Course Syllabus

Welcome to ENGL210: Technical Writing

Specific information about this course and its requirements can be found below. For more general information about taking Saylor Academy courses, including information about Community and Academic Codes of Conduct, please read the Saylor Student Handbook.


Course Description

This is a detailed course on technical writing in a workplace context, which covers audience analysis, memo writing and internal communications, form letters, presentations and the use of visuals, process documentation, proposals, and writing in the Internet era.


Course Introduction

In every career, you must be able to communicate effectively and clearly if you want to be successful. This course will provide you with a background in the practical, technical writing skills that are necessary in today's workplace. This course covers internal workplace communications,  external business-to-business and business-to-consumer writing skills, presentations and how to use visuals effectively, writing clear instructions and process documents, and using social media effectively.

Because the goal of this course is to improve your ability to write clear, comprehensible examples of technical writing, most subunits include short writing activities that will give you hands-on experience in many different writing tasks. Also, each unit includes a series of writing self-assessments that will allow you to evaluate your own writing based on specific criteria, and will provide examples and commentary on how to write successfully. This practical focus on specific writing skills will help you learn the writing skills you'll need in the workplace, and by the end of the course you will feel comfortable tackling a wide variety of workplace communications.

This course is comprised of the following units:

  • Unit 1: Audience Analysis
  • Unit 2: Internal Communications: Writing Memos and Emails
  • Unit 3: External Communications: Formal Letters
  • Unit 4: Using Visuals to Convey Information
  • Unit 5: Process Documentation 
  • Unit 6: Writing Proposals
  • Unit 7: Communicating on the Internet


Course Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • select the appropriate technical communications style for a given audience;
  • describe communication goals to readers in the workplace;
  • apply strategies for writing clear English;
  • utilize effective page layout and design;
  • explain how visuals aid understanding;
  • integrate effective planning and revision into technical communications; and
  • differentiate among models for instruction, description, definition, and summary.

Throughout this course, you'll also see related learning outcomes identified in each unit. You can use the learning outcomes to help organize your learning and gauge your progress.


Course Materials

The primary learning materials for this course are readings, lectures, video tutorials, and other resources.

All course materials are free to access, and can be found through the links provided in each unit and subunit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will instruct you as to what specifically to read or watch at a given point in the course, and help you to understand how these individual materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also access a list all of the materials used in this course by clicking on Resources in the course's "Activities" menu.


Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score

Unlike other Saylor courses, the Final Exam in this course is not automatically scored by Saylor, though it does provide an opportunity for you to self-grade using the scoring rubrics provided. Therefore, true "certification" would be contingent upon third-party evaluation of your written work, which will be attached to your course completion certificate as evidence items. Those wishing to have their proficiency in Technical Writing assessed should submit these evidence items to a qualified reviewer, who can then endorse your certificate if proficiency is met. 

Only the self-graded final exam must be completed to earn your certificate and have your score added to your transcript. However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, we recommend that you work through the materials in each unit. 

There are also 63 writing assignments, unit assessments and other types of quizzes in this course. These are intended to help you to gauge how well you are learning and do not factor into your final course grade. You may retake all of these as many times as needed to feel that you have an understanding of the concepts and material covered. You can locate a full list of these sorts of assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's "Activities" menu.


Thomas Edison State University TECEP Exam Alignment

This course is designed to align with a Thomas Edison State University TECEP examination. Visit the TECEP website, and click on "Technical Writing (ENG-201-TE)" to download the content guide for the exam. For more information about this partnership, and earning credit through Thomas Edison State University, go here.


Tips for Success

ENGL210: Technical Writing is a self-paced course in which you the learner determines when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or predetermined schedule to follow. While learning styles can vary considerably and any particular student will take more or less time to learn or read, we estimate that the "average" student will take 86 hours to complete this course. We recommend that you work through the course at a pace that is comfortable for you and allows you to make regular (daily, or at least weekly) progress. It's a good idea to also schedule your study time in advance and try as best as you can to stick to that schedule.

Learning new material can be challenging, so below we've compiled a few suggested study strategies to help you succeed:

  • Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories as you read. This can help you differentiate and contextualize concepts and later provide you with a refresher as you study.
  • As you progress through the materials, take time to test yourself on what you have retained and how well you understand the concepts. The process of reflection is important for creating a memory of the materials you learn; it will increase the probability that you ultimately retain the information.
  • Although you may work through this course completely independently, you may find it helpful to connect with other Saylor Academy students through the discussion forums. You may access the discussion forums at


Suggested Prerequisites

In order to take this course, you should:

  • have completed ENGL001 and ENGL002, or equivalent English Composition courses.

Technical Requirements

This course is delivered fully online. You will be required to have access to a computer or web-capable mobile device and have consistent access to the internet to either view or download the necessary course resources and to attempt any auto-graded course assessments and the final exam.

  • To access the full course including assessments and the final exam, you will need to be logged into your Saylor Academy account and enrolled in the course. If you do not already have an account, you may create one, free of charge, here. Although you can access some course resources without being logged into your account, it's advised that you log in to maximize your course experience. For example, some of the accessibility and progress tracking features are only available when you are logged in.

For additional technical guidance check out Saylor Academy's tech-FAQ and the Moodle LMS tutorial.



There is no cost to access and enroll in this course. All required course resources linked throughout the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, activities, etc are accessible for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.

This course does offer the opportunity for college credit though Thomas Edison State University's TECEP exam, for which there are associated fees. Please see more information here for cost information related to the TECEP exam.

Last modified: Friday, August 10, 2018, 12:12 PM