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Motivating Technical Writing through Study of the Environment
Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, ASCE (2011)
  • J. Linsdell, San Jose State University
  • Thalia Anagnos, San Jose State University

Today’s engineers must be more than just technically competent. To be successful in our increasingly global economy in which teamwork and interdisciplinary interaction are the norm, engineers must have excellent communication skills. In recognition of industry needs, the San José State University College of Engineering redesigned its technical communication course to ensure that students graduate with writing and speaking skills that will transfer readily to their career needs and the global arena. The course aims to motivate students through exploring topics that are meaningful to them and using communication formats that they will see in the workplace. Combing technical communication with study of the environment broadens the course to meet multiple ABET outcomes. This paper describes the course goals, organization, management, selected assignments, and assessment. Assessment data indicate that at the end of the semester students, on average, have gained between 0.8 and 1.1 points on a 12-point evaluation rubric, and have gained an appreciation of the unique characteristics of and need for technical writing.

  • environment,
  • technical writing
Publication Date
January, 2011
Publisher Statement
Copyright, American Society of Civil Engineers. Find the full published version in the ASCE Civil Engineering Database:
Citation Information
J. Linsdell and Thalia Anagnos. "Motivating Technical Writing through Study of the Environment" Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, ASCE Vol. 137 Iss. 1 (2011)
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