Header image  
Composition 3140: Advanced Writing for Human Services  
line decor
  HOME  ::  
line decor

Syllabus and Schedule: Comp 3140


Materials Required:

·         Kolin, Philip C., Successful Writing at Work, 8th Edition. Houghton Mifflin: Boston, 2007.   ISBN-13: 978-0-618-59370-5.

 Course Objectives:

Composition 3140 is a writing course designed to prepare you to function effectively in a world where readers generally expect you to control Edited Standard Written English.  Basic communication skills are not enough if you wish to secure, hold, and advance in a job.  This course does not assume you have a great deal of experience as a writer, but it does assume two other things:

1)   that you are willing to learn, and

2)   that you are interested enough in your career to realize the importance of strong oral and written communication skills. 

During this term you will accomplish the following objectives:

  • ·         You will learn advanced methods of writing in a variety of formats.
  • ·         You will learn that the process of writing, extensive editing, and careful rewriting enables the writer to gain a detailed knowledge of both subject and audience, and that this is the only way to produce professional texts.
  • ·         You will review and strengthen your grasp of basic grammar concepts, understanding the critical role this can play in how other people view your professionalism and abilities.
  • ·         You will produce professional documents that you will be proud to display in a portfolio as an example of your writing expertise.


Class Policies:

Note: I am willing to discuss these policies at any time, but if you feel you cannot meet them, you would probably be wise to find an alternative way to fulfill your senior writing requirement.

1)         Attendance at all class sessions is mandatoryAfter three absences, you will lose two (2) points off your final grade for each additional absence.

2)         Failure to write any paper means failing the course.

3)         Late assignments will be docked 10% of their possible value per class day.  Think of yourself as a professional with your job on the line!

4)         Two points (or 20%) of every paper are editing points.  For this reason, you should proofread carefully before handing in any assignment.

5)         Papers may be rewritten to correct major errors; however, it is more difficult to gain points from a revision than to do it correctly the first time.  Always see me first before you attempt a revision so I can give you specific guidelines.

6)         Successful Writing at Work  textbook readings and accompanying exercises are due on the dates listed on the schedule.   Exercises cannot be redone for extra points.  Also, bring your text to each class session, as we will be doing group work based on exercises listed in the text.

7)         A missed quiz must be taken before the next class period unless you make special arrangements with me.  Failure to do so means losing those points.

8)         Your final grade will be determined as follows:

Your Point Total
1. Proposal: Problem and Solutions Text
2. Short Report: Recommendation Text Final Exam
3. Oral Presentation
4. Technical Object Description: in-class group project
5. Three Editing Quizzes (5 pts. each)
6. Resume and Cover Letter
7. Seven Exercises Based on Text Readings (5 pts. each)

 Procrastination leads not to inspiration, but desperation.

 Special Needs: If you have a disability that may affect your performance in this class, please inform me at the start of the semester.  Methods, materials, or testing will be adapted as required for equitable participation.          


This schedule is designed to help you plan activities and assignments.  We will adhere to it as closely as possible, but it is likely there will be changes as the term progresses.  Any changes will be announced in class (another excellent reason not to be absent--if you are absent you are still responsible for any changes made to this schedule!).






Introduction to course: syllabus, exercise assignment sheet, and attendance

The Writing Process presentation

Diagnostic: grammar and punctuation


Chapter 1: Getting Started

Chapter 1 Exercises

Sentence Construction lecture with worksheet;

Active/Passive Voice worksheet

Chapter 1 group work


Chapter 2: The Writing Process at Work

Subject/verb agreement with worksheets

Chapter 2 Exercises

Subject/verb agreement with worksheets

Chapter 2 group work


Chapter 4: Writing Memos, Faxes, and Emails


Chapter 4 email Exercise

Quiz #1

Chapter 4 group work

Chapter 14: Writing Winning Proposals

Proposal assignment given in class


Library instruction: Library 116

Go to Library 116

Pronoun antecedent instruction

Pronoun antecedent instruction


Pronoun antecedent instruction

Chapter 5: Writing Letters


Chapter 5 Exercises

Quiz #2

Chapter 8: Doing Research

Paraphrase instruction and exercise


Chapter 9: Documenting Sources

APA instruction and exercise

Chapter 6: Types of Business Letters

Letter assignment given out: group work

Punctuation/apostrophes instruction with worksheets


Punctuation/apostrophes instruction with worksheets


Chapter 6 Letter due


Quiz #3

Chapter 11: Designing Clear Visuals

Do #24 and #25 on page 501 as group work

Chapter 11 Exercises




Chapter 13: Writing Instructions

Technical Object Description/group work

Bring a laptop if you have one

You must be here all three days to get the points

Technical Object Description

Technical Object Description


Resume instruction

Resume instruction

Resume instruction


Chapter 12: Designing Successful Documents

Do #5 on page 552-553: redo

Chapter 12 Exercises

Oral Presentations assigned

Proposal: problem/solution text peer review

Bring two copies if you are working with a partner

Peer Review


E-Portfolio Presentation: location to be announced

Chapter 15: Short Reports

Final exam assignment: recommendation

Proposal due

Bring multiple copies!

Argumentation instruction with exercise


Resume/cover letter peer review

Oral Presentations

Resume/cover letter

Oral Presentations


Oral Presentations

Oral Presentations

Oral Presentations



Oral Presentations

Oral Presentations

Oral Presentations


Deposited at Hum 422

Take Home Final Exam

Your final grade will be turned in during finals week; you can check it on-line shortly thereafter.  Have a great break!!