination administrations, field trips, private conversations between students in the class or between a student and the faculty member is prohibited. Recordings may not be used as a substitute for class participation and class attendance and may not be published or shared without the written consent of the faculty member.

Failure to adhere to these requirements may constitute a violation of the USF Student Conduct Code (https://usf.app.box.com/v/usfregulation60021).

Phone Usage

Please engage in professional behaviors. Put your phone away during lectures and presentations.

Instructor Expectations

Professionalism

I ask that you conduct yourself in a professional manner. Per university policy and classroom etiquette, mobile phones, iPods, etc. must be silenced during all classroom lectures. Those not heeding this rule will be asked to leave the classroom immediately so as to not disrupt the learning environment. Please arrive on time for all class meetings. Students who habitually disturb the class by talking, arriving late, etc., and have been warned may suffer a reduction in their final class grade.

Peer Review

Giving, getting, and making effective use of feedback from collaborators and reviewers is an important professional skill. When you collaborate on the group project or conduct reviews of others’ work, you are expected to provide thoughtful, professional, critical, useful feedback on your partner’s drafts during formal peer review sessions. I ask that you engage with your colleagues in a respectful and professional manner. When writing or speaking with your colleagues, please adopt a tone appropriate to a professional setting.

Attendance Policy

I do not keep track of your attendance in class. My goal with Professional Writing is to introduce you to ethics, business communications practices, and help you improve your communication competencies. In the business world, employees need to show up. Likewise, students need to show up.

Recommendation: If you have trouble attending class regularly, you should enroll, instead, in an online version of this course.

Learning Support and Campus Offices

Tampa Campus

Tutoring Hub

Example: The Tutoring Hub offers free tutoring in several subjects to USF undergraduates. Appointments are recommended, but not required. For more information, email asctampa@usf.edu

Writing Studio

Example: The Writing Studio is a free resource for USF undergraduate and graduate students. At the Writing Studio, a trained writing consultant will work individually with you, at any point in the writing process from brainstorming to editing. Appointments are recommended, but not required. For more information or to make an appointment, email writingstudio@usf.edu

Counseling Center

Example: The Counseling Center promotes the wellbeing of the campus community by providing culturally sensitive counseling, consultation, prevention, and training that enhances student academic and personal success. Contact information is available online.

Center for Victim Advocacy

Example: The Center for Victim Advocacy empowers survivors of crime, violence, or abuse by promoting the restoration of decision making, by advocating for their rights, and by offering support and resources. Contact information is available online.

Recommended Readings