[pccgrads] AUT17 Course: ENV H 520 Advanced Technical Communication in Environmental Health

UW PCC uwpcc at u.washington.edu
Fri Apr 14 11:56:41 PDT 2017

This Technical Communication course is open to graduate students in all
disciplines, and can be used to satisfy the GCeCS communication seminar


ENV H 520 Advanced Technical Communication in Public Health
Instructor: Deborah L. Illman, Ph.D., illman at uw.edu
M W 330 - 450, HSB I132, 3 cr.


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This course focuses on written and oral communication for environmental
health and public health professionals, with particular emphasis on three
main areas:

* conveying information more effectively to technical audiences,
* translating that information for general audiences in the public
arena, and
* crafting effective commentary or opinion pieces relating to topics
of professional interest.

We will explore the principles of effective writing for technical articles,
proposals, and reports with attention to structure, clarity, style, and
language usage. Students learn to craft an executive summary of a research
report for technical audiences. They develop greater agility as writers by
translating that same content into the form of a press release that could be
disseminated to broader audiences through the media and the Web.

Students explore issues in public communication of science and framing of
science issues. They gain a greater familiarity with the societal context
for environmental health and public health developments and learn to distill
the essence of an issue for headlines and short spots. As an exercise in
translating science for broader audiences, they will research and write a
news article on a research or policy topic. Students will then explore what
makes an effective commentary, examining issues of content, structure, and
tone, and will write a "Policy Forum" style piece on a current issue of
their choice.

The course is designed to build communication proficiency through a
combination of writing and revising assignments, selected readings,
lecture/discussion sessions, oral presentations, and hands-on activities. On
selected assignments, students will have the opportunity to share drafts
with the group, to practice their reviewing skills, and to receive feedback
from classmates and the instructor. Students completing the class will have
several professional writing samples to add to their portfolios.


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