Computing Science Course Outlines

Course Outline - CMPT 376W - Tech.Writing and Group Dynamic



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2022 Fall (1227)

Tech.Writing and Group Dynamic

John Edgar   

Surrey Campus

Calendar Objective/Description

Tech.Writing and Group Dynamic

Instructor's Objectives

Covers professional writing in computing science, including format conventions and technical reports. The basis for ethical decision-making and the methodology for reaching ethical decisions concerning computing matters will be studied. Writing as a means to understand and reason about complex issues will be emphasized. This is a W course.




  • Overview of ethical theories
  • Intellectual property
  • Freedom of speech online
  • Privacy
  • The digital divide
  • Professional responsibility and professional codes of ethics
  • Computers and crime
  • Computers and the business world
  • Computers and the government
  • Writing formal papers: research skills, forming a thesis, acknowledging sources
  • Revision strategies: sentence order, passive/active voice, connection, clarity, conciseness
  • Practical documentation strategies (e.g., API documentation, bug reports)


Written Assignments (short and long), Participation and Group work (debates and other). A more detailed marking scheme will be provided in the first week of classes.

Students must attain an overall passing grade on the weighted average of exams in the course in order to obtain a clear pass (C- or better).

Required Books

  • Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace, 12th Edition, Joseph M. Williams, Joseph Bizup, Pearson, 2017, 9780134080413

Reference Books

  • Ethics for the Information Age , Michael J. Quinn, Pearson, 2020, 9780135217726

Academic Honesty Statement

Academic honesty plays a key role in our efforts to maintain a high standard of academic excellence and integrity. Students are advised that ALL acts of intellectual dishonesty will be handled in accordance with the SFU Academic Honesty and Student Conduct Policies ( ).

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