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University Writing Program > Course Information > Course Descriptions > UWP 102E - Writing in the Disciplines: Engineering
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UWP 102E - Writing in the Disciplines: Engineering

  1. Catalog Description

    UWP 102E. Writing in the Disciplines: Engineering (4) Lecture/discussion-3 hours; extensive writing. Prerequisite: course 1 or English 3 or the equivalent and upper division standing. Open to upper division students in the College of Engineering and to students enrolled in an upper division engineering or computer science course for the major. Advanced instruction in writing in the discipline of engineering. GE credit: Wrt (cannot be used to satisfy a college or university composition requirement and GE writing experience simultaneously). -I, II, III. (I, II, III.)

  2. Course Goals
  • To introduce students to the forms of discourse within engineering, including technical memoranda, laboratory reports, design reports, collaborative projects, oral reports, and other technical genres
  • To teach student to assess the writing situation(audience, purpose, context) and plan an appropriate response
  • To teach students strategies for orienting their readers by using standard patterns of organization, headings, purpose statements, and topic sentences
  • To teach students to present their ideas persuasively, using the kinds of sources, forms of evidence, and types of analysis appropriate to engineering
  • To teach students the conventions of writing within engineering, such as maintaining objectivity, designing and editing tables and figures, handling reference, and presenting equations
  • To teach students how to plan, write and edit collaborative projects
  • To teach students the ability to organize, draft, revise, and edit their own work
  1. Entry Level

    Students should have completed UWP 1 or ENL 3 or the equivalent and have upper division standing in the College of Engineering, or be enrolled in an upper division engineering or computer science course. They should be familiar with the general principles of good writing, including organization, development, sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation.

  2. Topical Outline
  • Genres
    • Design projects
    • Empirical research reports
    • Technical reports
    • Abstracts and summaries
    • Memo reports
    • Oral reports
    • Resumes and job application letters
  • Understanding the writing process
    • Prewriting and organizing
    • Drafting
    • Revising for content, organization, and clarity
    • Editing
  • Assessing the writing situation
    • Determining the writing context and purpose
    • Analyzing the needs, interest, and abilities of the audience
    • Adapting one's writing to the audience and purpose
    • Moving from writer- to reader-based prose
  • Scientific reasoning, empirical evidence, logic, and technical argumentation
  • Conventions of technical writing
    • Designing and presenting tables and figures
    • Handling equations
    • Documenting sources of information
    • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Style
    • Choosing appropriate words (when to use abstract and concrete, general and specific, and
    • vague and precise words)
    • Using verbs effectively
    • Determining when to use informal or formal style
    • Writing clear, concise, and focused sentences
    • Maintaining objectivity
    • Using specialized terminology appropriately
  1. Grading Criteria
  1. The course will be graded by a letter grade.
  2. Grades will be based on the students' performance on in- and out-of-class writing assignments, an oral report, and a final exam. Students will write a minimum of 6000 words; the number of assignments and the weight of each assignment will vary according to the instructor. Normally, instructors will assign a resume and job application letter, a technical memo, a short lab or design report directed toward engineers, a long formal technical report directed toward engineers and managers, and an oral presentation.
  1. Reading

    Text will be selected from the following list or from similar texts focusing on writing in engineering: Designing Technical Reports by J. C. Mathes and Dwight W. Stevenson. Information in Action: A Guide to Technical Communication by M. Jim mie Killingsworth. A Guide to Writing as an Engineer by David Been and David McMurrey.

  2. Explanation of Potential Course Overlap

    UWP 102E does not overlap with any other course. UWP 102E is distinguished from UWP 101, Advanced Composition, by its focus on engineering. UWP 102E is distinguished from UWP 102A (Writing in the Disciplines), from other 102's, from UWP 104A (Writing in the Professions: Business Reports and Technical Communication), from UWP 104E (Writing in the Professions: Science), and from other advanced writing courses by its specific emphasis on writing in the discipline of engineering. UWP 102E is distinguished from the companion course by its emphasis on instruction in writing rather than on the subject matter of the companion course.

  3. Justification of Units

    UWP 102E is a four-unit course. Three hours per week is lecture/discussion. As with all upper division writing classes, an additional unit of credit is justified by the significant amount of work that students must do outside of class time to plan, draft, and revise the 6,000 or more words of required writing. In addition to this substantial written requirement, students will meet individually with the instructor for discussion and evaluation of their work. The estimated time of preparation of the writing assignments (research, consultation, drafting, revision) is thirty hours, an amount consistent with the Carnegie Rule guidelines.

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