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Rhetoric Of Grammar For Engineers: Developing A Wac (Writing Across The Curriculum) Workshop For Engineering Technology Students

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Non-Technical Skills Build Success in ET

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1053.1 - 13.1053.20



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Paper Authors

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Maren Henry University of West Georgia

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Eric Granlund Pennsylvania State University-Altoona

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

Rhetoric of Grammar 1

Rhetoric of Grammar for Engineers: Developing a WAC (Writing Across the Curriculum) Workshop for Engineering Technology Students

Abstract: This paper explores the ongoing development of a teaching workshop for use in engineering technology courses, which contain a significant writing component. The main purpose of the workshop (module) is to bring students up to a minimum standard of accepted grammar structure in short order through specific targeted subject areas including person, active/ passive voice and documentation. It was hoped that increased student skill in these areas will dramatically improve student effectiveness in creating readable and grammatically correct technical reports, laboratory reports and daily engineering communication appropriate for the field. Pre and post assessment instruments were employed with the workshop to measure the impact on the student learning of subject areas. Results of the assessment findings will be discussed. Lastly, the workshop has been taught both on site and from remote location by use of distance learning Web CT and Smart board technologies. Comparisons and limitations between on site and remote teaching locations are reviewed by the authors.

Introduction When the Mechanical Engineering Technology Department assigned one of the authors the task of teaching MET 210W, a capstone engineering design course that also met a writing intensive requirement for ABET, the instructor gave little thought to special preparation for the course beyond technical requirements for the engineering content of the course. Only after seeing how previous faculty handled the writing intensive portion of the course by assigning students the laborious task of outlining all material covered in the text did the author search for a better technique for teaching WAC. Product Design (MET 210W) is a fourth semester writing intensive and capstone engineering design and analysis course for students enrolled in the Associate Degree Mechanical Engineering Technology Program as offered by The Pennsylvania State University. This three credit-hour course teaches engineering design and analysis principles through team-oriented design projects supported by communication skills: written, graphical and oral [1]. The major objective of MET 210W is to provide students with methodologies to design and select machine elements found in mechanical systems. The elements include key design and analysis, roller ball bearing selection and analysis, chain and sprocket selection and analysis, linear helical compression spring design and analysis, spur gear design, selection and analysis, transmission power shaft design and analysis, clutches and brakes selection and analysis, and bolts/fasteners selection and analysis. The final group Gear Reducer Design Project for possible use in the Penn State Altoona SAE Mini Baja vehicle requires a written project proposal that includes function and design requirements along with progress reports. Each group submits a detailed final report at the conclusion of the project. Students also write about their group experiences in the form of an interoffice memo. The project requires students to apply learned course techniques and knowledge to complete the design and analysis of the speed gear reducer. Students interact with commercial vendors to select components. Prerequisites for the course include statics, strength of materials, kinematics, and dynamics. CAD and solid modeling software experience is also necessary along with MS-Office skills in generating

Henry, M., & Granlund, E. (2008, June), Rhetoric Of Grammar For Engineers: Developing A Wac (Writing Across The Curriculum) Workshop For Engineering Technology Students Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4113

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2008 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015