TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
Subject:Re: Exercises for Students From:will -at- QNET -dot- COM Date:Sun, 10 Sep 1995 22:46:22 -0500
While colleges and universities are there to teach students how to write they
need to do their best to expose students to the real-life topics. The topics
that people are talking about having students do are *too* cute.
Students regardless if they are technical writing students or not need to write
about topics that they may likely encounter after college. Colleges need to
remember that there is a real world out there.
When I was in college, I graduated with 24 credits in writing. The projects
that were supposed to prepare for the real world were years behind what was
happening in the work world. Only my creative writing prof knew about life
outside of campus. Students need reality built into the projects that teach them
about style, grammar, and audience and all those other important things.
Yes, projects about documenting how to tie shoelaces can teach a student how to
write. But it is not the real world. A small documentation project on something
like a copier machine will go the extra mile to prepare them for the real world.
Just my 2 cents. This is not meant as a flame about US higher ed but rather
some lessons learned from a product of US higher ed and somebody who has
interviewed ill-prepared recent graduates with writing samples from their cutsey
will -at- qnet -dot- com