Essays and Reports: What is the difference?
This caught my eye today–we’re all watching Sandy, but luckily most of the information out there is more direct and simple than this! Maybe we can try rewriting it in class next week.
You will need two books for this course:
Links to other readings will be posted on this page in reverse chronological order–so the reading for the next class should be the first one you see below!
Please carefully read this for our class on October 17.
Consider this quote from Carolyn R. Miller’s “A Humanistic Rationale for Technical Writing”:
“If the subject matter of science (bits of reality, inartistic proofs) exists independently, the scientist’s duty is but to observe clearly and transmit faithfully. The whole idea of invention is heresy to positivist science–science does not invent, it discovers. Form and style become techniques for increasingly accurate transmission of logical processes or of sensory observations; consequently, we teach recipes for the description of mechanism, the description of process, classification, and interpretation. … If we take this approach to form and style very seriously, there is not very much to teach in a technical writing class.”
On Sept 19, we are going to look at Stephen Jay Gould’s classic article “Size and Shape” together in class, along with an excerpt from Natalie Angier’s book The Canon. We are going to compare and contrast it with some examples of muddled and jargon-laden writing. We will consider how science and technical writing employ rhetoric and style to communicate and make an impression on readers.
We will also consider What Is Writing?