The Purdue OWL recently created this helpful resource for incorporating writing instruction into engineering classrooms, which may be useful for engineering instructors and teaching assistants. Created with support from the National Science Foundation's Research Initiation Grant in Engineering Education (RIGEE), these resources are designed with two purposes. The first is to support students in developing their writing skills; the second, to help students understand engineering concepts through writing exercises. With these dual aims in mind, this collection highlights six kinds of writing prompts that instructors might use with engineering students. These consist of conceptual writing prompts aimed at asking students to explain engineering concepts, such as fluid mechanics, in writing. Others include explain-a-problem writing prompts, which are designed to accompany engineering computational problems; how stuff works writing prompts (one example: "Explain how the gears of a bicycle work? What is changing when you change gears?"); real-world example writing prompts; design-a-problem writing prompts; and open-ended design writing prompts (one example: "Design a viewing platform that hangs over the Grand Canyon.").
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