Course Strategy and Outcomes
The purpose of this writing course is to prepare engineering and science students to write as professionals through their career. To that end, the course has the students write and revise three important types of documents: email, presentation handout, proposal, and final report. First, the content for the documents arises in a design course that occurs during the same semester as the writing course--for that reason, the students not only have an authentic audience but also achieve significant technical depth. Second, students receive feedback both on the content of their writing and on the style and form of the writing. Finally, students critique drafts in sessions that follow the Iowa Writers' Workshop model, in which the students submits the draft in advance and then receive feedback from a round table consisting of a mentor and peer critiquers. Serving as mentors for those workshops are mechanical engineering seniors who have excelled both in the design course and in the writing course.
The main course outcomes are as follows:
Other specific course outcomes are as follows:
Assignments, Templates, and Models
In this course, you will have four out-of-class writing assignments, of which the last three will arise from the major project in the design course.
Job Application Email: Write an email to secure an entry-level job, internship, or research position. To allow us to make edits, use the provided email template in Microsoft Word. To this email, attach a resume. Given below is an email template and email model. For privacy reasons, the resumes are not included with the model emails.
Handout for Initial Research Presentation: For the initial research presentation that your team created for your design course, use the notes pages of PowerPoint to create a handout that allows the presentation to stand alone as a handout. Note that the presentations are to follow the assertion-evidence structure.
Proposal: Write a proposal for the design concept that your design team will prototype. Follow the proposal guidelines given in the template below. This proposal will also be submitted for a content grade in the design course and a style and form grade in the writing course.
Final Report: Write a report that documents your team’s final design in ME 340. Follow the report guidelines of ME 340. This report will also be submitted for a content grade in ME 340.
Exercises on Style. Given below are exercises on style that are incorporated during the semester.