english 402

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Professional & Technical Writing


20% of course grade

In this culminating project, you are asked to write a PROGRESS REPORT and REFLECTION that build upon your previous course experience and portfolios. You will address your progress and address your needs. You will also address the rhetorical situation (audience, purpose, text) and its role in the production of various communications through design, layout, visual appeal, ethical considerations, usability, and document genre.

The progress report, as outlined in chapter 21, is an informal report.


Chapter 21 in Dobrin

from the web:



These 3 sites offer some good advice without spending a lot of time reading. 

Here's an example of an extreme progress report:
Thankfully, yours needn't be so lengthy. If you ever find yourself employed and needing to write progress reports, try to keep them shorter than this one :)


Project Goals
Instruction in Technical and Professional Writing is concentrated around five core-concepts, which provide students with the theoretical foundations needed to analyze workplace practices and develop documentation (print and digital) for a variety of communication situations. These core concepts include:

Rhetorical Analysis - write for a range of defined audiences and stakeholders

Document Design - make rhetorical design decisions about workplace documents implementing design principles of font, format and layout

Editing for Clarity & Conciseness - Draft, research, test, and revise visual designs and information architecture

Genres of Workplace Writing - understand and adapt to genre conventions and audience expectations

Workplace Practices & Collaboration - Understand, develop and deploy various strategies for planning, researching, drafting, revising, and editing documents both individually and collaboratively

Project Deliverables (2 documents total)

DOC 1: Progress Report
Compose a Progress Report directed to me, discussing your progress in Technical and Professional Writing for this semester. Your report should not only include your reflection upon your progress, but should have specific examples from activities and portfolio projects to support and illustrate your points.

Remember to review the course syllabus and to consider the goals of this course as you address your progress in the knowledge and application of principles of Technical and Professional Writing. Also, remember that progress reports do more than simply explain where things are now; they also provide overviews of progress, describe problems that have been encountered, and forecast future activity. You’ll need to decide on an organizational pattern.

DOC 2: Project Assessment (reflection)
Your 500-word project assessment document (a reflection on writing a progress report) should answer most of the following questions, each of which is tied to the major goals of the assignment:

  • Rhetorical analysis – How did crafting this document help you understand how to read and interpret progress reports?
  • Document design – What is the most effective aspect of your deliverable in terms of presentation or design? Have you deliberately adapted a standard form in an unusual or creative way? If so, why?
  • Editing for clarity and conciseness – What was the most challenging aspect of this document to produce and why? Briefly describe and explain one of the significant revisions you made to this document after your initial draft.
  • Genres of workplace writing – Why is an informal report the most appropriate genre for a progress report?
  • Workplace practices and collaboration – How well did you plan your work on this project? What might you have done differently? What differences did you note in not having peer feedback on this project?

The Progress Report portfolio is worth 20% of your course grade. The breakdown for each of its components is as follows:

  • Progress Report (80%)
  • Project Assessment (20%)

Grading Criteria
When grading your project, I will pay particular attention to the following criteria:

  • Persuasiveness
  • Content
  • Design
  • Completeness
  • Clarity
  • Organization
  • Creativity
  • Ability to adhere to genre expectations

Submitting Your Work and Getting Credit
Submit both documents as a PDF file in a single email.

Attention: Make sure you use apprpropriate file naming conventions for your document. For example, this project should be: lastname_progress.pdf (using your own last name, of course).