Contact Information

Instructor: Dr. Jennifer Sheppard
Office: English 226
Phone: 646-2341
Email: (best way to reach me)
Course web site:

Office Hours

Mondays 3:30-4:30 in English 226
Tuesdays 2:30-3:30 in English 226
Thursdays 11:00-1:00 pm (in Milton Hall Design Center)
and by appointment

Required Materials

Dubinsky, James M. (ed.) Teaching Technical Communication: Critical Issues for the Classroom. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2004. ISBN 0-312-41204-5

Selfe, Cynthia L. (ed.) Resources in Technical Communication: Outcomes and Approaches. Amityville, NY: Baywood, 2007.

You also will be responsible for selected reading from other sources. I will provide copies of these documents as PDF files.

Course Description

This course will introduce key issues in the field of professional and technical communication, with a particular focus on teaching. Our texts, discussions, and assignments will allow us to see the way theory and pedagogy mutually inform one another. We well examine disciplinary trends in both research and classroom practice.

Course assignments will engage scholarship in the discipline, investigate varying pedagogical approaches, and create or supplement curricular materials for current or future teaching in technical and professional communication. As part of daily class activities, you will contribute rhetorical précis and share professional resources. For the major course project, you will review syllabi and texts commonly used in undergraduate technical and professional communication courses, survey current instructors on their pedagogical priorities, and develop a detailed, theoretically-backed syllabus for English 218 or 318.


Course Objectives
By the semester's end, you should:

  • be familiar with the key theoretical issues in professional and technical communication
  • understand how disciplinary theory and research should shape classroom practice
  • be familiar with common assignments, genres, and texts used to teach undergraduate professional and technical communication
  • develop a detailed syllabus and assignment sequence for an undergraduate professional and technical communication course at NMSU (English 218 or 318)