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Professional and Technical Writing and Communication in International Contexts

(full term, 1 credit, graded, not repeatable for credit)

This advanced writing course is designed for all students who will write and communicate professionally in international contexts, where different cultures interact. We will learn and practice how symbols (e.g., text and visual) can be used to mediate knowledge, values, and actions in international professional communication. To achieve this goal, we will study the rhetorical elements of writing and communication, including audience, purpose, and exigence; we will practice different genres, such as e-mails, memos, executive summaries, proposals, reports, resumes, cover letters, and blogs; we will create clear, readable, and persuasive documents; we will study and apply intercultural communication theories to designing professional documents; we will discuss how persuasive strategies differ in different cultural contexts; we will compare globalization and localization strategies in professional communication, create universally designed messages, and tailor information to a cultural audience; we will examine how different modes (e.g., texts, visuals, and videos) can work together to facilitate intercultural dialogues.

This course also offers a place for students from different languages and cultures to help each other. For example, an international student may translate a professional document from her native language to English, and then a native-speaking student could examine the translation to offer feedback on the document’s effectiveness. Alternatively, students may construct a hypothetical international team, collaboratively develop content, and revise documents to appeal to a cultural audience. Ultimately, this course will help students use writing and other modes of communication to generate effective, efficient, and ethical communication in intercultural contexts.

Course objectives

  • Write and communicate for intercultural audiences and purposes.
  • Deliver written work that is stylistically appropriate and free of grammatical errors.
  • Produce workplace correspondence that meets the needs of the reader and conforms to the conventions of format.
  • Practice persuasive strategies in international professional writing and communication.
  • Apply intercultural communication theories to meet the need of globalization and localization in professional writing and communication.
  • Develop rhetorical awareness and analysis techniques in intercultural contexts.
  • Experience working on an intercultural team in professional contexts.
  • Design documents using multiple modes (e.g., texts and visuals).
  • Manage ethical challenges in international professional communication.