COGD301 – Professional Writing and Technical Communication

Module code
Module title
Professional Writing and Technical Communication
This module aims to develop both practical and critical skills in relation to selected forms, structures and styles of professional writing and technical communication, and to apply these skills in a technological environment. Students will complete assignments which advance their knowledge and practice of professional writing. The module also provides the opportunity for students to develop a small portfolio of work that explores structures and styles of professional writing.
  • BM9601
  • CO0005
NZQA Level
Level 7
NZQA Credits
Delivery method
  • Web-Based
Learning hours
Directed hours
Self directed hours
Total learning hours
Resources required
Learning Outcomes
2.1 Understand a project development process which integrates cognitive, practical and communication skills

discuss, identify and evaluate the issues within the briefs research, analyse and incorporate negotiated criteria for self-directed projects integrate acquired practical, communication and analytical skills in the process of resolving writing problems individualise a self-critical working process for developing and refining ideas
show evidence of drawing together and applying skills and knowledge acquired in previous and concurrent courses to selected projects
adopt independent and interdependent project development processes
explore a variety of documents from various sources
analyse modes of address for specific audiences and readers
develop strategies to write documents
show evidence of ability to refine written documents
develop strategies of document presentation

2.2 Develop critical skills in the analysis of written documents

explore a wide range of documents from a variety of sources
analyse appropriateness of modes of address for specific purposes or audiences
develop strategies to evaluate and refine documents

2.3 Understand the values, strategies and methodologies which inform current professional practice

compare and evaluate selected documents identifying issues relevant to specific professional practice
analyse a selection of current works and identify specific methods used in their production
plan and implement a conventional presentation of own works
develop critical synergies between representative documents, examples of work and self-practice

2.4 Understand the differences between professional and other types of writing
- explore the role of the audience in professional documents
- examine the writing style and organisation of professional and technical documents
- develop a process for anticipating reader needs before writing
- dentify the form, style and structure of various professional documents (range may include proposals, user documents, procedures and protocols, newsletters, web pages)
- analyse an understanding of rhetorical strategies used in professional writing

2.5 Plan, research and develop documents to a professional standard
- prepare a process for document design
- use advanced research strategies to obtain information
- design documents using logical divisions produce an effective usability tool
- explore issues occurring in technical and professional documents (range may include medium/ethics/specific industries)

2.6 Understand the visual elements present in documents
- analyse the differences in layout between print and electronic formats- develop a process
for integrating visuals into professional and technical documents (range may include photographs, diagrams, charts and graphs)

2.7 Become familiar with the technical environment
- identify differences in reading styles for print and electronic formats
- explore the advantages of using electronic media or web-based applications for storage and
collaboration of documents
- use software tools to produce online documents

2.8 Develop effective editing and proof reading skills for print or web-based format
- practise summarising and interpreting information
- dentify personal errors in spelling, syntax and punctuation
- explore different styles of writing
- develop and practise skills involved in peer and self critique

2.9 Comprehend the process of graded assessment
actively participate in class and group critiques and presentations
consider and reflect upon the relationship between the information gathering process and the final product for normative evaluation
participate in summative assessment
3.1 Professional documents
types of documents (range may include proposals, user documents, procedures
and protocols, newsletters, web pages)
types of audience (range may include external, internal, expertise, technical knowledge)
structures and styles of professional documents

3.2 Critical skills in text production
relationship between purpose, form and structure
relationship between style and audience
ethical considerations in writing professional documents

3.3 Advanced writing skills
evaluation of selected professional writing models
concept and idea development
editing and proof reading

3.4 Technical skills
relevant computer software visual elements of effective text production (range may
include layout, graphics, images, font, colour)

3.5 Producing professional documents
a process for planning and producing documents in print and electronic format
peer and self critique
questionnaires/usabiliity documents

3.6 Communicating with a range of cultures
Content of interest to a Mori audience
New Zealand cultural identites
Content from at least one other culture
Modes of address appropriate to the audience
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Guest speakers
Application of theory through assignments and practical exercises