Re: Writing Across the Curriculum

Subject: Re: Writing Across the Curriculum
From: lpraderio <lpraderi -at- CLIFF -dot- WHOI -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 22 Mar 1993 19:30:32 EDT

Hi Vic,

I work with engineering students/staff here and while I usually edit their
theses and papers, I end up teaching them the basic English/tech writing/how to
structure a document skills that I would love to see them get at the
undergraduate level.

I think that it would help to have a course co-taught by both the English
Department person and the Engineering person. I guess I'd recommend splitting
the lectures, maybe even daily. I know it's an ugly way to do things, but you
want to make sure that the students aren't getting conflicting messages and
that the English person is making the material fit the "engineering experience."

Either way, it's wonderful-the program you are setting up. I know that when I
did my undergraduate work at UMaine, Orono, their civil engineering department
required, back in the early '80s, all undergraduates to take a technical
writing course. The course was combined with a structures class or something
(my twin took the C.E. route so that's my experience with it). I'd contact
their tech writing department, I'm sure they'd help you.

I also have a super book that Donald Knuth wrote called "Mathematical Writing"
and it's right on top of Chicago when I edit anything mathematical. Also,
Lawrence Livermore Labs puts out a great publication called "Spoken
Mathematics" that teaches people how to present mathematics orally.

Hope this long-winded answer helps.

Cheers. B-)

Laura Praderio
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
lpraderio -at- who -dot- edu

I have just joined this list. I have some questions about teaching engineering
communications (writing, graphics, oral communications). Is it better for som
eone based in an English department (as I am) to teach/teamteach technical writ
ing in another department as a part of an existing course or to help out by a c
onsulting role (offering workshops, helping faculty in other disciplines incorp
orate writing into their own courses)? My university has a new core curriculum
requirement which is very exciting: _all_ students must take two writing inte
nsive courses beyond freshman English. I am in a pilot project right now, team
teaching in materials science and engineering with two engineers. It's one mod
el. I'm looking for some advice from people with experience with this. I have
taught technical writing since 1967 but have not plunged in to read all the jo
urnals, go to conferences--as a professional might. I've been on other paths a
nd am now looking for an efficient way to research the matter. Maybe this list
could help.
Thanks for your suggestions.
Vic Strite
Department of English
Virginia Tech
vs088 -at- vtvm1 -dot- bitnet

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