ENGL 341, "Technical Writing," introduces Juniors and Seniors at NMT to methods of effective communication about technical subjects. Students develop an understanding of theories of technical communication and practice technical communication in many forms. With an eye constantly focused on audience needs and expectations, students in ENGL 341 plan, organize, draft, revise, and edit technical communication. Students learn that the content and appearance of each written document must be appropriate to the intended audience. A crucial feature of ENGL 341 is the course's focus on designing pieces of communication for non-technical audiences.
As a preparation for, or an enhancement of, the writing students have done or will do in their technical or scientific major fields of study, the writing assignments in ENGL 341 require that students present often complicated technical information in such a way that it is comprehensible to non-experts. Over the course of the semester in ENGL 341, students across all sections of the course complete a variety of assignments, including resumes and cover letters, sets of instructions comprised of texts and graphics, various group-writing projects, and a final technical report of fifteen to twenty pages on a subject drawn from the student's major field of study and supported by both primary and secondary research. The final technical report is supplemented by an oral presentation.
While some students will take ENGL 341 concurrently with their Junior or Senior Design course, the final technical report in 341 must be an entirely new, independently written project, though it can, and often will, rely on the research the student completed in Junior or Senior Design as the primary research aspect of the report.