Zupo Fall 2012 Diagnostic

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Posted on 23 May 2013 05:16

“Diagnostic Prompt: Budding 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). I for one completely agree with him and so should you. Although I agree with you that English can sometimes seem monotonous and boring, it is very important for life. You learn how to fine-tune many of the important communication skills that you will use throughout your life, especially as an engineer. Think about this: what if you had to give an entire speech about a design that you have come up with? Who is going to write this speech? If you write it, will it be well written considering you didn’t take any English classes? These are just many reasons why taking English classes is important to an engineer.

In English class, you not only learn how to write properly, but you also learn how to communicate properly. The parts of communication include reading, writing, listening, and speaking. All of these can be applied to engineering very simply. If a customer presents a problem that needs to be solved by an engineer, how are you going to be able to read it without a background in English? Suppose you had to give that speech I mentioned earlier. While you may be able to write it on your own, will it be good enough to get your point across? If not, are you going to have to spend your hard earned money to get someone to write the speech and presentation for you? And then after you get the presentation written down, are you going to be able to deliver this speech well enough to convince people to mass-produce your design? And finally, you definitely have to listen to others. Are you going to be able to take criticisms about your design and work them into a positive light, or are you going to just shun then away and act as if your product is perfect the way it is? Without these communication skills, a career in engineering will probably lead to failure.

English class is more than just reading a book and writing a report about it. These English classes are the basis for communicating in the real world. They teach you how to write properly, which you are going to use for lab reports, convincing others about your product, and many other different writing pieces in your career. They also teach you how to properly communicate with others in speaking. Doing group work in English helps you learn the proper way to communicate with others, because in real life, you never truly work alone. As an engineer, you may be working on a very small part of a very large project; therefore, you will need to work with the other engineers to make your project wholly complete. Many times, you use the different things you have learned in English to just do your job on a daily basis.

English class can sometimes seem like it is a waste of your time. However, that statement could not be more wrong, especially as an engineer. If you are able to use the communication skills that you have learned in English class throughout your career, you will probably lead a career that is very successful. I am sure you have heard of the late Steve Jobs. Everyone remembers him as an engineer because he was always able to give his own presentations and communicate with other people about his designs. So I will end with this, do you want to be the engineer who is remembered because they could communicate their designs with the world? Or do you want to be the one who receives no recognition because they have trouble communicating? I would suggest you choose the first one, and to do that, you need to stay in your English classes.

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