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Conference Proceeding

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When students enter upper-level engineering courses, they may bring with them unclear or inconsistent approaches to writing in engineering. Influenced by their past experiences with writing, students encountering engineering genres such as reports and proposals may struggle to write successfully. They may struggle in part because of the messiness inherent in writing knowledge transfer: a student who successfully completed freshman composition may still be unable to transfer skills, habits of mind, and approaches to writing from that setting to engineering because the rhetorical situations look drastically different. Yancey, Robertson, and Taczak define transfer as a “dynamic rather than a static process, a process of using, adapting, repurposing the old for success in the new,” and they argue that reflection—reflection that allows students to develop metacognition and a robust theory of writing—is integral to transfer. In addition, for learning to take place and successful transfer to occur, students need to recognize what they don’t yet know.

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© 2019, American Society for Engineering Education, Proceedings of ASEE Annual Conference, Tampa, FL.