Department of English Department of English College of Arts and Sciences
Spring 2011 Course Descriptions

In this class, we will study the theoretical dimensions and implement skill-based practice in writing/communicating healthcare information to a public, non-expert audience through such genres as patient education materials, public health care information, patient instructions, and medical informational websites.  We will study the rhetorical and analytical tools for shaping the information, practical skills for managing group projects and processes, and the opportunity to develop them in a workshop setting. At the end of the semester, students will have studied and practiced: the tradition of medical writing for the public and other non-expert audiences, health illiteracy especially in regard health care systems and cultures, transforming expert or scientific information, health care ethics, audience analysis, and document design.



Required Assignments:


  • Report on Audience Analysis and short article for public audience  25%
  • Portfolio of 4 pieces of information for diverse audiences: web page, multi-media design, brochure, newsletter, handbook or manual, editorial, etc.  50%
  • Collaborative project 25%
  • 8014 students will be required to write an annotated bibliography on a topic of public health care and write a 10-page paper on that topic.  This will account for 15% of their grade, after decreasing the previously listed assignments by 5% each.



Required Texts:



Heifferon, Barbara. Writing in the Health Professions. NY: Pearson Longman, 2005.


Levi, Ragnar. Medical Journalism: Exposing Fact, Fiction, Fraud. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press, 2001.




Susan Popham

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