CQUniversity Unit Profile
LNGE40064 Technical Writing for University
Technical Writing for University
All details in this unit profile for LNGE40064 have been officially approved by CQUniversity and represent a learning partnership between the University and you (our student).
The information will not be changed unless absolutely necessary and any change will be clearly indicated by an approved correction included in the profile.
General Information

Overview

This unit introduces students to the writing skills they will need to succeed in university science and technology units. Students will develop skills in writing clearly and concisely, organising and presenting information in a logical way, and applying relevant conventions of style and grammar. Through intensive reading and writing, they will learn to critically analyse, paraphrase and summarise a range of scientific and technical texts. Students will consolidate their learning by researching and writing a report.

Details

Career Level: Non-award
Credit Points: 6
Student Contribution Band: 10
Fraction of Full-Time Student Load: 0.125

Pre-requisites or Co-requisites

There are no requisites for this unit.

Important note: Students enrolled in a subsequent unit who failed their pre-requisite unit, should drop the subsequent unit before the census date or within 10 working days of Fail grade notification. Students who do not drop the unit in this timeframe cannot later drop the unit without academic and financial liability. See details in the Assessment Policy and Procedure (Higher Education Coursework).

Offerings For Term 3 - 2020

Online

Attendance Requirements

All on-campus students are expected to attend scheduled classes – in some units, these classes are identified as a mandatory (pass/fail) component and attendance is compulsory. International students, on a student visa, must maintain a full time study load and meet both attendance and academic progress requirements in each study period (satisfactory attendance for International students is defined as maintaining at least an 80% attendance record).

Class and Assessment Overview

Recommended Student Time Commitment

Each 6-credit Non-award unit at CQUniversity requires an overall time commitment of an average of 12.5 hours of study per week, making a total of 150 hours for the unit.

Class Timetable

Bundaberg, Cairns, Emerald, Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville
Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney

Assessment Overview

1. Written Assessment
Weighting: 20%
2. Written Assessment
Weighting: 30%
3. Written Assessment
Weighting: 50%

Assessment Grading

This is a graded unit: your overall grade will be calculated from the marks or grades for each assessment task, based on the relative weightings shown in the table above. You must obtain an overall mark for the unit of at least 50%, or an overall grade of ‘pass’ in order to pass the unit. If any ‘pass/fail’ tasks are shown in the table above they must also be completed successfully (‘pass’ grade). You must also meet any minimum mark requirements specified for a particular assessment task, as detailed in the ‘assessment task’ section (note that in some instances, the minimum mark for a task may be greater than 50%). Consult the University’s Grades and Results Policy for more details of interim results and final grades.

Previous Student Feedback

Feedback, Recommendations and Responses

Every unit is reviewed for enhancement each year. At the most recent review, the following staff and student feedback items were identified and recommendations were made.

Feedback from Student feedback

Feedback

Student requests for Q&A Zoom sessions for online students to be recorded and uploaded to Moodle.

Recommendation

Record Q&A Zoom sessions and upload them to the LNGE40064 Moodle site as soon as possible after the scheduled session.

Feedback from Teaching team

Feedback

Need for earlier instructions on formatting a recommendation report in the textbook

Recommendation

Introduce the instructions for formatting a recommendation report in week 10 so that students can format their report when they write it rather than during final revision.

Feedback from Teaching team

Feedback

Need for greater visibility of the Q&A forum

Recommendation

Include a link to an assessment Q&A forum on the unit Moodle site’s landing page.

Feedback from Student feedback

Feedback

Student requests for fewer topic discussion forums due to study load and relevance issues

Recommendation

Keep the topic discussion forums that are currently at the beginning of each module and remove the rest. All assessment discussion forums will remain.

Unit Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:
  1. Write in clear, correct, concise English appropriate for audience and purpose
  2. Identify and apply style conventions for assignment writing in scientific and technical units
  3. Critically analyse a range of texts on scientific and technical topics
  4. Identify and summarise key ideas in a variety of scientific and technical texts
  5. Write a report using contemporary conventions of academic writing
Alignment of Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Graduate Attributes
N/A Level
Introductory Level
Intermediate Level
Graduate Level
Professional Level
Advanced Level

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Learning Outcomes

Assessment Tasks Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Written Assessment - 20%
2 - Written Assessment - 30%
3 - Written Assessment - 50%

Alignment of Graduate Attributes to Learning Outcomes

Graduate Attributes Learning Outcomes
1 2 3 4 5
1 - Self Management
2 - Communication
3 - Information Literacy
4 - Information Technology Competence
5 - Problem Solving
6 - Critical Thinking
7 - Cross-Cultural Competence
8 - Ethical Practice

Alignment of Assessment Tasks to Graduate Attributes

Assessment Tasks Graduate Attributes
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 - Written Assessment - 20%
2 - Written Assessment - 30%
3 - Written Assessment - 50%
Textbooks and Resources

Textbooks

Prescribed

Technical Writing for University 8 (2020)

Authors: School of Access Education
CQUniversity Publishing Unit
Rockhampton Rockhampton , Queensland , Australia
ISBN:
Binding: Spiral

Additional Textbook Information

The textbook for Technical Writing for University  is available on the unit  Moodle site; however we strongly advise you to print your own copy.You will need a hard copy to complete activities and take notes. The textbook cannot be purchased from the CQUniversity Bookshop. Your Access Coordinator will provide you with advice on printing options. 

IT Resources

You will need access to the following IT resources:
  • CQUniversity Student Email
  • Internet
  • Unit Website (Moodle)
Referencing Style

All submissions for this unit must use the referencing style: Harvard (author-date)

For further information, see the Assessment Tasks.

Teaching Contacts
Caroline Henderson-Brooks Unit Coordinator
c.henderson-brooks@cqu.edu.au
Schedule
Week 1 Begin Date: 09 Nov 2020

Module/Topic

MODULE 1: HEALTH


Chapter

1: You Are What You Eat

Discussion: The food revolution

What is 'technical writing'?

Written versus spoken communication

Parts of speech - Nouns and Verbs

Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 2 Begin Date: 16 Nov 2020

Module/Topic

MODULE 1: HEALTH

Chapter

2: Brain Power

Discussion: Neuroscience

How to write clear instructions

Introduction to sentence types

Parts of speech - Adjectives and Adverbs

Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 3 Begin Date: 23 Nov 2020

Module/Topic

MODULE 1: HEALTH

Chapter

3: Alternative Healing

Discussion: Complementary alternative medicine

Streamlining your writing

Parallel structure

Easily confused words

Writing numbers

Integrating visuals, editing and proofreading

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment 1: Instructions Due: Week 3 Friday (27 Nov 2020) 11:45 pm AEST
Week 4 Begin Date: 30 Nov 2020

Module/Topic

MODULE 2: TECHNOLOGY


Chapter

4: Motion Capture

Discussion: Motion capture

Experimental reports

The Scientific Method

Writing the Introduction

Formulating and testing a hypothesis

Integrating sources

Verb tenses in the Introduction

Events and Submissions/Topic

Vacation Week Begin Date: 07 Dec 2020

Module/Topic


Chapter


Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 5 Begin Date: 14 Dec 2020

Module/Topic

MODULE 2: TECHNOLOGY

Chapter

5: The Wonderful World of Graphene

Discussion: The next big thing

Conducting an experiment

Writing the Method and Results sections

Visual representation of data

Data commentary

Conducting your experiment

Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 6 Begin Date: 21 Dec 2020

Module/Topic

MODULE 2: TECHNOLOGY

Chapter

6: Machines in Motion

Discussion: Exo-suits

Writing the Discussion

Writing the Abstract

Cautious language

Punctuation

Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment 2: Experimental Report Due: Week 6 Thursday (24 Dec 2020) 11:45 pm AEST
Vacation Week Begin Date: 28 Dec 2020

Module/Topic


Chapter


Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 7 Begin Date: 04 Jan 2021

Module/Topic

MODULE 3: ENVIRONMENT


Chapter

7: Waste and Consumption

Discussion: The price of waste

Breaking down the assignment task

Brainstorming your response

Reading and note-making from sources

Summarising, paraphrasing and quoting sources

Academic integrity vs plagiarism

Harvard vs APA referencing

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 8 Begin Date: 11 Jan 2021

Module/Topic

MODULE 3: ENVIRONMENT

Chapter

8: Energy

Discussion: Alternative Energy Sources

Locating and evaluating sources

Reports vs Essays

Structuring a report

Writing a report outline

Writing the Introduction

Spelling

Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 9 Begin Date: 18 Jan 2021

Module/Topic

MODULE 3: ENVIRONMENT

Chapter

9: The Web of Life

Discussion: Mankind's role in the ecosystem

Composing discussion paragraphs

Integrating evidence

Forming conclusions and recommendations

Cohesion and coherence within your report

Events and Submissions/Topic

Recommendation Report Outline

(a compulsory component of Assessment 3: Recommendation Report)

Due: Week 9 Friday (22 Jan 2021 ) 11:45PM AEST

Note: Late submissions up to Friday Week 11 (4th February 2021) will be accepted.

Week 10 Begin Date: 25 Jan 2021

Module/Topic

MODULE 4: ENGINEERING


Chapter

10: Gadgets and Gizmos

Discussion: Grown-up toys

Writing the Executive Summary

Cohesion, progression and logical order

Using linking words purposefully

Completing your draft

Events and Submissions/Topic

Week 11 Begin Date: 01 Feb 2021

Module/Topic

MODULE 4: ENGINEERING

Chapter

11: Buildings and Bridges

Discussion: Engineering feats

Writing a letter of transmittal

Peer-reviewing with constructive feedback

Events and Submissions/Topic


Week 12 Begin Date: 08 Feb 2021

Module/Topic

MODULE 4: ENGINEERING

Chapter

12: Get a Move On

Discussion: Stellar transport

Formatting and polishing

Reflecting on your writing and learning

Making the final touches on your Recommendation Report

Events and Submissions/Topic


Exam Week Begin Date: 15 Feb 2021

Module/Topic


Chapter


Events and Submissions/Topic

Assessment 3: Recommendation Report Due: Exam Week Monday (15 Feb 2021) 11:45 pm AEST
Term Specific Information

Unit Coordinator and support lecturer: Dr Caroline Henderson-Brooks

Office Location: Rockhampton Campus 32.G.36; Phone 07 49306954

Note that I work part-time: Monday- Thursday.

Please contact me by email as first preference: c.henderson-brooks@cqu.edu.au

Assessment Tasks

1 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Assessment 1: Instructions

Task Description

Introduction

Instructions are a common part of technical writing. Students and employees follow instructions to complete tasks, supervisors write instructions and procedures for other staff to follow, and customers read instructions to learn how to use products.

Task

Your task is to write a set of instructions (600 words) for a specific task that involves several steps to complete. You should choose a task that is very familiar to you, is low risk, has an appropriate level of difficulty (i.e. not too easy, but not too hard for someone who is unfamiliar with the task to perform), and is able to be completed in approximately 10 minutes using readily available materials. Many tasks have instructions available, but you are expected to write your instructions from your own actions of performing your task. You must avoid choosing a task that already has instructions, such as a recipe, a computer game or a physical exercise (e.g. plank). You must take and use your own photographs and/or create your own illustrations as figures for your steps.

Suggestions include (but are not limited to):

  • how to bathe your pet dog
  • how to clean a microwave oven without chemicals
  • how to cast a bait net
  • how to contact cover a book
  • how to raise seedlings.

Notes

You are required to seek approval from your lecturer for your chosen task by the end of Week 2. Simply submit a brief outline of the task to the Assessment 1: Instruction Approval forum on Moodle. This is to ensure that your task is safe and appropriate in size and scope.

Purpose

The purpose of this task is to:

  • draw your attention to the importance of considering audience and purpose when writing technical texts
  • develop your ability to write concisely and consistently using a formal and objective tone
  • develop your ability to incorporate figures (diagrams, flow charts, photographs, etc.) into a document according to conventions required by CQUniversity.

Format

Your instructions must contain the following sections:

  1. Title
  2. Introduction (including a description of the task and why people do it, how long it takes, where it should be performed and any precautions or warnings - approx. 150 words)
  3. Materials
  4. Method (a list of the steps required to complete the task in chronological order)
  5. Hints, tips or troubleshooting advice, if applicable.

The instructions must also contain at least one figure, although more than one will be required in many cases to make the instructions clear.

Word count

 600 (+/- 10%) words. The word count does not include figure titles or captions.

Full details of the requirements and grading criteria can be found in the Assessment block on Moodle.


Assessment Due Date

Week 3 Friday (27 Nov 2020) 11:45 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Vacation Week Friday (11 Dec 2020)

Within two weeks of the assessment due date or received date, whichever is later.


Weighting
20%

Assessment Criteria

This assessment will be graded on the following criteria:

1. Content

  • Are the instructions complete?
  • Is there sufficient supporting information (background, figures, warnings, etc.)?

2. Style

  • Is the language appropriate for the audience, consistent and correct?
  • Are the instructions clear and concise without being too simple or too complex?

3. Organisation

  • Is the information sequenced in a logical order?
  • Is the document formatted appropriately?


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
This assessment must be uploaded to Moodle as a single Word document.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Write in clear, correct, concise English appropriate for audience and purpose


Graduate Attributes
  • Self Management
  • Communication
  • Information Technology Competence
  • Critical Thinking

2 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Assessment 2: Experimental Report

Task Description

Introduction

In scientific and technical fields, experimental reports (also known as laboratory or 'lab' reports) are a common way of describing an experiment you have conducted and discussing the results. They tend to follow a prescribed format and answer the following questions:

  1. What did you do and why?
  2. How did you do it?
  3. What did you find out?
  4. What do the findings mean?

Task

Your task is to choose one of the experiments from the three options in the Assessment block on Moodle, conduct the experiment, and then write an 800-word Experimental Report describing the experiment and discussing the results.

Purpose

The purpose of this task is to strengthen your ability to write a technical document that is clear, concise, correct and appropriate for the audience and purpose. This includes writing objectively, using grammatically correct technical language, using figures and/or tables to support your text, and following a prescribed format for presenting scientific research.

Format

Your Experimental Report must contain the following sections:

  1. Title
  2. Introduction (approx. 150 words)
  3. Methods
  4. Results
  5. Discussion
  6. References (this is not included in the word count).

The report must contain at least one table or figure, although at least one of each is likely to be required to make the report clear.

Word count

 800 (+/- 10%) words. The word count does not include figure/table titles or captions.

Optional: you may also include a title page, abstract and appendices (none of these will be included in the word count).

Full details of the experiment options, requirements and grading criteria can be found in the Assessment block on Moodle.


Assessment Due Date

Week 6 Thursday (24 Dec 2020) 11:45 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Week 8 Thursday (14 Jan 2021)

Within two weeks of the assessment due date or received date, whichever is later.


Weighting
30%

Assessment Criteria

This assessment will be graded on the following criteria:

1. Content

  • To what degree is the task completed?

2. Style

  • Is the writing clear, concise and grammatically correct?
  • Has appropriate academic and technical jargon been used?

3. Organisation

  • Is the organisation, cohesion between paragraphs and sentences, and presentation clear and suitable?


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
This assessment must be uploaded to Moodle as a single Word document.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Write in clear, correct, concise English appropriate for audience and purpose
  • Identify and apply style conventions for assignment writing in scientific and technical units
  • Critically analyse a range of texts on scientific and technical topics
  • Identify and summarise key ideas in a variety of scientific and technical texts


Graduate Attributes
  • Self Management
  • Communication
  • Information Technology Competence

3 Written Assessment

Assessment Title
Assessment 3: Recommendation Report

Task Description

Introduction

Recommendation reports are a common way of presenting information in scientific and technical fields both at university and in the workplace. They typically investigate a problem, present factual information about the problem and then make recommendations for decision-makers to address the problem.

Task

Choose one of the three options provided in the Assessment block on Moodle and write a 1500-word (+/-10%) Recommendation Report. You must submit an outline showing a coherent report plan and include evidence of appropriate research by Friday of Week 9. This is compulsory and worth 10% of the marks for this assessment. You will receive feedback from your marker. Use their feedback to identify areas for improvement and further research for your Recommendation Report.

Purpose

The purpose of this task is to consolidate your information literacy and analytical and technical writing skills by applying all of the aspects of technical writing covered in this unit, i.e. clear, concise, correct, consistent and collegial writing that is appropriate for the audience and purpose.

Format

Your Recommendation Report must contain the following sections:

  1. Title page
  2. Executive Summary
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Introduction
  5. Discussion (with appropriate headings and subheadings)
  6. Conclusions and Recommendations
  7. References

Sources

You are required to use a minimum of six sources. Use the sources provided on Moodle as a starting point for your research. You may refer to a maximum of two of these sources in your report. Then, you must find at least four more sources. Ensure that you only use reliable sources, such as journal articles, specialised books, government publications and reports from reputable organisations.

Note: Option 3 is an open topic, so no sources are provided on Moodle.

Word count

Your report must be 1500 words long (+/-10%). The word count is taken from the first word of the Introduction to the last word in the Conclusion and Recommendations. The word count does NOT include the title page, Letter of Transmittal (optional), Executive Summary, Table of Contents, References or Appendices (optional).

Referencing

All referencing must be in CQUniversity Harvard style.

Full details of the requirements and grading criteria can be found in the Assessment block on Moodle.


Assessment Due Date

Exam Week Monday (15 Feb 2021) 11:45 pm AEST


Return Date to Students

Results will be available prior to the certification of grades.


Weighting
50%

Minimum mark or grade
25/50

Assessment Criteria

This assessment will be graded on the following criteria:

1. Content

  • To what degree does the report address the task?
  • Does the content focus on the most significant issues?
  • Is the content supported by authoritative, current, relevant and reliable sources?

2. Structure

  • Is the report appropriately structured according to the conventions covered in this unit?

3. Language

  • Is the language clear, concise and correct?
  • Is the style and vocabulary appropriate for the audience and purpose?
  • Are technical terms used consistently and explained appropriately where necessary?

4. Referencing

  • Do the in-text citations support the ideas presented, and are they skillfully and accurately integrated into the writing?
  • Is the reference list complete and accurate, and does it follow Harvard Referencing Style conventions?

5. Outline

  • Does the outline show a coherent report plan that fully addresses the report topic?
  • Is there evidence of sufficient and appropriate research?
  • Is the information supported by relevant and reliable sources?

For a full description of the grading criteria, please refer to the information in the Assessment block on Moodle.


Referencing Style

Submission
Online

Submission Instructions
This assessment must be submitted to Moodle as a single Word document.

Learning Outcomes Assessed
  • Write in clear, correct, concise English appropriate for audience and purpose
  • Identify and apply style conventions for assignment writing in scientific and technical units
  • Critically analyse a range of texts on scientific and technical topics
  • Identify and summarise key ideas in a variety of scientific and technical texts
  • Write a report using contemporary conventions of academic writing


Graduate Attributes
  • Self Management
  • Communication
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Technology Competence
  • Problem Solving
  • Critical Thinking
  • Ethical Practice

Academic Integrity Statement

As a CQUniversity student you are expected to act honestly in all aspects of your academic work.

Any assessable work undertaken or submitted for review or assessment must be your own work. Assessable work is any type of work you do to meet the assessment requirements in the unit, including draft work submitted for review and feedback and final work to be assessed.

When you use the ideas, words or data of others in your assessment, you must thoroughly and clearly acknowledge the source of this information by using the correct referencing style for your unit. Using others’ work without proper acknowledgement may be considered a form of intellectual dishonesty.

Participating honestly, respectfully, responsibly, and fairly in your university study ensures the CQUniversity qualification you earn will be valued as a true indication of your individual academic achievement and will continue to receive the respect and recognition it deserves.

As a student, you are responsible for reading and following CQUniversity’s policies, including the Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure. This policy sets out CQUniversity’s expectations of you to act with integrity, examples of academic integrity breaches to avoid, the processes used to address alleged breaches of academic integrity, and potential penalties.

What is a breach of academic integrity?

A breach of academic integrity includes but is not limited to plagiarism, self-plagiarism, collusion, cheating, contract cheating, and academic misconduct. The Student Academic Integrity Policy and Procedure defines what these terms mean and gives examples.

Why is academic integrity important?

A breach of academic integrity may result in one or more penalties, including suspension or even expulsion from the University. It can also have negative implications for student visas and future enrolment at CQUniversity or elsewhere. Students who engage in contract cheating also risk being blackmailed by contract cheating services.

Where can I get assistance?

For academic advice and guidance, the Academic Learning Centre (ALC) can support you in becoming confident in completing assessments with integrity and of high standard.

What can you do to act with integrity?