Writing Skills for Engineering

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Credits
6
Types
Elective
Requirements
This subject has not requirements, but it has got previous capacities
Department
THATC
This course aims to help students to develop their writing skills to write academic and professional documents in English at B2 level of the Common European Framework (CEF). The course will provide students with resources to improve writing skills to prepare effective written documents and to communicate with peers using written online communication. The course focuses on participants' skills to plan a document according to a defined communicative situation, write a draft and revise the draft, achieving an efficient document. Emphasis is placed on developing students' fluency, accuracy and appropriateness in English to produce different kinds of documents for academic and professional purposes.

Teachers

Person in charge

  • Antonia Soler Cervera ( )

Others

  • Maria del Carme Bordera Perez ( )

Weekly hours

Theory
2
Problems
2
Laboratory
0
Guided learning
0.4
Autonomous learning
5.6

Competences

Transversal Competences

Third language

  • G3 [Avaluable] - To know the English language in a correct oral and written level, and accordingly to the needs of the graduates in Informatics Engineering. Capacity to work in a multidisciplinary group and in a multi-language environment and to communicate, orally and in a written way, knowledge, procedures, results and ideas related to the technical informatics engineer profession.
    • G3.3 - To conduct an oral presentation in English and answer questions from the audience. To work effectively in an international context, communicating orally in English with people of different nationalities.

Objectives

  1. To recognize written genres in English in academic and professional contexts
    Related competences: G3.3,
  2. To read, understand and interpret written documentation in computer engineering
    Related competences: G3.3,
  3. To plan and organize a text for a given communicative situation, using a plan sheet and an appropriate strategy
    Related competences: G3.3,
  4. To manage information effectively to write an outline for a written document
    Related competences: G3.3,
  5. To draft a document using writing techniques to construct paragraphs and to structure a text
    Related competences: G3.3,
  6. To write academic and professional documents in the field of computer engineering: technical report, academic essay, technical documentation
    Related competences: G3.3,
  7. To revise a draft both individually and in collaboration, reflecting on appropriateness and efficiency in a given communicative situation
    Related competences: G3.3,
  8. To communicate correctly and appropriately in English in different types of written genres
    Related competences: G3.3,
  9. To develop autonomous learning skills and keep on practicing writing skills using resources and strategies practised in the course (online resources, portfolio)
    Related competences: G3.3,
  10. To understand and apply the principles of academic communication in engineering
    Related competences: G3.3,

Contents

  1. Resources for academic and professional writing
    Use of online grammars, dictionaries and web-based materials for writing. Online communication in English
  2. Fundamentals of technical writing in academic and professional settings
    Problem-solving and genre. Basic elements of technical writing: purpose, audience, tone and style. Writing as a process. Types of discourse
  3. The writing process (I): Planning technical documents
    A plan sheet for a technical document. Gathering information. Avoiding plagiarism. Writing an outline
  4. The writing process (II): Drafting technical documents
    Paragraph structure and coherence. Patterns of organization. Text structure and design. Transition signals.
  5. The writing process (III): Revising and editing technical documents
    Revising content and organization. Revising language correctness and appropriateness. Revising style.
  6. Types of documents for professional and academic communication in engineering
    Online writing: netiquette and e-mail communication. Report writing, correspondence and CVs for academic and professional applications. Technical documentation.

Activities

Activity Evaluation act


Using online resources for academic and professional writing

Exploring web-based materials for writing. Practice in selecting and using online resources
Objectives: 9
Contents:
Theory
4h
Problems
4h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
2h
Autonomous learning
6h

Understanding the principles of technical communication

Becoming familiar with problem-solving approaches for communicative purposes and genre. Analyzing different examples of technical documents and the general communicative strategy used
Objectives: 10 1 2
Contents:
Theory
4h
Problems
4h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
10h

Constructing a technical text following the writing process. Planning a text

Analyzing the communicative situation. Practice in selecting and managing technical information from written sources. Avoiding plagiarism. Exploring organizational patterns. Developing an outline for an academic essay. Practice in collaborative writing
Objectives: 2 3 4
Contents:
Theory
5h
Problems
5h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
12h

Drafting technical documents

Practice in paragraph writing. Recognizing the structure of essays. Using patterns of organization. Practice in essay development. Practice in coherence and cohesion. Drafting an essay
Objectives: 5 6
Contents:
Theory
6h
Problems
5h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
12h

Mid-term test

Recognizing fundamental aspects of technical writing. Constructing a technical text, applying process writing techniques. Writing a paragraph
Objectives: 10 1 2 3 5
Week: 9
Type: problems exam
Theory
0h
Problems
2h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
8h

Revising and editing technical documents

Practice in revising content and organization according to the defined situation. Revising for language correctness (grammar, syntax and vocabulary). Revising punctuation. Practice in collaborative writing and peer review. Revising an essay
Objectives: 7 8
Contents:
Theory
4h
Problems
4h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
11h

Analyzing the features of different technical documents

Practice in recognizing document layout: technical reports, the degree thesis, the covering letter, the CV and technical documentation. Analyzing the communicative strategy in different genres according to their purpose and intended audience. Planning a technical report
Objectives: 1 2 6
Contents:
Theory
4h
Problems
4h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
11h

Applying for a job / a grant

Writing a covering letter and a CV for a job / academic application
Objectives: 5 6 7
Contents:
Theory
3h
Problems
2h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
2h
Autonomous learning
6h

End-term test


Objectives: 10 1 2 5 6 7 8
Week: 15
Type: problems exam
Theory
0h
Problems
2h
Laboratory
0h
Guided learning
0h
Autonomous learning
8h

Teaching methodology

Class session combine content presentation by teacher, extensive practice and students' participation. Students' participation and involvement are critical for the development of course activities
The work on the course contents is based on the development of projects and tasks.
The activities are based on problem-solving tasks with practical exercises and analysis of samples

Evaluation methodology

Course assessment is based on continuous assessment tasks (course assignments and class participation) and written tests with the following percentages:

-Course assignments. Practical assignments based on the different contents of the course: 15%. These assignments will be done either in class or as homework.
-Course project Written document: 20%.
-Class participation: Students are expected to complete activities and tasks and bring their answers to class for discussion. They are also expected to work in collaboration with others: 5%
-Mid-term test: 30%
-End-term test: 30%

Students need to complete all the continuous assessment tasks in order to cover all the contents of the course and successfully perform in the exams.
Students will not get a participation mark if they do not attend a minimum of 50% of the course sessions.

Bibliography

Basic:

  • Technical writing: a guide for effective communication - Bombardó, C.; Aguilar, M.; Barahona, C, Edicions UPC, 2007. ISBN: 9788483019276
    http://cataleg.upc.edu/record=b1314489~S1*cat
  • Types of documents for academic and professional communication - Secció d'Anglès (UPC), CPET, 2012.

Complementary:

Web links

  • "Quantum LEAP: Learning English for Academic Purposes". A virtual environment to practise academic English. http://www.quantumleap.cat

Previous capacities

In order to carry out academic and professional activities in English, students are recommended to have acquired B1 level of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEF) or higher.

Addendum

Contents

No s'han introduït canvis significatius als continguts.

Teaching methodology

S'ha establert un 40-50% de sessions presencials. Aquestes sessions poden cobrir una petita part de teoria, tot i que estaran dedicades a la part pràctica principalment. Es concentraran sessions presencials per cobrir els continguts que requereixen més interacció i feedback immediat entre els participants. La resta de les sessions (60-40%) seran no presencials i seran principalment síncrones (Google Meet, per exemple). Es dedicaran a realitzar activitats (teoria o pràctica) per reforçar les habilitats i les tècniques d'escriptura que es posen en pràctica, i per ajudar a realitzar totes les activitats avaluables. En general, l'assistència a les classes és fonamental per la correcta realització de totes les activitats del curs.

Evaluation methodology

Es mantenen els actes d'avaluació que figuren en aquesta guia, però s'han modificat lleugerament els percentatges sobre la nota final - Primer examen parcial del curs (presencial): 30% - Segon examen parcial del curs (presencial): 25% - Treballs de curs: 15% - Projecte del curs: 20% - Participació a classe i lliuraments d'activitats de classe: 10%

Contingency plan

Metodologia docent. Si la situació ho requereix, la metodologia s'implementarà en mode online per la totalitat de les sessions. La interacció a les classes presencials s'adaptarà a mode no presencial amb les eines de què disposem pel treball online: - ús d'Atenea per facilitar l'accés al material (apunts, materials externs, solucions d'exercicis) i lliurament de treballs. - ús de videoconferència per les classes de teoria - ús de fòrums i videoconferència per la resolució de dubtes Mètode d'avaluació. Els exàmens (primer parcial i segon parcial) es programaran en mode presencial inicialment. Si la situació sanitària ho requereix, els exàmens es realitzaran en mode no presencial i consistiran en: (a) activitats lliurades a Atenea, i (b) prova realitzada de manera síncrona (a Google Meet, per exemple). Els treballs de curs, el projecte del curs i els lliuraments de classe (tots avaluables) també s'adaptaran a mode no presencial si és necessari i totes les seves parts seran lliurades a través d'Atenea.