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Revised Midterm Fall 2012 posted on 25 May 2013 03:35

Dear Diary, (read more…)

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Recent posts (+more)

great paper but I dont see a works cited page anywhere…
(by mila12345 28 Oct 2017 19:01, posts: 1)
This was my pitch. I removed it and posted it in the appropriate place.
(by (account deleted) 18 Apr 2013 17:56, posts: 1)
Hi Liudi, One of the first things I noticed is that your project proposal is very well organized...
(by BrianWang 22 Mar 2013 14:37, posts: 1)
Hi Kenichi. You project interests me a lot just because I had my Steam account since 2010. I am a...
(by Nelsyda Perez 22 Mar 2013 13:27, posts: 1)
Hi Nelsyda, The first thing I noticed that I enjoyed about your piece was that you formatted it...
(by BrianWang 22 Mar 2013 13:22, posts: 1)
Hi Chris! I feel as if your project is somewhat unique. Even though Swales claims that academic...
(by Nelsyda Perez 22 Mar 2013 12:56, posts: 2)
Zeyad, you, once again, took on a unique look on this midterm project! When you first mention...
(by Sunny Aggarwal 22 Mar 2013 03:41, posts: 1)
Hey Chris! You indeed did take on a very unique standpoint on discourse communities (i.e. with...
(by Sunny Aggarwal 22 Mar 2013 03:19, posts: 2)

To Be Comprehensible is Everything to An Engineer

by F MamedovaF Mamedova 05 Feb 2013 04:01

Probably the most stark realization I've made upon entrance to an engineering school is the lack of English, or any recognizable form of communication, for that matter. The Steinmann Hall on the City College campus serves as the Grove School of Engineering headquarters and I've got this to say about it: it wasn't built by good engineers. In fact the building and everything within its vicinity is confusing as hell. Put aside the mislabeled room directions and the hallway entrances that look like janitor's closets, virtually everybody in the building is just plain bad at speaking English and communicating in a common language. While I mean not to discredit their genius, and undoubtedly, hard work, as a former English as a Second Language student I can't help but remember how crippling lacking the language commonly used in an environment is. Unfortunately, in America, as soon we can detect a poor adherence to grammatical convention in either speech or writing, we automatically write those speakers and writers off as disabled. This is something I witness daily as I watch my mother, a brilliant woman, struggle everywhere to express herself in a language that simply isn't one she knows well.

Blogging: Communication for the Informal Professional

by Choonghun LeeChoonghun Lee 05 Feb 2013 03:46

One of the things I’ve noticed while researching my current major is that a lot of computer scientists tend to have blogs. While it’s not surprising in this age of social networking to see blogs, what surprises me is the content that is produced. The blogs run by computer scientists tend to be professional or semi-professional blogs, full of examples of code or anecdotes from the professional world. The posts themselves, while maybe not the most stellar examples of writing, all are organized in a coherent manner and are easy enough to follow. In general, blogging has risen to a new level in the professional world: it’s a form of communication halfway between the editorials of newspapers and social networking.

Something Went Wrong With the Blog

by F MamedovaF Mamedova 05 Feb 2013 03:42

I'm just checking to see if this goes up now…

Being An Engineer

by Yipeng LuanYipeng Luan 05 Feb 2013 02:55

Most engineers may never regard writing as a main skill. Obviously, the misunderstanding of writing embarrassed those engineers who ignore writing. Anyway, the reason some people choose engineering is that they are not good with speaking or writing. Honestly, I am one of them. But later on after I communicated with some engineers, I regretted how I thought about writing for engineers.As a civil engineer, if I want to get a deal with customers , I need to communicate with my guest. At this moment, I require a good writing skill to persuade them. On the other hand, every time when I express my plan, poor writing may bring me a disastrous resultant. Thus, I expect my writing skill can be much better when I graduate. Many people may think engineers would spend most of their time on outside working such like civil engineers. Unfortunately, mostly engineers just sit in their offices. Desk job is boring but the worse thing is to write documents day by day, so having a good writing skill is imperative. My father is a mechanical engineer. When I was young, he always told me his experience of suffering from writing. He never cared much about writing until he got his first job. One of his colleague is good with both writing and machines and he is my father's superior leader now. I do not want the same thing happen to me so I am trying hard to improve my writing now. I expect to be a good civil engineer in the future, but first I should make a great progress on my writing.

Guesswork, Hopes, and Fears

by Michael SafdiehMichael Safdieh 05 Feb 2013 02:50

Last semester, when I took English 110, one of the first handouts I was assigned to read was about why engineers must write. The article spoke about how many engineers suffer when their boss asks them to write up a status report, as they (the employees) are only used to dealing with equations and the like. Their lack of writing skills hurts their job performance. I quickly agreed with the author, and realized how important writing is to almost any career.
I am currently a computer science major, and am specifically interested in computer programming. I have to admit, though, that I do not know so much about the field, nor have I researched it thoroughly. Nonetheless, I have always taken an interest in programming, how computer software and websites work, and so on. When I do reflect on what I know about the field, however, writing is never a topic that comes to mind. With that said, I will still asses how I think writing may work its way into the world of a programmer.
From what I do know, the main “writing”, so to speak, that professional programmers do is that of writing code that allows computers to run programs, software, and applications. This, though, is not the type of “writing” we are discussing. I would venture to say, then, that a programmer might be asked by his employer to write up a report on the status of a particular program. This report may include discussing current problems with the program and how they can be resolved, analyzing working aspects of the program and offering feedback on how it can be improved.
A well-equipped programmer, in my opinion, is one who is well versed in several programming languages (such as JavaScript, C++, Python, etc.), and knows how to utilize them to command a computer to run a program, fix a bug or a virus, create a totally original program, and the like. Professionals in the field must be able to constantly think in terms of a computer. I assume this knowledge and way of thinking would aid a programmer when he or she must get into specifics in a status report. The programmer might have to pinpoint which line of code has a problem and what exact coding to edit in. Again, all of this is speculation, as I have stated above. I have only just begun to learn coding from the online, user-friendly website codeacademy.com.
Reflecting back on myself as a writer, I tend to stray from the common, rigid format of technical writing. Last semester I discovered that I write best when I relate the topic at hand to my own personal experiences or views. In my papers, it is all about me. On that note, however, I do feel quite unprepared to take on this world of technical writing. I have always taken an interest to technology (which is partly why I aspire to delve into the field), yet I have always had to struggle when came to writing and researching about technology. It is in my deepest aspirations to break through this barrier over the course of the semester.

I Hear Journalists Write

by Esme CribbEsme Cribb 05 Feb 2013 02:48

I am inclined to say that journalists use writing primarily to tell stories; whether they are writing opinion pieces, covering breaking news, or doing interviews, their purpose is ultimately to create some sort of compelling narrative (though the story may not always compel the reader to like the subject; compulsion may be in any direction). To write like a journalist, one must be scrupulous; I've heard horror stories about the advanced technical classes necessary, and of course there's the matter of factual accuracy. Nobody likes libel, and presumably even fewer people like being sued for libel, and presumably very few people indeed like having to run a new edition with a section of edits taking up the inside front cover, or needing to attach a comment about an embarrassingly misspelled name or misquotation to the end of a blog post. I think one of the subtler aspects of journalism would be any particular insertion of spin, whether liberal or otherwise; the primary objective of writing has to seem to be the conveyance of information, rather than the way that information is then influenced by the writer or publication, and then the way it influences the reader. Anybody can write a bare-bones summary of events, but I think the real trick lies in taking that generic skeleton and adding literary musculature, if you will, to make it a beast you can control. Last term I spent some time talking to an ex-journalism major, and over the summer I also worked with an ex-journalist from the New York Times; both of them agreed that journalism is an excellent way to avoid making personal connections, which also pretty much ensures you will die alone, but in terms of useful information they both stressed the voracity that is the news cycle. I would guess, therefore, that an important skill for a journalist to have would be the ability to look at a series of events and pull out a story, whether political in nature, human interest, or some ungodly process story combination of the two. One of them explained that she had left because the constant wealth of awful things people do that people then want to hear about got overwhelming, and the other had simply not found it his “thing”, though he did offer a certain amount of comfort in the highly idealistic view that journalism is the noble pursuit of the truth (which, as far as delusions go, is pleasant enough).

Why You Need to Write

by Stefanie ReichmanStefanie Reichman 05 Feb 2013 02:34

“ Please bind these reports.” These are words I heard frequently when working at a civil engineering firm. At first I thought nothing of it, then I realized that for an engineer, whoever is writing this is writing a lot more than what I thought an engineer normally would. That is when I set out on an office hunt to find the author of these reports. The responsible, was a fellow intern whose job was to compile many different files into one holistic report to be shown to the client. It was interesting to sit and look over the different things that went into these reports from drawings and plans, to pages of explanation on the status of the soil that is the basis of this construction site. This is just one way in which civil engineers use technical writing in their day to day lives. Not to mention that anytime somebody goes on a site they have to document their time, and what they found. All this writing must be extremely clear since at some point it will all be used to piece together the report.

Writing in Engineering (BP1)

by Peter ZupoPeter Zupo 05 Feb 2013 02:29

Right now, my major is electrical engineering. I understand that writing is a very important part of being an engineer, as it is an integral part of communication. When you are an engineer, you must be able to communicate your ideas to your co-workers and bosses. I for one completely believe that writing is extremely important to an engineer so should you. Although I agree with many that writing can sometimes seem monotonous and boring, it is very important for life, especially as an engineer. Carl Selinger had said in his chapter "Writing" from Stuff You Don’t Learn in Engineering School: Skills for Success in the Real World, “The bottom line here: engineers must be able to write effectively. Period” (16). In order to be able to communicate your proposal to others, you need to actually be able to coherently write the proposal down. Without learning to write properly, you will not be able to properly write down what you want to get across. You can then come off as unprofessional, and lose your reputation for your career. It is important to have a reputation as a good writer in the engineering profession, which is sometimes hard to come by. A good engineer will be able to write proposals and communicate his or her ideas and designs to the people he or she needs to present it to. Usually, an engineer will have to present his design to the people that work for him to put his product together through writing. He will need to be able to give step-by-step instructions so that the workers can build his design. Also, he will need to be able to give technical descriptions of his designs through writing proposals to the higher ups in the company.

A Future Engineer's Writing Aspirations (BP1)

by BrianWangBrianWang 05 Feb 2013 02:11

By: Brian Wang

To Convey With Open Accuracy

by Jerome AllasJerome Allas 05 Feb 2013 01:40

One of my first engineering experiences was a workshop for a program called the National Student Leadership Conference at Maryland. Not much writing was required, and I mostly interacted with my teammates in an engineering environment. I soon learned that good communication with my teammates within this environment is key to achieving goals — as it is key in any other environment. My teammates and I — just like engineers — were assigned projects to complete, and we were always within speaking distance of each other. According to my conference leaders, however, engineers heavily rely on writing to convey their messages to other people that may not be in the vicinity — such as superiors or clients.

Let's get Technical

by Eli HochEli Hoch 05 Feb 2013 01:21

Writing in an Engineer's world is used differently than in some other professions. It is used to communicate ideas from either one engineer to another or between an engineer and his client and many other in work relationships. The reason it is different from some other careers is because the writing is meant to effectivly explain the concepts in which you have designed. I used to think that a career in engineering did not involve much writing which was one of the reasons i was interested in it. It scared me to find out that there is a big aspect of writing and if you are not so good at it, it could affect your career. What made me feel better is that the writing involved is very technical and is for the most part trying to tell other people what you have come to find while working on that specific engineering problem. It is not that you have to be creative because there is a format of some sort for each writing that you do and all it involves is getting used to the process.
Engineers must think in many different ways. They have to be creative and insightful while at the same time being realistic, technical and mathematical. This involves much control and sometimes involves working on something that is just and a concept and has not been worked out mathematically. It is not about the elegance of the project but at least in the beginning it is about the practicality of your design or project. This connects to the type of writing that needs to be doneas an engineer. Aesthetics are important sometimesto writing to make things clearer or to just make it more visually appealing but the important part is being pragmatic in engineering writing and explaining in the best words possible what you want to convey to your audience or readers. Engineers should not get lost in the elegance, they should worry about making their point and being logical and practical in the way they do that. As it says in the technical writing book, "technical communication is a process of managing technical information in ways that allow people to take action" (12,Levinsky 2013). This means that the writing is not about emotions or connecting to people, it is about making people take action and push people to do things like investing on your product or hiring you.
I will be honest, my writing has never been something to write home about. I find that when I want to I can get my point across but I find difficulty putting that in a nice elegant manner. I think that my practicality and my creativity can definitly help with engineering writing and being able to follow a formula of writing after practicing it is definitly a skill I have. I do find though the need to work on making my writing (for lack of a better term) "prettier" but I think that is all in the process of doing that type of writing over and over again and eventually getting into a habit of doing the engineering writing process on demand. I think that I can learn these skills with time, patience and practice.

Striving for Efficiency

by Kari AndresenKari Andresen 05 Feb 2013 00:49

The aspects of an engineer’s work can be reflected in the way he writes. For example, engineers aim to make machines more efficient, creating a greater ratio in the amount of work executed to the amount of energy consumed. Analogously, writings by engineers on engineering-related material are ideally concise and meticulous; they produce high quantities of information compacted into the smallest possible amount of content, in other words, creating efficient papers. However, compact content does not mean that some information in the descriptions, methods, observations, results and explanations should be neglected. Doing so would depreciate the quality of the writing. Compact content only means that verbosity should be kept to a minimum while retaining clarity, comprehensiveness and detail. Engineers often work with images—three-dimensional models, product designs and improvements, prototypes, etc. In their writing, it is important to describe the aspects of their work in documentation as thoroughly as possible to ensure that the same results can be obtained in following attempts. Therefore, a picture can be, quite literally, worth a thousand words. The picture itself is also helpful to include.

Engineering the World of Writing

by Sunny AggarwalSunny Aggarwal 05 Feb 2013 00:10

A common misunderstanding among society (especially college graduate students) is that engineers and scientists don’t need writing in their fields. However, many famous scientists and even my own self ridicule such a strong misconception. Aspiring to become a chemical engineer, I believe that writing is the main key skill that engineers need to survive. Communication between each in and every one of them is crucial and just doesn’t happen in thin air as seen from my own experiences. Their inventions and unique thinking into creating masses and masses of impacts in today’s world occur from one major concept: writing.

Give it to Me Straight: Writing Clearly

by SteveEricksonSteveErickson 04 Feb 2013 22:34

After hearing so much from various engineering professors and guest speakers in engineering lectures, I can safely assume that engineering in any capacity involves the solving of problems. Engineers want to solve the problem posed to them in quick, efficient, and reasonable means, and I’m sure they hope to do their job well enough that whatever it is that they are working on doesn’t need to be fixed again anytime in the near future. In essence, I imagine most engineers would have the mindset of getting the job done right the first time.

The Engineering Mindset

by Christina MoawadChristina Moawad 04 Feb 2013 20:47

Growing up with many engineers in my family, I would always hear that “engineers think differently.” To me, this means thinking innovatively to solve problems. Creative ideas particular to the person, solving problems with limited resources and completing projects efficiently are all part of this picture. Engineers carry the mindset of “How can I make this better?” on and off the job. When thinking about this notion, I can best describe it as “un-cookie cutter.” Just as you cannot pinpoint exactly what makes an engineer, it is difficult to say exactly what type of writing they will use in their careers because it will be different for each individual.

Engineering: Step-by-Step

by Nelsyda PerezNelsyda Perez 04 Feb 2013 18:42

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We are already so used to hearing the same idea about the misconceptions of writing and engineering. All engineering majors have heard it. "If you wanted to major in engineering because you thought you wouldn't have to talk or write a lot then you are in for some bad news." Of course, now we are focusing on writing now more than ever, but what does it truly mean to write "like an engineer"? What do engineers write in general. Writing by engineers greatly differs from the writing you compose in English class. How so?

Taking Precise Measures

by Christian SalvatChristian Salvat 04 Feb 2013 17:23

Many people believe that the best way to communicate with someone is through writing and therefore it demonstrates the ability of an individual to be a suitable candidate for the job. To me this is not entirely true. Many individuals have their own way of projecting ideas whether is it by writing or presentation. In my opinion, writing demonstrates another level of communication to other engineers, but this method does not apply to everyone outside the field of engineering. When a group of mechanical engineers introduces an advanced automobile design to the public, indeed it will be very interesting for everyone who sees the functions of this new innovation but it will attract even more the explanation and presentation as opposed for them to read something highly sophisticated that not many will understand. Therefore, presenting and explaining ideas is a strong way to build a bridge of communication between anyone who is involved in the process. I believe in mechanical engineering as specialists in motion (mechanics), based on all the physics that is involve in our projects, would be better to present an idea as oppose to write an idea because it will be very helpful to visualize what will be presented.

Do Engineers Need to Know How to Write?

by Zeyad SalehZeyad Saleh 04 Feb 2013 16:46

By: Zeyad Saleh

Audience Is Key

by Christopher AebigChristopher Aebig 04 Feb 2013 04:38

Having spoken to my dad about working in the field of engineering, I was at first surprised to hear that most jobs in engineering actually have very little hands-on interaction with building machinery. Rather, if you are working for a company, you will most likely have a desk job that requires managing and organizing the production of particular products and their eventual release into the market. In these positions, the ability to write and communicate well with other people in your work environment and even with potential customers is equally as important as knowledge of technical jargon regarding the machinery. For this reason I feel that writing clearly and effectively is one of the important factors for success in the field of engineering.

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