ERIC Number: ED198550
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
What's Difficult about Teaching Technical Writing.
Dobrin, David N.
A teacher is likely to encounter three kinds of difficulty with technical writing instruction. The first is transitory difficulty, which a teacher may reasonably expect to overcome with practice. This is the difficulty a teacher may have in learning a new curriculum or the needs of a new group of students, in making up and grading assignments, and in gaining a feel for the technical style. Continuing difficulty is a problem a writing teacher may not expect to overcome, although teachers from other disciplines have. For example, a technical writing teacher may have difficulty evaluating a report from an unfamiliar subject area such as science or engineering, whereas teachers from those disciplines are better able to evaluate the content of such papers. To tell students to write for the writing teacher is poor teaching, but telling them to produce work that the teacher is likely to misjudge or mishandle is also unwise. This kind of situation lends itself to team evaluation of highly technical papers. The third kind of difficulty is inherent, and is one that no one can overcome. It is the temporary nature of the quality of technical writing and the constantly changing body of technology it represents. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Modern Language Association of American (95th, Houston, TX, December 27-30, 1980).