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Dr. Jennifer Herman in the classroom with students

ETC faculty currently teach writing and communications courses (described below) designed to help students develop effective written, verbal, visual, and interpersonal communication skills. 

We also dedicate time to curriculum development, and are always interested in creating new courses and finding innovative ways to support writing instruction in the disciplines.

ENGR 2367: American Attitudes About Technology

The primary ETC course offering, ENGR 2367 meets the University Learning Objectives for second-level writing and social diversity in the U.S. The course is designed to prepare students for the visual, written, and spoken forms of communication they will practice during their academic coursework, during their job searches, and within the workplace.

Topics Overview (Major Project Units)

  1. Job Materials: Writing effective, targeted resumes and application letters
  2. Social Diversity in the Workplace: Exploring aspects of diversity, inclusion, and equity in a professional context
  3. Research Project: Conducting effective secondary research and developing a sustained, research-based argument in writing
  4. Public Communication: Engaging with non-technical audiences to strategically communicate technical or specialized information

Course Objectives

Goals Learning Objectives
A. Understand the importance of rhetorical communication and writing for technical and non-technical contexts and audiences.

1. Identify the most appropriate rhetorical situation and approach for compositions, particularly focused on identifying purpose and audience(s).

2. Compose rhetorically-appropriate and -effective communications for audience and context using a variety of media and genres.

B. Understand processes for composing informative and persuasive documents and plan and deliver presentations for a variety of audiences and purposes.

1. Utilize processes for drafting, editing and reviewing various modes of communication.

2. Present on a variety of topics to small groups and the entire class.

3. Use common technical communications conventions, style, tone, and formats.

C. Comprehend the complexity of research and research reporting processes.

1. Demonstrate complex thinking about course topics by producing rhetorically-effective, research-based compositions using different media.

2. Plan and implement research processes.

3. Effectively interpret and integrate source material.

4. Review and use documentation conventions for specific citation styles (APA).

D. Reflect critically on processes and learning (metacognition). Compose critical and honest self-evaluations of processes, products, and teams.
E. Engage in and develop strategies for common types of workplace communication skills.

1. Develop strategies for an effective job search (ad/employer analysis, targeted job materials, and interview skills).

2. Plan and implement successful collaborative projects, including conducting efficient meetings, assigning and completing assigned tasks, progress reporting, and conflict resolution.

3. Employ processes for evaluating and responding to the writing and communication of others.

F. Understand the role and impact of social diversity in U.S. society.

1. Engage with issues of social diversity in U.S. culture.

2. Reflect on the impact of social diversity on institutions (including workplaces and educational spaces), groups, and individuals, including self.

G.  Engage productively with all course resources, including people resources (i.e. instructor and classmates).

1. Identify the types of resources and help needed to be successful in each assignment and unit.

2. Identify personal strengths and ways of being a resource for classmates and others.

ENGR 7710: Engineering Research Communications (Graduate course)

To be offered Spring 2021

Students in this course will gain practice in skills related to both scholarly and industry communications for engineering. Coverage includes reading and analysis of scholarly articles in engineering; practice in organizing and writing abstracts, introductions, methods, results, discussion, data commentary, and conclusions; strategies for problem definition, developing appropriate support and incorporating into arguments effectively, citation conventions, and preparing manuscripts for submission to professional conferences and journals. Students will also practice developing and delivering effective presentations appropriate to both scholarly and industry audiences.

 Topics Overview

  1. Article analysis, developing a research position
  2. Abstract and introduction revisions
  3. Methods and materials revisions
  4. Organization, style and content of a discussion section
  5. Graphics choices and presentation, writing about data
  6. Writing conclusions
  7. Text revisions for style and clarity: audience, purpose, significance, structure plus vocabulary and punctuation
  8. Conference presentation and publication preparation
  9. Oral presentation planning/development and delivery

 Course Objectives

  1. Students will be able to read and analyze the components of common academic writing such as scholarly articles.
  2. Students will improve their use of vocabulary, mechanics, and rhetorical and grammatical structures for writing for engineering.
  3. Students will practice planning and drafting abstracts, introductions, methods and materials, discussion, and conclusion sections common to graduate level documents.
  4. Students will practice developing clear problem definitions and making a research plan for a course project they suggest.
  5. Students will practice reviewing research in a professional capacity to position their own work (i.e., literature reviews).
  6. Students will analyze graphical elements in sample papers and practice developing data and selecting an effective method for displaying that data either in a written draft or in an oral presentation.
  7. Students will practice citing sources correctly using a common citation format such as IEEE.
  8. Students will practice preparing sections of academic documents including abstracts for submissions pertinent to their purposes.
  9. Students will practice preparing presentations (slides, posters) and delivering a conference presentation.
  10. Students will be able to use common tools and resources to aid in their research communication projects.
  11. Students will be able to differentiate among and select types of conference and publication venues