CS134: Technical Writing

Note: This syllabus is still under development. Check in regularly for modifications and additions.

Instructor and TA Information

Instructor: Lisa C. Kaczmarczyk
Office: Painter 5.52
Office Phone: 471-9715
Office Hours: Thursdays 2:30-5:30, or by appointment
NOTE: Office Hours may change. Changes will be announced in class.
Email: lisak@acm.org

TA: James A. Bednar
Office: Painter 5.40
Office Phone: 471-9721
Office Hours: Wednesday 4:00pm-6:00pm
Email: jbednar@cs.utexas.edu

Class Newsgroup



Required: Zobel, Justin. Writing for Computer Science. (1997) Springer-Verlag.
Optional/Recommended: Dupré, Lyn. Bugs in Writing. (1998) Addison-Wesley.

The texts will serve primarily as resources and references. In order to apply the material they discuss, you will be provided, or given information on how to locate, primary sources in the form of research papers and other relevant documents.

Note on the Dupré book:
This book is optional because specific readings will not be assigned. However, this is one of the rare books that makes grammar FUN and is highly recommended if you want to go beyond the basics of proper writing and really use language to its greatest effect.

Course Description from the University Catalog

Technical Writing. A brief overview of the field of technical writing, including techniques and strategies of effective writing, and of conventions used in documents such as letters, memos, proposals, abstracts and reports. One lecture hour a week for one semester. Computer Sciences 134 and 178 (Topic: Technical Writing) may not both be counted. May not be counted toward the number of hours in Computer Sciences degree. Prerequisite: The following courses, with a grade of at least C in each: Computer Sciences 307, 310, and 315.

Course Structure

The first part of the course will focus on the reading and analysis (written and oral) of academic writings in Computer Science. For those of you planning to go on to graduate school, consider these survival skills. Most weeks you will be expected to read a journal or other technical article and report on it. In most cases the report will take the form of a short written paper. In some cases you may be asked to do a short oral presentation to the class.

The second part of the course will focus on writings that you will do if you pursue a career in the computer industry. Whether or not you hold a position entitled "Technical Writer", you will find yourself needing to construct documentation for others in the field. Each week you will work with a different aspect of these writings. As with the first part of the course, you will be expected to express your analysis in written and oral form.

Important Links

Last revised: $Date: 2001/12/07 04:18:43 $