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Technical Writing
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COMM 293Technical Writing
W.A. Hume

TEXTS: Technical Report Writing Today by Riodan and Pauley (Sixth Edition)

COURSE DESCRIPTION: COMM 293 (Technical Writing) is an introduction to the processes of professional business writing. Emphasis is on writing clear, precise, grammatically correct technical prose in a variety of routine technical formats including proposals and correspondence. This course fulfills the general education requirement in communications.


!Each student will be able to analyze and clearly summarize writing in several technical formats, changing emphasis for the appropriate audiences.

!Each student will gain practice and experience writing various technical communications such as memorandums, mechanism descriptions, proposals, progress reports, and employment application materials.

!Each student will understand the importance of visual aids and be able to utilize them in a technical writing project.

!Each student will be able to plan, organize, write, and edit a technical report based on academic research.

! Each student will understand documentation techniques based on both MLA and APA standards.


Five writing projects will be completed through this course:

  • Mechanism Description (chapter 10)

  • Process Description (chapter 11)

  • Feasibility/Recommendation Report (chapter 13)

  • Formal Report (chapter 14 & 15)

  • Application Letter/Resume (chapter 19)

Before each writing assignment, you must submit a memorandum (using MEMO FORMAT: EXAMPLE 2 from page 283 of our text) to introduce your report topic.

A MID-TERM and FINAL exam will be required. We may also have various quizzes relating to chapter reading assignments, writing processes, and grammatical rules.

1You will be responsible for all in-class assignments whether you are present or not. Each class meeting should be thought of as a corporate board meeting. If you must miss the meeting, then you must notify the president of the corporation (me) or risk losing your position.

7ALL REPORTS AND MEMOS must be typed, unless otherwise specified.


Five Final Projects: 

  • 10% Mechanism Description (chapter 10)
  • 10% Process Description (chapter 11)
  • 15% Feasibility Report (chapter 13)
  • 40% Formal Report (chapter 15)
  • 25% Application Letter/Resume (chapter 19)

In-Class Exercises:

  • 25% Four Communication Memos
  • Chapter Writing Assignments
  • In-class Quizzes


  • 25% Mid-term Exam
  • Final Oral Presentation

Disclaimer: Information contained in this syllabus was, to the best of the knowledge of the instructor, considered correct and complete when distributed for use at the beginning of the semester. However, this syllabus should not be considered a contract between the University of Maryland and any student. The instructor reserves the right, acting within the policies and procedures of UMUC, to make changes in course content or instructional technique without prior notice or obligation.

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