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Teaching Four Different Communication Styles In Freshman Engineering

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1067.1 - 8.1067.21

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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

(ASEE paper 2003-1896 for Multimedia Session) Session ___

Teaching Four Different Communication Styles in Freshman Engineering

Elisa Linsky, Naomi Nemtzow, and Gunter W. Georgi Polytechnic University, Brooklyn, New York


Introduction to Engineering and Design provides freshmen engineering students with an informed understanding of what engineers do. By exposing students to experimental techniques, design skills, teamwork and the tools of the trade, a foundation for further study is established. In this context, it is critical to develop communication skills, both oral and written.

Students are assigned four types of professional written communication: Lab Reports, Software Documentation, PowerPoint Presentations, and a Proposal. Each of these assignments is intended to provide students with a sample of the type of written work that is required of technical professionals.

By introducing four different writing assignments, one combined with an oral presentation, each student is encouraged to be flexible in their mastery of written communication skills. Competence is achieved through repetition. At the conclusion of the course, the freshman are prepared to advance with a fundamental understanding of the methods employed in effective technical communication.


EG 1004, Introduction to Engineering and Design, was created as a survey course for freshmen engineering students to demonstrate what engineers do and what software and hardware tools they use. Various experimental techniques are taught while design and construction skills are developed within the context of a semester-long project. Engineering disciplines that may differ from a student’s chosen major are introduced. The departmental goal is to provide a solid foundation for success as students proceed in their educational careers. Critical to the overall success of the course is the development of good technical communication skills, both oral and written.

The students are required to submit written work each week. In addition, they are asked to prepare and deliver an oral presentation detailing their laboratory work. Interspersed periodically throughout the semester are Progress Report Presentations that discuss milestones reached in the semester-long design project. A written proposal is also prepared as part of this project.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Linsky, E., & Georgi, G. (2003, June), Teaching Four Different Communication Styles In Freshman Engineering Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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