HU 2600: Introduction to Scientific and Technical Communication
Section R01
1:05–1:55 p.m.
Walker 134


Jim Nugent





Walker 142

Office Hours:

Monday after class (just pull me aside), and by appointment any time.


Course Description

HU 2600 is an introduction to the history, theory, and practice of scientific and technical communication. Grounded in rhetorical theory, the course prepares you to write effectively in a variety of contexts, examines the professional identity of technical communicators, and prepares you to consider the social and ethical responsibilities of technical communication in practice.

Course Goals

Scientific and technical documents include a wide range of subjects, goals, information sources, readers, and circumstances that lead to their preparation. To be successful as a communicator in such a dynamic field requires not a static and formalist understanding of communication genres, but rather a reflective command of the practical and theoretical underpinings of communication and persuasion more broadly.

The course thus has two goals:

  1. It teaches you what scientific and technical communication is, how it differs from the conventional writing that is typically taught in high school and college; and
  2. It teaches you how to think rhetorically and to produce effective documents for and within a variety of audiences, purposes, and contexts.

Required Textbooks

Course Policies


There will be five major assignments in this class, listed below, which are due on the dates appearing on the course calendar:

  1. Working Writers Assignment
  2. Communication Assessment Report
  3. Usability and Design Project
  4. Lutz/Storms Presentation
  5. Portfolio


I will give letter grades (A, AB, B, BC, C, CD, D, or F) for all graded assignments in this class. The final grade is determined as follows:


Working Writers Assignment


Communication Assessment Report


Usability and Design Project


Lutz/Storms Presentation




Social Practices—This grade will reflect your contributions to class discussions, peer review activities, and group work, as well as your commitment to submitting timely and complete work. Needless to say, if you are not in class regularly and on time, you are not participating, so this grade will also partially reflect your attendance.


Small Assignments

ADA Notice

MTU complies with all federal and state laws and regulations regarding discrimination, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA). If you have a disability and need a reasonable accommodation for equal access to education or services at MTU, please call Dr. Gloria Melton, Associate Dean of Students, 487-2212. For other concerns about discrimination, you may contact your advisor, department chair, or the Affirmative Action Office at 487-3310.