Creating accounts of diverse developmental writing paths within a Colombian major in industrial engineering
Keywords:DISCIPLINARY AND PROFESSIONAL WRITING, ENGINEERING WRITING, GLOBAL WRITING STUDIES
This paper describes developmental writing paths within a Colombian major in Industrial Engineering. The accounts were created through retrospective descriptions of students' writing experiences collected by a qualitative survey and analyzing writing samples. The study shows that writing throughout the major embraces diverse functions (Writing to learn; Writing to apply content knowledge; Writing to research; Writing to communicate ideas), and traces diverse developmental paths (Writing for innovation; Lab writing; Writing for company analysis; Writing for conducting a senior thesis). This analysis also reveals that different types of problems (improving profits in companies or creating new devices) can be treated through different types of genres (research proposals in companies and projects of innovation), despite the fact that the same label (report) is being used by participants to group writing experiences. One of the writing functions in the major that seems overtly identified by the students is conducting a senior thesis. Since there are other writing functions present across the curriculum, further studies and pedagogical debates with faculty members are necessary to define what writing developmental paths are expected from the students and how many curriculum projects (that include explicit teaching on theories of disciplinary writing and genre knowledge) across the curriculum should be undertaken.
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