ERIC Number: ED244288
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Technical Writing and Science Writing: Is There a Difference and What Does It Matter?
In order to help science students communicate more effectively with people outside their field, a two-semester technical writing course was developed with an emphasis on thinking rather than on blind adherence to the rules and forms of technical writing. The initial test group was composed of freshman science majors with exceptional writing ability. After initial writing assignments revealed that the students' writing--both general and technical--was in most cases very formative and that the students held odd notions about how to write technical essays, an informal questionnaire was issued to discover student ideas about the nature of technical writing. Data revealed that students differentiated between technical and science writing, the former being done by scientists for their peers, the latter being done for a general audience. Several teaching exercises were used effectively to have students begin to understand that technical writing is not undifferentiated--it has more and less technical forms--and that, in order to communicate information clearly and directly, many of the same conventions used in general science writing may apply. (Two complete student exercises, an attitude questionnaire, and a course description are included in the paper.) (CRH)
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (35th, New York City, NY, March 29-31, 1984).