ERIC Number: ED217489
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
The Computer Kids and Composition.
Arms, Valarie M.
Technical writing instructors at Drexel University (Pennsylvania) use computers to excite students about something they usually regard as a chore. Most of the students are engineering majors, but do not necessarily know how to use a computer. However, they accept the necessity of following a logical set of commands, and that every program must be "debugged." The course makes revision as integral to writing as debugging is to programing. The course still emphasizes attention to audience and use of visuals, as well as rhetoric, but access to a word processing lab encourages students to revise and make corrections on a screen that they might be reluctant to make on a typewritten page. The system also has an automated dictionary, that seeks out misspelled words in the text. The software automatically sets up document formats so students need not be concerned with margins, tabs, centering, or the psychological defeat of a blank page. In a traditional class, students find themselves spending so much time recopying some parts of their papers that they have little motivation to critically read and revise what they have written. For engineering students who typically write weekly lab reports, progress reports, or proposals, updated versions can be generated by the word processing program without rewriting the whole report, and documentation for research projects can be stored, and arranged in a variety of ways. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (33rd, San Francisco, CA, March 18-20, 1982).