ERIC Number: ED028740
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Feb
Reference Count: 0
A Project to Determine the Proper Placement of Composition Courses within Engineering Curriculum. Final Report
Williams, Juanita H.
There has been a suspicion among college English teachers that the writing skills of engineering and science students deteriorate between the time they complete Freshman English and the time they graduate. To test the validity of this hypothesis, 5 groups comprising 361 subjects (72 freshmen, 70 sophomores, 71 juniors, 74 seniors, and 74 technical writing students) at Iowa State University were tested. Each group took 2 free response essay tests and 1 objective test. Scores showed no significant differences in the writing abilities of all 5 groups. A regression analysis was performed to discover the interrelationship of all variables, including earlier test scores, Freshman English grade averages, high school rank, curriculum, and the sequence in which the tests were taken. Correlation between the composite scores and MSAT and ACT total scores was higher than the correlation between composite scores and Freshman English grade averages or the English Placement score. It was inferred that engineering and science students maintain their writing ability between completion of Freshman English and graduation. Because graduate engineers and scientists need very specific writing skills, a senior course should be instituted that is devoted to teaching technical writing and the translation of quantitative thinking and scientific procedures into coherent prose. (Author/JS)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC. Bureau of Research.
Authoring Institution: Iowa State Univ. of Science and Technology, Ames.