Search | Directories | Reference Tools
UW Home > Discover UW > Student Guide > UW Bothell Course Catalog 

Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Terry L Zimmerman
CSS 390
Bothell Campus

Special Topics

Examines current topics and issues associated with computing and software systems.

Class description

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.

Recommended preparation

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.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Terry L Zimmerman
Date: 10/08/2013