ENGL393 @ UMBC – Technical Writing

Taught by Christopher Justice, Fall 2018.
Check out his website: https://christopherjustice.weebly.com


Technical writing is the art of effective communication, particularly of technical information. At their core, technical writers are translators. They convert the convoluted jargon of the engineer and scientist into a vocabulary familiar to a layman. In doing this, they strip a matter down to its key points and reveal only the substance relevant to the target audience.

Goals / Objectives:

Students will:

  • gain familiarity with a variety of document formats including proposals, manuals, graphics, and press releases
  • learn to analyze an audience to determine an appropriate style, tone, and presentation format
  • learn to effectively critique their own writing and that of others
  • develop teamwork skills


Statement of Learning:

I learned…

  • The meaning of discourse – the idea that the vagaries of each language fundamentally shape how a person thinks about the world
  • A new definition for literacy – greater literacy is achieved by increasing the number of discourse communities one can effectively communicate within
  • How to apply key elements of rhetoric to create a persuasive final product
  • How to leverage technical writing techniques including varied sentence structure and diction to produce more potent arguments
  • Every writing assignment will take at least three times as long as I think it will – of which the last nine-tenths is rewriting and editing.