Michael W. Cox

Michael W. Cox, Introduction to Professional Writing, Fall 2018

Course Description:

In this introductory-level course you will learn how to structure and develop writing in and about the profession you wish to pursue when you graduate from college. Proper grammar, punctuation, mechanics, spelling, and formatting will be expected and clear writing required; stylish prose will be encouraged within these bounds. Classroom instruction, careful attention to the professional samples, various written exercises completed during class time, and one on one conferences will help you learn the basics of professional prose. You will complete five out-of-class assignments that will focus on writing for print or for an online audience. You will also write in the classroom on occasion, to demonstrate your understanding of professional forms of writing.

Required Texts:

A few short primary readings will be handed out in the classroom; others will be available on Courseweb. You will need to print these and have them ready in the classroom; we’ll be looking closely at formal expression in these documents, so be ready to look at sentences, paragraphs, and images. We will also work with material in The Elements of Style, a guide to clear, concise writing used in professional settings. You should compile information for your assignments through a variety of methods: reading, observing, interviewing, and analyzing. You will be directed to sources that will help you research your profession and the kinds of writing you will regularly encounter.

Michael W. Cox, Advanced Fiction Writing, Fall 2018

Course Description:

In this course you will practice writing literary fiction based on things you have lived through, observed first-hand, or deeply imagined. Literary fiction tends to be more character-based than plot-oriented; other important literary elements include a believable setting, a strictly observed point of view, and the use of scene or half-scene. We will consider ways of turning raw material into unified, coherent fictions. We will also study published examples of contemporary literary fiction, parsing these short stories for style, meaning, and technique. Stylish writing will be encouraged, though not at the expense of proper grammar, punctuation, mechanics, spelling, or presentation. Careful attention to the published readings, thoughtful application during the exercises, and civil participation in workshops will also help you develop successful literary prose.

Required Texts:

The Art and Craft of Fiction [2e] should be available at the campus bookstore. (The first edition also works, if by chance you already own it, but you will need to track down two stories.) Other professional readings will be made available online (print them and bring them to class) for all assignment days and distribution days. Be sure to bring your Kardos book to class on discussion days and exercise days. Read the stories in advance of class; consider the emotional or intellectual impact of the story and be alert for stylistic innovation.

Syllabus: 

Michael W. Cox, Technical Writing, Fall 2018

Course Description:

In this class you will write letters, resumes, memos, proposals, and reports, key forms of writing used in the workplace. You will determine the content of your assignments by collecting and refining information on employers in your field. Near the end of the term, you will speak briefly to the class about your research. Proper grammar, punctuation, mechanics, spelling, and formatting will be expected and clear writing required at all times. Classroom instruction, careful attention to the course textbook and other readings, individual conferences, and a variety of exercises will help you learn the basics of technical communication for the workplace. You will complete four out-of-class assignments across the term and give a five-minute oral report at the end of the course. Exercises and conferences will also determine part of your grade.

Required Texts:

Pfeiffer's Pocket Guide to Technical Communication, 5th edition, is available at the UPJ bookstore. It will serve as a basic book of workplace prose. Readings will be posted on Blackboard for you to print, read, and bring to class for discussion. Exercises will test your understanding of the material.

Syllabus: 

Michael W. Cox, Technical Writing, Spring 2018

Course Description:

In this class you will write letters, resumes, memos, proposals, and reports, key forms of writing used in the workplace. You will determine the content of your assignments by collecting and refining information on employers in your field. Near the end of the term, you will speak briefly to the class about your research. Proper grammar, punctuation, mechanics, spelling, and formatting will be expected and lucid writing required at all times. Classroom instruction, careful attention to the course textbook and other readings, individual conferences, and a variety of exercises will help you learn the basics of technical communication for the workplace. You will complete four out-of-class assignments across the term and give a five-minute oral report at the end of the course. Exercises and conferences will also determine part of your grade.

Text:

Pfeiffer's Pocket Guide to Technical Communication, 5th edition.

Syllabus: 

Michael W. Cox, Digital Magazine Production, Spring 2018

Course Description:

Description: This upper level English Writing/MMDC course will help students understand how magazines are written, edited, produced, and read. Students will become familiar with the best practices of print and online magazines in the first two thirds of the course while at the same time writing and polishing assignments that will populate their own web magazines. In the last few weeks of the course, students will work as an editorial team to select the best pieces to build an online magazine including essays, interviews, reviews, digital images, audios, videos, etc. Stylish writing and production will be encouraged, though not at the expense of careful proofreading and proper grammar, punctuation, mechanics, spelling, and presentation.

Text:

The Elements of Style

Syllabus: 

Michael W. Cox, Fiction Writing, Spring 2018

Course Description:

Students should have at least some familiarity with fiction writing and narrative craft. Here you will refine technique and story creation by focusing on key elements. You will also learn the value of reading and parsing published creative prose. The focus will be on literary fiction—literary as opposed to purely plot-driven genre (romance, mystery, SF/fantasy, etc.). You will take part in creative writing workshops where you will receive constructive criticism not just from me, but from your peers; you will also provide such criticism. Stylish writing will be encouraged, though not at the expense of proper grammar, punctuation, mechanics, and spelling. Clarity, consistency, and emotional resonance in your work will be valued highly. You will write four stories of 5-10 typed pages each. You will also work on the fundamentals of fiction writing in a series of exercises held in the classroom.

Text:

The Art and Craft of Fiction (paper), by Michael Kardos

Syllabus: 

Michael W. Cox, Advanced Seminar in Writing, Fall 2017

Course Description:

This course will help students prepare for a career in writing after college, whether their path includes a full-time job, free-lancing, contracting or grad school. Students will propose and then assemble a portfolio in a chosen genre (fiction, poetry, playwriting, creative nonfiction, magazine, PR, tech writing, or digital writing) that includes new work and, if the student desires, revised work from earlier courses (no more than 50% total pages of the latter); prepare job and grad-school applications, including letter and resume and a statement of purpose; select markets for their writing and prepare submissions; attend craft talks with and readings by publishing writers; and participate in Q&A sessions with professionals who earn a living as writers. Readings and workshops will be multi-genre, which means all students will be reading and discussing work outside their chosen area. The course will culminate with a reading by students on December 7, when portfolios are due.

Materials Needed:

The Elements of Style, 4th ed.

Syllabus: 

Michael W. Cox, Technical Writing, Fall 2017

Course Description:

In this class you will write letters, resumes, memos, proposals, and reports, key forms of writing used in the workplace. You will determine the content of your assignments by collecting and refining information on employers in your field. Near the end of the term, you will speak briefly to the class about your research. Proper grammar, punctuation, mechanics, spelling, and formatting will be expected and lucid writing required at all times. Classroom instruction, careful attention to the course textbook and other readings, individual conferences, and a variety of exercises will help you learn the basics of technical communication for the workplace. You will complete four out-of-class assignments across the term and give a five-minute oral report at the end of the course. Exercises and conferences will also determine part of your grade.

Materials Needed:

Pfeiffer's Pocket Guide to Technical Communication, 5th edition.

Syllabus: 

Michael W. Cox, Grammar, Usage, and Style, Fall 2017

Course Description:

Students will strive to master English grammar, usage, and style. Further, students will learn to appreciate the written expression of the language more fully. Please be aware that this is not a remedial course. EngWrt 1130 assumes college-level literacy and facility with Standard English. We’re here to review precepts and develop a lexicon so that we can write more effectively and talk more easily about the language.

Materials Needed:

A Commonsense Guide to Grammar and Usage, by Larry Beason and Mark Lester, 7th edition.

Syllabus: 

Michael W. Cox, Technical Writing, Spring 2017

Course Description:

Prepares students to deal with problems of technological communication in various fields. Includes analysis, development, use, and evaluation of various models employed in the process of technical writing. Prerequisite: ENGCMP 0006 or ENGCMP 0004.

Required Texts:

Pfeiffer's Pocket Guide to Technical Communication, fifth edition

Syllabus: 

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