Course Objectives

English 301 is a dedicated writing course offered in an online classroom environment. During the course, you will be expected to work in three ways: independently; in consultation with your instructor; and also collaboratively in writing teams to be established by your instructor in the first unit of the course.

The course has these major purposes:

  1. to introduce you through course readings and activities to the distinctive elements of writing in business, professional, and technical contexts;
  2. to provide you with opportunities to practice and perfect in a series of shorter assignments and longer projects the strategies and techniques particular to writing in these contexts;
  3. to engage you with your classmates in online discussion, peer review, and analysis of documents produced for business, professional, and technical contexts;
  4. to direct you to the considerable resources available to you through UBC’s Career Services unit;
  5. to involve you in developing and designing an online portfolio in two forms: a Linked in profile with accompanying references and a professionally designed website that also presents your resume;
  6. to encourage and assist you in reflecting on your writing and developing self-editing skills.


Course Outline:

English 301 is divided into four units, each unit has three lessons: one lesson per week.

Unit 1. Principles, Practices and People in English 301 (3 weeks)

In Unit 1, you will meet your instructor and classmates online, and you will be introduced to the principles of technical and business writing as set out in the opening chapters of the core course text, Technical Communication, Thirteenth Edition by John M. Lannon; Laura J. Gurak  See More. You will explore the Linked-in website and begin the process of creating a page and building your resume. Resume building is a major project for the semester and will be on-going. You will also explore the Future Mapping Resources UBC Career Services website, and submit your first assignment: a mini-resume and letter of introduction.

Unit  2. Designing a Report Proposal; Defining Terms with Audience in Mind (3 weeks)

In Unit 2, you will be assigned to writing teams in which you will work collaboratively at several points in the course. In the first stage of the formal report project, you will design and submit a report proposal to your writing team. You will peer review your report proposals and send memos to your instructor summarizing your partner’s report proposal. In preparation for report writing you will also focus on one distinctive genre of technical writing: the study and practice of definition for different audiences. Your assignments for this Unit will include focusing on the genre of business correspondence and will involve the study of principles of audience, tone, clarity, and presentation as well as practice in writing particular types of business correspondence.

Unit  3. Designing a Report Outline & draft; Building your resume and job application skills  (3 weeks)

In Unit 3, you will take the formal report project to its next stage by first drafting a formal outline and then submitting it to your writing team for feedback, and again a brief memo to your instructor summarizing your feedback. As you work individually on revising and re-drafting the formal report, you will be accessing and working through the resources of UBC’s Career Services website (both Careers Online and Module 4 of the Future Mapping site, “Resume and Cover Letter Clinic”) to locate a suitable career-related job advertisement and then to design and write a full job application package for posting to your Linked-in site.

Unit 4. Drafting the Formal Report; Peer Review of the Formal Report Draft (3 weeks)

Unit 4 will focus on the writing of draft #1 of the formal report, with emphasis on matters of organization, evidence, audience, and style distinctive to this form. In the second part of the module, members of the writing teams will participate in a constructive peer review of the content, organization, style and presentation of their colleagues’ drafts. The results of the peer review will be incorporated into the final draft of the report before submission. You will submit your peer review, along with the report you are reviewing to your instructor for evaluation.