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Integrated Technical Writing Instruction In Freshman Engineering, Elisa Linsky, Gunter Georgi, Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, New York

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.751.1 - 9.751.10



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Paper Authors

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Elisa Linsky

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Gunter Georgi

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session #

Integrated Technical Writing Instruction in Freshman Engineering

Elisa Linsky, Gunter Georgi.

Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, New York.

Convincing freshman engineering students that acquiring technical writing expertise is critical to their success is central to the mission of the writing program in General Engineering. By deploying writing consultants to each section of our benchmark introductory course, EG 1004, we teach the fundamentals of good writing within the context of regular engineering coursework.

EG 1004 is a survey course designed to introduce various engineering disciplines to our incoming freshmen. Teamwork, the development of presentation skills, and the acquisition of technical writing skills are incorporated into the curriculum. By the end of the semester, our students have improved their time-management skills, become adept at delivering a technical presentation, can prepare a well-written report, and are ready to proceed into their chosen major.

This paper will describe the EG writing program, including each of the four writing styles we teach: lab reports, software documentation, technical presentations, and proposals. It will also include a discussion of the classroom instruction we undertake to introduce each of these assignments and the critical function each writing consultant performs when grading student work.

The key to our success is the delivery of writing instruction within the context of regular engineering coursework. By introducing the importance and relevance of technical communication at the beginning of each student’s academic career, in a required engineering course, we are able to overcome the skepticism many young engineers have about how much writing they will need to do. They don’t need to come to us, something they incorrectly assume is unnecessary; we go to them.


The most effective strategy for teaching technical writing is open to debate. The options can be boiled down to four lines of attack. 1. Technical Writing Course: Students can be required to take an introductory technical writing course, where they learn the fundamentals of the discipline by preparing memos, correspondence, mechanism and process descriptions, progress reports, proposals and the like. Courses like this are taught by technical writing faculty.

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering

Linsky, E., & Georgi, G. (2004, June), Integrated Technical Writing Instruction In Freshman Engineering, Elisa Linsky, Gunter Georgi, Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, New York Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13476

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