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Using Writing as a Means for Encouraging Student’s to Participate in Public Discourse and Community Engagement

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Global and Cultural Issues in Construction

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1449.1 - 25.1449.8



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Paper Authors

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Rebecca N. Macdonald East Carolina University


David L. Batie East Carolina University

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David L. Batie is an Associate Professor and
Undergraduate Program Director.

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Ryan T. Goodman East Carolina University

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Ryan T. Goodman is a Graduate Research Assistant, ECU Department of Construction Management, and a M.A. candidate in European history.

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Using Writing as a Means for Encouraging Student’s to Participate in Public Discourse and Community EngagementEast Carolina University made a major commitment to improve student literacy through theestablishment of the Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) Program. The Program requirescompletion of 12 hours in writing intensive courses with at least one upper division course in astudent’s major. The Department of Construction Management assigned a senior level course,Managing Construction Quality, to fill this requirement according to WAC Model 2: WI CoursesEmphasizing Professional Writing. The course’s writing assignments aim to prepare students tounderstand the audience and purpose of professional documents and to give them practice inwriting techniques to accomplish that purpose.Current course instructors implemented a new topical format to better educate students about theconstruction industry’s need for public discourse and community engagement. The formatchosen - the use of opinion papers - provides a forum for students to express their viewpoints in astructured manner. Assignments ask that students relate to a pertinent subject and use of clearand logically argued premises to support their conclusion. This article also includes a sampleassignment, feedback rubric, student-written papers in response to the assignment, andqualitative feedback from students.Industry leaders implore for professionals to act as advocates of public policy and creators of anational infrastructure plan. The achievement of this objective can only be reached through theimpact of the recent graduates who recognize the importance of public discourse/communityengagement and will be advocates once in the workforce.

Macdonald, R. N., & Batie, D. L., & Goodman, R. T. (2012, June), Using Writing as a Means for Encouraging Student’s to Participate in Public Discourse and Community Engagement Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22206

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