RE: teaching technical writing to engineers

Subject: RE: teaching technical writing to engineers
From: "MacLemale, Laura \(English & Philosophy\)" <lmaclemale -at- monroecc -dot- edu>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 24 Mar 2004 12:25:48 -0500


Evelyn has been receiving some great advice for teaching TW to junior-level engineering students.

One component that you might want to include in this course is a one-time oral presentation, whether by individuals or pairs. Although they will speaking to a group of their peers rather than an actual "user" audience, this exercise may help them see the value of clear communication, which may then enhance their writing abilities.

You could have them describe a specific task that a user may need to do, and then have them give each other feedback or ask questions.

Reading textbooks = Reading to _learn_
Reading technical communication = Reading to learn _to do_

Just a couple of quick thoughts off the top of my head.

Laura MacLemale
lmaclemale -at- monroecc -dot- edu

P.S. - Also, you may want to check out Alan Cooper's books. They focus mainly on software design, but he has some good examples of what makes bad design, bad design, and how to get beyond bad design as a technical communicator.

<quoted from Chuck Martin's e-mail>

"Evelyn G Barker" <ebarker -at- uta -dot- edu> wrote in message news:233357 -at- techwr-l -dot- -dot- -dot-
> I'm going to be teaching a technical writing class to junior-level
> university engineering students and wondered what the group thought it was
> important for them to learn.
> The students are all types of engineers--computer science, mechanical,
> This tech writing class is required for their degree, but I'm not trying
> prepare them for a career as a tech writer.
<rest snipped for brevity>


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