ENGL 4206 Writing for the Real World

Instructor & Contact Information:

Rachael Deagman Simonetta
Senior Instructor, English Department
Email:  deagman@colorado.edu

About the Course:

To prepare students to write in the real world, this course explores the types and conventions of writing produced in different fields such as public relations, marketing, or business.  Students will analyze and generate a range of written genres, from basic correspondence to more complex podcasts.  We will study real world documents and then apply and adapt the models to suit the rhetorical conventions necessary to communicate with target audiences within specific contexts.  Students will study sample documents and then write, revise, and edit prose that will be of value to them and to prospective employers in the professional environment.

Learning Goals:

By the end of the course, students will:

  1. demonstrate specialized rhetorical knowledge by composing texts in a variety of disciplinary forms and genres for specific audiences and purposes;
  2. argue persuasively with evidence, using field-specific forms and genres to present ideas and information;
  3. demonstrate enhanced critical reading skills;
  4. reflect on and refine the writing process;
  5. demonstrate specialized information literacy by applying research to real world questions/issues;
  6. apply language conventions appropriately, including format, documentation, spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Required Texts:

Books can be purchased from the CU Bookstore.

  • Charles Marsh, David W. Guth, and Bonnie Poovey Short, Strategic Writing:  Multimedia Writing for Public Relations, Advertising and More, 5th New York and London:  Routledge, 2020.

CU Boulder Libraries has free digital copies of the book available here:  Strategic Writing textbook (Links to an external site.)

Please note that the library’s digital copy only allows for three simultaneous users.  Please do log out if you’re not using the book so that others can access the materials.

PDFs of additional readings will be available in Canvas.


All assignments are worth 100 points. The final, edited assignments will be weighted by percentage as follows:

Assignment Percentage
Syllabus Quiz 1
Weekly Journal Entries (total) 5
Final Cover Letter 2
Final Resume 2
Final Sales or Fundraising Letter 5
Final White Paper 5
Final Newsletter or Magazine Story 5
Peer Reviews (total) 10
Final Audio Podcast 20
Final Blog 20
Final Portfolio 25



Now that you’ve selected your favorite Continuing Education courses, email or print the information, including class number, to more easily search Buff Portal and enroll. Still have questions? Contact an advisor.


Monday – Friday
8:00am to 5:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado