English (MA)

Technical Communication

The graduate program in English: Technical Communication prepares students to be professional information developers, technical or professional writers, and editors who are skilled at using the written and spoken word, along with visuals, to effectively inform and instruct a wide range of audiences. Graduates typically pursue work in industry, teaching opportunities, or doctoral studies. All the coursework may be completed in residence or online.The core curriculum includes a combination of practical, skills-oriented coursework (manuals writing, web design, and technical editing) and theory-based coursework (technical and scientific literature, rhetorical theory, visual rhetoric).

Program Requirements

Common Core

Editing the content, organization, format, style, and mechanics of documents; managing the production cycle of documents, and discovering and learning microcomputer and software applications for technical editing tasks.

Prerequisites: none

Creating both on-line and hard copy documentation for products, with emphasis on computer software and hardware documentation for users. Attention also to policies and procedures as written for a range of uses, e.g. employee handbooks, manufacturing processes, and usability testing.

Prerequisites: none

Rhetorical theory applied to technical documents, including an examination of how workplace cultures shape writing assumptions and approaches.

Prerequisites: none

Research/Methods Course(s)

The course addresses the use of research to answer questions and solve problems in the technical communication workplace. The course addresses research methods commonly used by technical communicators, such as interviewing, surveys, usability testing, and secondary research.

Prerequisites: none

Restricted Electives

Internship - Choose 3 - 6 Credit(s).

On-site field experience, the nature of which is determined by the specific needs of the student's program option.

Prerequisites: none

General Electives - Choose 12-18 credits (APP option), 11-16 credits (Capstone Course option), or 7-12 credits (Thesis option)

Introduces students to theories of usability and teaches students various methods to evaluate design for usability including heuristic evaluations, card-sorting, task-based evaluations, and fieldwork.

Prerequisites: none

Students learn how to research and write technical information for multiple cultures, both locally and internationally.

Prerequisites: none

This course is designed to introduce students to technical project management. This introduction is achieved through participation in a simulated project management experience. Assignments include standard documentation associated with project management and reflective writing.

Prerequisites: none

Analysis and training focused on concepts and practices of visual design as they relate to technical and professional communication.

Prerequisites: none

Topics in theory and practice of technical communication. Hands-on course which implements the theories discussed. May be repeated with different subject matter.

Prerequisites: none

Overview of publishing and typography, conventions of desktop publishing, and hardware and software application tools for desktop publishing. Students need not have prior experience with DTP, but some word processing and microcomputer experience will be helpful. Course will meet in both PC and Macintosh labs.

Prerequisites: none

Creating both on-line and hard copy documentation for products, with emphasis on computer software and hardware documentation for users. Attention also to policies and procedures as written for a range of uses, e.g. employee handbooks, manufacturing processes, and usability testing.

Prerequisites: none

Topics relating to rhetorical theory in the workplace, including examination of how workplace cultures shape writing assumptions and approaches. May be repeated with different subject matter.

Prerequisites: none

Technical communication course designed specifically for STEM industry professionals or students in PSM programs; emphasis on development of technical communication skills and expertise needed for business- and industry-specific documents and presentations for internal or external audiences.

Prerequisites: none

Examination of instructional design principles and models, including research in theory and practice of instructional design for technical communicators in academic and industry settings.

Prerequisites: none

Focused study on a topic not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

Prerequisites: none

Analysis of fiction and literary nonfiction that treats technical and scientific themes.

Prerequisites: none

Theory and practice in the development and production of proposals, focusing on the researching, writing, and management of proposals by technical communicators.

Prerequisites: none

User experience is a more holistic, contextualized approach to understanding an individuals encounter with technologies, systems, and documents. The course addresses theory, research findings, case studies, and methods for conducting user experience research.

Prerequisites: none

Capstone Course

Choose 1 - 3 Credit(s). Students choosing Thesis (Eng 699) must complete at least 3 credits.

Independent capstone experience, focusing on secondary research sources; paper may have other guidelines specific to the program option.

Prerequisites: none

In this course, taken in the last year of MS coursework, students demonstrate their mastery of technical communication by creating a professional portfolio of advanced technical communication materials.

Prerequisites: none

Independent capstone experience, guidelines of which are determined by the requirements of a particular program option.

Prerequisites: none