Terry L Zimmerman
Examines current topics and issues associated with computing and software systems.
We focus on the design, collaboration, and composition of effective 'customer-focused' proposals. The proposal categories covered are aimed at winning funding for small business product and/or technology development, research, non-profit community services, or targeting specific needs of a corporation. Major categories include:
Since most real-world proposals are written by a collaborating team, the course projects emphasize team-composition of proposals from two of the categories(in a somewhat condensed form). A shorter, individual proposal will encourage each student to build skills in funding an enterprise within a field of particular interest. Particular technical writing skills will be addressed and enhanced, but this course will not cover the range of topics found in a general technical writing course (e.g. CSS 301).
Student learning goals
Students will be able to:
* Identify and research funding resources
* Identify the major sections of the basic classes of proposals; (such as Government RFP’s & BAA’s, Grants from non-profit orgs, Business RFP’s, and Small business grants & development -SBIR’s, STTR’s)
* Research a chosen funding organization (the ‘customer’) in order to design a customer-focused proposal
* Plan a realistic team proposal using ‘storyboards’, coordinate progress with a ‘working wall’, and carry through to a coherent and document.
* Write any of the major proposal sections using an appropriate technical writing style appropriate and integrating effective charts and graphics that reinforce the proposal
* Recognize common mistakes of proposal writers
General method of instruction
The 2-hr class sessions will generally consist of 1 hour of lecture and looking at case studies followed by an hour of in-class work on team or individual proposals with instructor guidance on style and structure issues.
A technical writing course such as CSS 301 is NOT a prerequisite. However, students with a working understanding of the differences between writing for English composition class and writing to describe a complex scientific or technical system or quantitative analysis will have an advantage for this course work.
Class assignments and grading
The primary course assignments will be 3 composition projects. Two projects will be team efforts to compile a somewhat condensed, but realistic proposal from two of the major categories. A shorter, individual project will encourage each student to build skills in proposal writing to fund an enterprise within a field of their particular interest.
Students will also critique and review the proposals of either other teams or representative proposals provided by the instructor.
60% of the course grade is based on the 3 proposal-writing projects, and approximately 15% on individual critique and review of either other teams proposals or external exemplar proposals. In addition to the course composition projects, roughly 25% of the grade will derive from the mid-term and final exams.