When the pen is mightier than the paper

Technical writing course sharpens skills by tackling campus waste reduction

Making technical recommendations on sustainability might not be the first thing that comes to mind for an Academic Writing Requirement course. But the engineering and computer science students who enrolled in Suzan Last’s technical writing course this summer did just that—transforming coursework into real-life learning. 

Their class projects gave the students a chance to focus on professional communication competencies needed in their chosen field of study: brevity, clarity and impact. 

As they honed those skills, the students had the opportunity to work with an on-campus educational partner to tackle a substantial environmental issue: plans to reduce the amount of paper products that end up in the landfill. 

From mug-sharing schemes to electronic timers on paper towel dispensers, students in the Department of English class prepared and presented proposals to UVic’s waste reduction manager in June.  

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