Jack Selzer, "The Composing Process of an Engineer"

Blog » Jack Selzer, "The Composing Process of an Engineer"

Posted on 18 Apr 2013 19:25

In Jack’s piece “The Composing Process of an Engineer.” He introduced and analyzed the composing procedure of a single engineer. His subject is an experienced engineer in Chicago named Kenneth E. Nelson. Nelson’s writing style is very different or typical from others. Jack’s writing study methodology is qualitative study and he compared Nelson’s context with normal engineers’ writings. In addition, the piece’s object of study is an example of engineering in professional contexts.

Jack distributed his essay into three sections which are procedure, results, and conclusions. In procedure, He gave a brief introduction of Nelson’s writing organization and thinking. It’s followed by the results. Jack divided results into planning and inventing, arrangement, drafting, and revision. Each section has its own content and examples as support. Sum up these subheadings, Jack was trying to express how Nelson’s writing style works efficiently even it seems strange to most of us. Through his essay, we can see Nelson is a brilliant and diligent engineer who did most work which should be done by a group. In the last part conclusions, Jack discussed Nelson’s organization and compared it with others. As a result, he recommended technical writers should develop own and diverse styles that suit in different composing situations.

Jack’s methodology was qualitative study which aims to reveal something about written products, genres, or style using examples. He analyzed multiple contexts based on Nelson’s genres. For instance, “according to the tape-recorded comments, Nelson has a clearly persuasive aim when he writes proposals and recommendations (page 180).” Jack used example to indicate Nelson’s style and then he analyzed it. In addition, Jack also gave many other examples for each section of Nelson’s report and he compared Nelson’s with normal writings. Thus, it’s obvious that Jack was trying to reveal something about genres or style of someone.

Nelson’s style is typical and special. Through the essay, Jack was trying to discover Nelson’s working process and the reasons Nelson did his work so efficiently. As Jack mentioned, Nelson could finish a report just in two hours. He did not only just express how brilliant Nelson was but also illuminate and suggest people should follow Nelson’s steps. For instance, “Nelson believes that most reports and proposals contain far much material, he concisely tries to let rhetorical considerations determine what he will include (page181).” Actually Jack agrees with Nelson. He recommended the style as the trends and development of writings for technical writers.

My writing study research project focused on qualitative study and my object is engineers who work in academia. I chose advisors in civil department to start my project. Most of them are professors and teach in our college. I want to compare their class notes and teaching style as time changed. Technology using and personal characteristics can be considered as main factors. Thus, Jack’s piece is obviously helpful to me. I can follow his steps such as distributing the essay into procedure, results, and conclusions. In addition, specific examples are necessary and imperative.

In conclusion, Jack’s essay is a proper example of qualitative study. The subject he chose is also appropriate. Nelson’s personal style can be considered as a new style of technical writing. It’s logical and efficient. My own writing study research project also suits qualitative study. Thus, Jack’s piece is an excellent example for me to develop my essay.

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