Re: What students should know

Subject: Re: What students should know
From: Joan Miles <miles -at- CCD -dot- HARRIS -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1993 15:49:23 EDT

> I know this is a very broad question, but I need some insight from technical
> writers. I joined this list in order to supplement my experience in the
> academic world with the experience of those out in the professional world. As
> a teacher of technical writing, I'd like to know what one or two things you
> wish you had learned in a college technical wriing course. What should be the
> essence of a student's experience in such a course? Thanks! mary_massirer@

Having just graduated in June of '92, I have a better idea of what I
would have liked in the tech writing courses than when I was actually
in the classes.

Our basic technical communication course was filled with a mix of
students, ranging from computer science to psychology to engineering.
If any of these students were going to ever write technical documentation
in their lives, I don't think they would have beleived it unless
someone from the "real world" (engineer,...) came in to tell them
what kind of writing is expected from them and how important the basics are.

For myself, I wish that any one of my writing courses emphasized how to deal
people. Granted, this may be a psychology kind of thing here, but I mean
how to "get in" with the engineers so that neither of you are 'afraid' of
each other.

Of course, the ever popular internship. Unfortunately, my college has a rule
where if your gpa is not good enough, then you can do an independent study
project. I learned the hard way that nothing can compare to a good internship
because you get "real life" experience while still learning the ropes and
making mistakes. I hope your institution allows all students to do an
internship, regardless of their grade standing!

I hope this helps. Good Luck!!

Joan Miles
Technical Writer

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