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Breaking the Rules: Teaching Grammar “Wrong” for the Right Results in Technical Communication Consulting for Engineers

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3 Author(s)
Knievel, M. ; English Dept., Univ. of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, USA ; Heaney, A. ; Van Baalen-Wood, M.

Technical communication consultants steeped in conventional academic notions of writing pedagogy may encounter different assumptions about the nature of writing and the significance of grammar in writing instruction when they consult with professional engineers. This paper examines historical, theoretical, and practical reasons for these sometimes contradictory beliefs and traces the authors' efforts to reconcile these differences while planning and conducting a writing seminar for an engineering firm. A strong emphasis on grammar and mechanics can lead to numerous benefits, including a stronger sense of shared purpose between consultants and engineers and a point of entry into additional conversations about institutional writing practices and writing environments.

Published in:

Professional Communication, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:53 ,  Issue: 1 )