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Writing In The Discipline A Case Study In Construction Management

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Trend in Construction Engineering Education I

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1458.1 - 11.1458.8



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Paper Authors


Amitabha Bandyopadhyay SUNY

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Amitabha Bandyopadhyay, Ph.D., P.E. is a Distinguished Service Professor and Chair of Architecture and Construction Management Department at State University of New York -Farmingdale. He has been involved in Writing Across Curriculum and Writing in the Discipline for last fifteen years.

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

Writing in the Discipline – A Case Study in Construction Management


Communication for the engineering and technology graduates always scored very high in the employers’ list of desirable attributes. ABET also placed high priority on communication in their required program outcomes for engineering and technology graduates. Also, it is obvious to the faculty members that students need extended writing practice beyond their English courses. This paper describes the writing in the discipline (WID) program initiated at Farmingdale State and how the construction management program has set up its courses to satisfy the requirements. The writing in the discipline program emphasizes writing critically and in case of technical courses it should have analysis and problem solving mode. So, it is critical to have the assignments are designed and articulated in a manner that proves critical thinking among the students. The process of re-designing a course to conform to WID requirements is described. The paper shares actual assignment given to the students and some of the best and worst responses from the students.


Communication for the engineering and technology graduates always scored high in the employers’ survey for the list of desirable attributes. Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET Inc. criteria further elaborate that “The communications content must develop the ability of graduates to …..b) incorporate communications skills throughout the technical content of the program …” According to Bob Kerry, chair of the National Commission on Writing in America’s Families, Schools and Colleges: “we need to make a greater commitment, as a nation, to the teaching of writing. Better writing not only makes for better students, it creates better teachers, better parents, better employees, and better citizens. Investment in writing today will have a cumulative effect on our economic growth, and on the strength of our democracy long into the future.”4 Now the question is how we teach writing to our technical students. Some of our colleagues in engineering and technology like to leave it our presumed expert colleagues in English department. They would like to see that when the students get passing grades in English 101, English 102, and possibly in a course like technical communication, they learned to communicate effectively so that the faculty in the technical discipline could concentrate on teaching content of the discipline. Writing in the Discipline concepts is based on the idea that content and writing are interconnected and teaching one should enhance the other.


Writing in the Discipline at Farmingdale State started in response to concern expressed by some faculty after a poor showing of the Farmingdale students in a nationally normed standardized examination and general concern from our employers. About fifteen years

Bandyopadhyay, A. (2006, June), Writing In The Discipline A Case Study In Construction Management Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--131

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