AEC 3033 Syllabus
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AEC 3033C Research and Business Writing
in Agricultural and Life Sciences

§ 0175 Syllabus, Spring 2018
Dr. Linda M. Perry

Syllabus for printing (475k pdf, opens in new window)
Assignment Schedule
Reading ScheduleThis Week

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AEC 3033C Research & Business Writing focuses on strategic written communication for agricultural and life sciences. Students can hone their writing skills and gain experience in effective professional and scholarly writing. Emphasis is placed on ethics, responsibility, accuracy, clarity, brevity and style as well as American English grammar and spelling.
Course objectives
are to enable students (1) to write effectively in business, scientific and academic contexts, (2) to write using clear, concise and effective prose as well as accurate grammar, spelling and punctuation, and (3) to communicate information tailored to the needs and expectations of specific target audiences.

Class Information: Section 0175 meets M, W, F at 8:30 a.m. (2nd period) in CSE 121.
Lecturer: Dr. Linda M. • 122 Bryant Space Science Center • (352) 273-0749
Office hours: M: 9:45-11 a.m.; T: 9-11 a.m.; W: 9:45-11 a.m.; & by appointment.
  • Ms. Isabella Damiani • 408 Rolfs Hall • (352) 273-2095
        Office hours: M: 10 a.m.-noon; W 10 a.m.-noon; & by appointment.
    Ms. July Nelson • 310 Rolfs Hall • (352) TBA
        Office hours: T: 10:40 a.m.-12:35 p.m.; R: 11:45 a.m.-12:35 p.m.; and by appointment.
    Ms. Jenn • 406 Rolfs Hall • (352) 273-2093
        Office hours: M, W: 9:35-10:25 a.m.; T: 11:45 a.m.-12:35 p.m.; & by appointment.

  • Textbook: Johnson-Sheehan Richard, Technical Communication Today 6th ed., Pearson,
    ISBN:9780134425733   The fifth edition of this book is acceptable.
    Recommended: Lester Faigley (2012), The Brief Penguin Handbook with Exercises 4th ed., Boston: Longman.
    Other materials: In addition to the course materials in Canvas, lecture outlines and assignment instructions will be posted on this class website. The lecture notes are not a substitution for attending class.
    Class expectations: The instructors are committed to helping you improve your writing and critical thinking skills. To that end, you can expect constructive feedback on your writing assignments and opportunities to apply that feedback with rewrites for four of the assignments. The rewrites can help you improve both your writing and your scores for those assignments.
    We expect punctual attendance, collegial class participation, on-time submission of assignments and honest effort. While in class, you may take notes on a laptop, but please don’t distract yourself and others with personal uses such as surfing the Web or attending to email, Facebook, etc. Please mute your cellphones and don’t let them become a distraction.











    An important part of professional and research writing is meeting deadlines. Accordingly, late work is penalized 10% of the available points for that assignment per day unless you have a documented excused absence. You must notify Dr. Perry two weeks in advance and provide documentation for any UF-approved activity.
    You will submit assignments electronically in Microsoft Word via Canvas by 11:55 p.m. on the due date, unless otherwise specified in class. Rewrites, when available, must be submitted within one week after the graded assignment is returned to you. Late rewrites will not be accepted. You are responsible for submitting assignments correctly, assuring they have uploaded successfully and checking Canvas for returned assignments.

    Schedule of assignments:

    Assignments Due Date  Word
      Points Available
    1. Letter of Introduction (R) Jan. 21 500   50
    In-class 1-3 Variable 300   50
    2. Technical Description & Exp/Instns Var. & Feb. 16 700   100
    In-class Brainstorming Feb. 23 200   50
    3. Cover Letter & Résumé (R) March 2 700   110
    4. Personal Statement (R) March 18 700   110
    5. Persuasive Letter: Science Issue (R) March 25 500   100
    6. Web Article & Tweet April 8 400   100
    Exam April 18 ---   130
    7. Report, Proposal & Bibliography April 22 2,000   200
    Totals   6,000   1,000
    (R) = Rewrite available


    Grading: Your assignments are graded according to course rubrics, located in Canvas: Files. If you have questions or concerns about grading, please speak with the grader first within one week of the assignment’s being returned to you, before appealing to Dr. Perry.
     The number of points you earn determines your final grade. Rewrites (available for four assignments) can help you earn back up to half the points you missed on the draft. Several in-class assignments designed to help you apply course concepts will account for 200 of the 1,000-point total. They will be given at various times throughout the semester and cannot be made up without a documented excused absence. To receive Gordon Writing Rule credit, you must earn a C (730 points) or better.

    Grading scale:
    A 950 to 1000 C 730 to 769
    A- 900 to 949 C- 700 to 729
    B+ 870 to 899 D+ 670 to 699
    B 830 to 869 D 630 to 669
    B- 800 to 829 D- 600 to 629
    C+ 770 to 799 E 599 & Below
    For information on current UF policies for assigning grade points, see
    Academic Honesty:  

    Academic honesty is expected, just as high ethical standards are required professionally. There will be zero-tolerance for anything less. That includes not giving, accepting or taking unauthorized aid, including looking at colleagues’ exam papers; plagiarizing websites, others’ work, or your own previous work; or doubling on assignments without the written permission of all involved professors and instructors. You also must adhere to copyright law requirements.
    Plagiarizing includes taking verbatim phrases of more than a few words without full attribution. Violations will be pursued according to university guidelines.
    Students should report any condition that facilitates dishonesty to the instructor, department chair, college dean, Student Honor Council, or Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution in the Dean of Students Office.
    More on plagiarism

    Attendance Policy: To succeed in this course, you must come to class. You are responsible for all information delivered in class, including information for the exam that does not appear in the lecture notes. Students unable to attend class are responsible for obtaining class notes and handouts. Make-up exams and extensions for in-class assignment deadlines are granted only in cases of documented excused absences.
    Special Needs: Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office, which will provide documentation for the accommodation. It is the student's responsibility to assure the documentation is delivered to the instructor. • More related information


    Reading & Assignment Schedule:

    • Readings are from the sixth edition of the textbook; fifth edition readings are specified when they differ from the sixth edition.
    • Handouts will be posted on the class website and/or Canvas.

      This week's reading.
    Week Topic Readings
    I • Jan. 8

    Introduction • Issues • Letters • Writing Well

    Ch. 6 (5 in 5th), 19

      II • Jan. 15
    Jan. 17

    Jan. 15 is Martin Luther King Day — NO CLASS
    Writing Well, cont. • English Grammar
    In-class 1-3: English is Fun (really)!
    DUE Jan. 21: Letter of Introduction

    Appendix A; Ch. 16: pp. 449-465 (421-437 in 5th);
    III • Jan. 22

    Audiences • Grammar, cont. • Writing Styles
    In-class 4: Audience Analysis

    Ch. 2
    IV • Jan. 29

    Technical Definitions & Descriptions

    Ch. 1, 7 (6 in 5th)
    V • Feb. 5

    Technical Explanations & Instructions
    In-class 5 Feb. 7: Visualize a technical process

    Ch. 8 (7 in 5th)
    VI • Feb. 12

    The Job Search: Cover Letter, Résumé and Personal Statement
    DUE IN CLASS Friday, Feb. 16:
    2. Technical Description & Explanation/Instructions       
    Ch.5 (11 in 5th)
    VII • Feb. 19

    Science Communication • Brainstorming
    In-class: Brainstormig a Science Issue
    Ch. 3, 12; Handouts
    VIII • Feb. 26

    Persuasive Writing
    DUE March 2: 3. Cover Letter & Résumé

    Ch. 13, 16: pp 465-475 (pp   
                      437-445 in 5th)
    March 4-10 ----SPRING BREAK----  
    IX • March 12

    Research Reports & Proposals
    DUE March 18: 4. Personal Statement

    Ch. 9, 11, 14 (8-10 in 5th)
    X • March 19

    Annotated Bibliography • APA Style
    DUE March 25: 5. Persuasive Letter on Science Issue

    Ch. 15, Appendix C
    XI • March 26

    Writing for the Web & Social Media
    Ch. 23-24

    XII • April 2

    Message Design • Presentations
    DUE April 8: 6. Web Article & Tweet
    Ch. 17-18

    XIII • April 9

    Communication Law & Ethics • Review for exam on website

    XIV • April 16
    April 18

    Review for exam
    DUE April 22: 7.Research Report, Proposal
    & Annotated Bibliography

    Ch. 4; Class Website
    XV• April 23

    Classes end April 25

    * Rewrites are due one week from the date the assignment is returned to you.  Late rewrites will not be accepted. You are responsible for checking Canvas to assure assignments have uploaded properly or for returned assignments.

    The instructor reserves the right to amend this syllabus as necessary.

    ESL Students:    If English is your second language, you may seek specialized help in the UF Writing Studio:


    UF Academic Honesty, Software Use, Campus Helping Resources, Services for Students with Disabilities

    Plagiarism and Copyright

    When writing for science and business, we base our work on facts obtained from a variety of sources. We can freely use factual information from the public domain. We cite our sources so others can access the information we present. We give credit where it is due. We are very careful to both ethically and lawfully use others’ unique expression of that information. As this New York Times blog entry explains, fidelity to this principle can be challenging in the digital age. Unique expression can be a phrase of a few words or a simple hashtag. We must obtain permission to use our sources’ expression, or give full credit for a limited, fair use.
    • Relevant copyright law requirements will be discussed in class.
    • Assignments submitted via Canvas are automatically vetted for plagiarism with Turnitin.

    Academic Honesty

    In 1995 the UF student body enacted an honor code and voluntarily committed itself to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. When students enroll at the university, they commit themselves to the standard drafted and enacted by students.

    The Honor Pledge: We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

    On all work submitted for credit by students at the university, the following pledge is either required or implied: "On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment."
    Students should report any condition that facilitates dishonesty to the instructor, department chair, college dean, Student Honor Council, or Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution in the Dean of Students Office. (Source: 2013-2014 Undergraduate Catalog,

    It is assumed all work will be completed independently unless the assignment is defined as a group project, in writing by the instructor. This policy will be vigorously upheld at all times in this course.

    Software Use

    All faculty, staff and students of the university are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against university policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate.

    Back to UF Academic Honesty

    Campus Helping Resources

    Students experiencing crises or personal problems that interfere with their general well-being are encouraged to utilize the university’s counseling resources. The Counseling & Wellness Center provides confidential counseling services at no cost for currently enrolled students. Resources are available on campus for students having personal problems, lacking clear career or academic goals, or experiencing other problems that may interfere with their academic performance.

    • University Counseling & Wellness Center, 3190 Radio Road, 352-392-1575,
      • Counseling Services
      • Groups and Workshops
      • Outreach and Consultation
      • Self-Help Library
      • Training Programs
      • Community Provider Database

    Career Resource Center,First Floor JWRU, 392-1601,

    Services for Students with Disabilities

    The Disability Resource Center coordinates the needed accommodations of students with disabilities. This includes registering disabilities, recommending academic accommodations within the classroom, accessing special adaptive computer equipment, providing interpretation services and mediating faculty-student disability related issues.

    0001 Reid Hall, 352-392-8565,