ERIC Number: ED373349
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Role-Playing as Critical Thinking in the Technical Writing Classroom.
Given the affective dimension of writing in the workplace, assignments based on casebook scenarios have definite advantages in a technical or professional writing course. An English professor surveyed faculty in the Schools of Business and Education at Rider College prior to revising a course in technical writing. A majority of faculty, when asked to identify weaknesses in their students' writing, mentioned problems with coherence, logical progression, understanding the question, and ability to isolate essential points in the assignment. The faculty also often asked students to assume roles in their written work, but generally did not provide instruction in how to do so or in how to define an audience. Recent explorations of the meaning of "technical" writing lend credibility to the idea that inquiry based on procedural knowledge for the purpose of transforming a set of data into a "useful" document is much more the essence of technical writing than lists of forms and formats in technical writing textbooks. An example of a casebook scenario involved students writing a letter to a professor concerning an unenthusiastic letter of recommendation. Women in the class placed more importance on maintaining a cordial relationship, while men were willing to sacrifice a conciliatory tone to set the record straight. The process of revision required that the students envision themselves in a relationship with the reader that was somewhat different from the one they had initially imagined. (Contains 35 references and a sample letter to the professor.) (RS)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Rider College NJ
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (45th, Nashville, TN, March 16-19, 1994).