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ERIC Number: EJ914225
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0047-2816
Expressive/Exploratory Technical Writing (XTW) in Engineering: Shifting the Technical Writing Curriculum
Warnock, Scott; Kahn, Michael
Journal of Technical Writing and Communication, v37 n1 p37-57 2007
While the importance of "expressive writing," or informal, self-directed writing, has been well established, teachers underutilize it, particularly in technical writing courses. We introduce the term expressive/exploratory technical writing (XTW), which is the use of informal, self-directed writing to problem-solve in technical fields. We describe how engineering students resist writing, despite decades of research showing its importance to their careers, and we suggest that such resistance may be because most students only see writing as an audience-driven performance and thus incompletely understand the link between writing and thinking. The treatment of invention in rhetorical history supports their view. We describe two examples of using XTW in software engineering to plan programming tasks. We conclude by discussing how a systematic use of XTW could shift the technical writing curriculum, imbuing the curriculum with writing and helping students see how to problem-solve using natural language.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A