Lesson 17

Announcements and logistics

  • conference schedule now posted: more dates to come (make requests, please)

Preview of Revision project and Assignment Progression 3

After we meet to discuss your midterm, you will submit a proposal for revising your midterm:
→ plan for revision, including my comments from feedback and conference
→ Due by set date, 4 weeks from end of term
→ includes discussion of publication venue, readership, audience, common content/concerns
→ description of further research to be conducted, if any
→ may be co-written by a pair, either with a combination of two related projects into a single essay or article, or with both authors taking up and deepening the research started in just one person's project

Develop and pursue a research question related to writing in the field of engineering, and answer it using original research (textual, experimental, ethnographic).

  • Design project and name research question
  • Develop a hypothesis and a method for testing it
  • Run tests or experiments
  • Report on findings in a polished formal report
  • Present your findings in a 20-minute audio/visual presentation

Presentation dates: May 7 and 9th
Report due: May 12th

Freebee assignment options

1. Write a field report from a public lecture or seminar featuring actual Engineers speaking about their work or about the field of engineering. In your report, you should narrate what happened at the event, how you engaged with the speaker and the topic (what questions did you ask, or what thoughts did you have), and comment on the ways the speaker used communication skills we've been studying in this class. I encourage you to pull the speaker aside after the event and ask a few interview questions to help provide more concrete data for your report. Also collect or document any material texts the speaker made use of or distributed.

Reports should be at least 600 words

2. Write a film review for a newsletter, Engineering in Culture. The newsletter has two related missions: a) to promote public interest in engineering and raise public awareness of the important work engineers do in society; b) critique inaccurate, stereotyped, or negative representations of scientists and engineers that appear in mainstream media.

Your review should name a particular cultural representation of engineering or a specific engineer, summarize the nature of this representation, and either recommend it or not recommend it for the newsletter's audience. You can set whatever criteria for evaluation that you think is appropriate for this venue.

Reviews should be between 500 and 650 words. Conciseness counts extra in journalism!

3. Write an entry for the RAB solo
Can be on a chapter we read but didn't RAB, or can be on a new text you introduce from your own research (or another class, including docs from engineering contexts that show genre use and discourse cues)

  • Deadline for submitting freebees for extra credit: May 4th

Peer review: Midterm reports

For next time


  • Revise and finalize midterm research reports
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