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 Student Handbook.
Get a detailed introduction to technical writing in a workplace context. Topics include audience analysis, memo writing and internal communications, form letters, presentations and the use of visuals, process documentation, proposals, and writing for the internet.
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 for 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 will need in the workplace. By the end of the course, you will feel comfortable tackling a wide variety of workplace communications.
This course includes 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 will also see learning outcomes in each unit. You can use those learning outcomes to help organize your studies and gauge your progress.
The primary learning materials for this course are articles, lectures, and videos.
All course materials are free to access and can be found in each unit of the course. Pay close attention to the notes that accompany these course materials, as they will tell you what to focus on in each resource, and will help you to understand how the learning materials fit into the course as a whole. You can also see a list of all the learning materials in this course by clicking on Resources in the navigation bar.
Evaluation and Minimum Passing Score
Only the final exam is considered when awarding you a grade for this course. In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the final exam. Your score on the exam will be calculated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you may take it again as many times as you want, with a 7-day waiting period between each attempt. Once you have successfully passed the final exam you will be awarded a free Course Completion Certificate.
There are also end-of-unit assessments and other writing activities in this course. These are designed to help you study, and do not factor into your final course grade. You can take these as many times as you want until you understand the concepts and material covered. You can see all of these assessments by clicking on Quizzes in the course's navigation bar.
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, see here.
Tips for Success
ENGL210: Technical Writing is a self-paced course, which means that you can decide when you will start and when you will complete the course. There is no instructor or an assigned schedule to follow. 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 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 we've compiled a few study strategies to help you succeed:
- Take notes on the various terms, practices, and theories that you come across. This can help you put each concept into context, and will create a refresher that you can use as you study later on.
- As you work through the materials, take some time to test yourself on what you remember and how well you understand the concepts. Reflecting on what you've learned is important for your long-term memory, and will make you more likely to retain information over time.
- Although you may work through this course completely independently, you may find it helpful to connect with other Saylor students through the discussion forums. You may access the discussion forums at https://discourse.saylor.org.
In order to take this course, you should:
- have completed the following courses:
- or equivalent English composition courses
This course is delivered entirely 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 for free here. Although you can access some of the course without logging in to your account, you should log in to maximize your course experience. For example, you cannot take assessments or track your progress unless you are logged in.
For additional guidance, check out Saylor Academy's FAQ.
This course is entirely free to enroll in and to access. Everything linked in the course, including textbooks, videos, webpages, and activities, is available for no charge. This course also contains a free final exam and course completion certificate.
This course offers the optional opportunity for college credit through Thomas Edison State University's TECEP exam, which has additional associated fees. Please see this page for more information on the cost of the TECEP exam.