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#WednesdayWrite: Writing Superlatives

#WednesdayWrite: Writing Superlatives published on 21 Comments on #WednesdayWrite: Writing Superlatives

This week’s #WednesdayWrite should be fun and easy for everyone. You probably remember yearbook or senior superlatives from your days in high school. In case you didn’t go to high school in the US, let me explain with some examples.

The word superlative means “the highest degree” or “the highest quality.” Grammatically, there are three degrees of comparison: positive, comparative, and superlative. Some examples should remind you how they work:

Positive Comparative Superlative
good better best
warm warmer warmest
likely more likely most likely
fast faster fastest

For yearbook or senior superlatives, the class usually votes on which students fit into specific categories, such as Most Likely to Succeed, Best Dressed, and Smartest.

In this activity, you will focus on the kinds of writing in your field, which you should already have gathered in your Analysis project draft. Copy the list below and paste it into your comment. Add your answers for the items. After you post your answers, read what others have posted and reply, if you like. Note there’s no right or wrong answer here. You’re just sharing your opinion, based on the evidence you have so far.

  1. Your intended career field
  2. Longest kind of document someone in your field writes
  3. Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes
  4. Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes
  5. Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why)
  6. Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why)
  7. Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why)
  8. Biggest surprise about writing in your field
  9. Favorite thing about writing in your field
  10. Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class)

One final note: The remaining major projects focus on kinds of writing in your field, so this activity should help you decide which kind(s) of writing to work on for the rest of the course.

 

 

Photo credit: Stack of papers by Phillip Wong on Flickr, used under a CC-BY 2.0 license.


 

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Katie
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Katie

1. Your intended career field: Software Engineering
2. Longest kind of document someone in your field writes: Code & Comments
3. Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes: Instant Messages
4. Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes: E-mail
5. Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why)
6. Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why): Code repository documentation is challenging to write because it is hard to give an overview of projects you have spent a lot of time on (you become entrenched in the details).
7. Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why): Instant Messages are the easiest to write because they are short and do not really have any level of formality that needs to be upheld (aside from general respect).
8. Biggest surprise about writing in your field: People actually read through the documentation. It’s not just a formality, it’s actually used and needs to be taken seriously.
9. Favorite thing about writing in your field: I really like being able to communicate your ideas about code and a project in so many different mediums.
9. Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class): I love finding Hokies across the country! For my internship this summer I was in San Diego and Boulder, and even all the way across country I found other Hokie students and graduates that I could talk to.

Mariel Jastrebsky
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Mariel Jastrebsky

1. Your intended career field -> food product research and development
2. Longest kind of document someone in your field writes -> final evaluation report
3. Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes ->
4. Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes -> product specification sheet
5. Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why) -> HACCP document because it provides all the key information regarding how the product will be kept biologically, chemically, and microbially safe during the production.
6. Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why) -> Feasibility report because there are many cross-functional teams who need to check if the product can be made. This includes finance, marketing, management, and development teams.
7. Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why) -> Design proposal is the easiest because it solely involves the creative process and not very much technical work.
8. Biggest surprise about writing in your field -> There is a lot more technical language than I thought, and a lot of product research that goes into finding what market you’re trying to tap into.
9. Favorite thing about writing in your field -> I like that it has a mix of the creative side by making new food products, but also being able to incorporate every other aspect such as packaging and food safety into the process.

Katya
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Katya

1. Your intended career field: Software Engineering
2. Longest kind of document someone in your field writes: User Manual
3. Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes: Email/Instant Message
4. Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes: Code
5. Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why): Code is probably the most important because that’s the main purpose of your job as a software engineer. However, aside from code, I think User Manual/Documentation is the most important because that’s what your clients will be interacting with the most in order to use your product. Everyone loves great documentation and tutorials!
6. Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why): Presentations are difficult to write about a software product. You must understand your audience and purpose to provide the correct level of technical details
7. Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why): Emails/IMs are the easiest because they are short, relatively informal, and by the time you’re working you probably have a decent amount of experience writing them
8. Biggest surprise about writing in your field: Sometimes companies will have specific technical writers who work on the large technical documents (usually the ones going to the user base) instead of having the software developers write them. The software developers still collaborate on the information to include, but the technical writers put the information together using the language that’s best for the purpose and audience
9. Favorite thing about writing in your field: I like describing how my code works and helping users understand its uses and capabilities
10. Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class: In my senior year of high school, after I got accepted to Tech, my friends and I went to Kings Dominion. I saw someone with a VT backpack so I yelled ‘Go Hokies’! I was super excited to come here!

Kristina Super
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Kristina Super

1. Your intended career field: Environmental Consulting
2. Longest kind of document someone in your field writes: Standard Operating Procedures
3. Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes: Pollutant Discharge Permits
4. Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes: Field Reports
5. Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why): Standard Operating Procedures; This document consists of the important documentation of steps required to stay within the set of standards that are integral in the data collection process of keeping processes environmentally sound.
6. Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why): Standard Operating Procedures; The assemblage of the document requires much time and observation done in the field.
7. Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why): Performance Reviews; This writing is completely opinion-based on one’s own perspective. It does not require much thought, but what was gathered through observation.
8. Biggest surprise about writing in your field: There are a lot of documents related to my career field that serve many different purposes. Knowing what document to write and implement depends on the goal you are trying to reach within a situation.
9. Favorite thing about writing in your field: In order to prepare any of the kinds of documentation within my field, one must usually go out into the field to obtain the data first. I enjoy gathering data myself by the means of conducting fieldwork.
10. Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class): I have done everything on the Hokie Bucket List, except spend an entire night at the Math Emporium!

Danielle Lehman
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Danielle Lehman

1. Your intended career field: Civil and Environmental Engineering
2. Longest kind of document someone in your field writes: A final report telling about all the findings from a site that we had to observe. Also, includes many photos that capture observations.
3. Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes: An email or a memo
4. Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes: Project Proposals trying to win contracts for the company or AutoCAD/Microstation files
5. Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why): AutoCAD/Microstation files because as a Civil Engineer these are probably the most common type of writing to be done. This is because I am interested in the design aspect, therefore these type files are very important because the construction is based on the dimensions given in this type of writing.
6. Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why): Final reports because you have to be able to mention all of your findings about a certain site. This makes it a little difficult because there might be a lot of little things that you notices that might be wrong with the site, but if you are given a page limit, you have to mention the most important stuff. Also reports might be challenging because if there isn’t a page limit, there is so much writing that has to be done and you have to make sure that it is proofread.
7. Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why): Emails because they are generally super short and directly to the point and this means you don’t have to write pages and pages of information.
8. Biggest surprise about writing in your field: I was surprised that in my field that we have to write a lot of site visit reports when we go into the “field” and have to mention what we observed.
9. Favorite thing about writing in your field: I enjoy performing cost estimates because you are able to break stuff up by unit cost per each item. So you look at a set of plans and what is involved in the plans and then you figure out how much the project will cost. I find this fun because it is like you are solving a puzzle and when you find out how much everything will cost, you feel successful.
10. Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class): One of the football games I made sure that everything I was wearing was Tech related. I wore a Virginia Tech shirt and running shorts, I had a Tech bow in my hair and I even wore my Vans that are maroon and have orange shoe laces. I felt really spirited.

Kimberly
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Kimberly

1. Your intended career field – Construction management
2. Longest kind of document someone in your field writes – Project specifications
3. Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes – Emails or field notes
4. Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes – Emails
5. Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why) – Either contracts because without this document you can’t secure a project and therefore revenue for your company or project specifications because without this information there is no information about product materials or requirements
6. Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why) – Project specifications because they are lengthy documents with an abundance of technical details
7. Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why) – Field notes because they are personal use so you can tailor your writing to best suit your needs
8. Biggest surprise about writing in your field – The vast amount of information that is necessary to complete even the simplest project. Due to the intricacies of all the parts and stages to a construction project there needs to be as much detail as possible to successfully complete the job
9. Favorite thing about writing in your field – While project specifications are long and tedious documents to read, they are all organized in the same way. Projects are broken down into divisions (concrete, masonry, metals, etc.) by the Construction Specifications Institute which allows for information to be easily found.
10. Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class) – At a football game once I was tossed in the air after a Hokie touchdown…42 times to be exact! Or visiting the Hokie stone quarry in Blacksburg and being able to take my very own piece of Hokie stone.

Zachary Cohen
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Zachary Cohen

1. Your intended career field: Geographic Info Systems
2. Longest kind of document someone in your field writes: Final project reports
3. Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes: Emails
4. Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes: Probably emails
5. Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why): Maps (allows people to visualize our work)
6. Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why): Maps (require a lot of data gathering and attention to detail)
7. Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why): Emails (they’re short)
8. Biggest surprise about writing in your field: Never realised there were so many forms of writing in my field.
9. Favorite thing about writing in your field: The amount of visual writing there is in my field (less words, more graphics)
10. Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class): Snuck into Lane Stadium and played football with friends.

Mackenzie Knox
Guest
Mackenzie Knox

Your intended career field: Food Safety

Longest kind of document someone in your field writes: HAACP Plan

Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes: Recalls

Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes: Memos

Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why): HAACP plan because it is the very basics of food safety in any factory and is the reference for what plans to follow

Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why): HAACP Plan because there is a lot of things to consider including chemical, biological, and physical hazards

Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why): Memos because it is intended to short and concise

Biggest surprise about writing in your field: The use of statistical analysis in food safety through a data analysis report

Favorite thing about writing in your field: the subject matter. I get very passionate about food safety.

Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class): I am in the Marching Virginians so every time I have played in Lane stadium

Josh Detwiler
Guest
Josh Detwiler

Your intended career field: Software Engineering
Longest kind of document someone in your field writes: API documentation
Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes: Version control comments
Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes: Email
Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why): Documentation, because it’s crucial to know how to use what we make.
Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why): Code, because it’s a stream of pure logic.
Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why): Version control commenting, because it only takes a few moments to write a short sentence fragment.
Biggest surprise about writing in your field: So many people suck at it — no, really. We’re the worst collective of writers.
Favorite thing about writing in your field: Good documentation is short and expository.
Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class): Walk to Cookout each weekend my Freshman year.

Thomas Ritter
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Thomas Ritter

1. Your intended career field: Actuarial Science

2. Longest kind of document someone in your field writes: Actuarial Report

3. Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes: Emails

4. Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes: Spreadsheet Data

5. Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why): Actuarial Report because it is the final product that gets sent to the client. It is all the findings compiled into one document.

6. Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why): Research Papers, because they require the most intensive work. Instead of using knowledge we already have to solve a problem. We have to discover the methods ourselves.

7. Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why): Emails or memos, because they are short in length and frequent in use.

8. Biggest surprise about writing in your field: How many different types of reports there are.

9. Favorite thing about writing in your field: The subject matter interests me a lot.

10. Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class): Stole Hokie stone my freshman year from when they were building the new dorms for the corps. I got two 30 pound stones and have them in my apartment.

Cassie Bienert
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Cassie Bienert

Your intended career field: medical
Longest kind of document someone in your field writes: scholarly article
Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes: abstract
Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes: patient history write ups and discharge summaries
Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why): patient chart because it needs to give accurate and clear directions on treating the patient. It is life or death
Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why): grant proposal, because you need to explain why your project is worthy of money.
Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why)”: abstract because it is just a summary of what you have already written
Biggest surprise about writing in your field”: doctors will publish articles in popular magazines and they need to dumb it down for the audience
Favorite thing about writing in your field: a lot if it is strictly stating facts and you dont have to worry about getting creative with sentence structure, diction, etc.
Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class): said I like wearing the color orange

Omar Saadeh
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Omar Saadeh

1. Your intended career field: Data Analysis

2. Longest kind of document someone in your field writes: Market Research Report

3. Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes: Email

4. Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes: Comma-separated-value files

5. Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why): Market Research Report since it closes the gap between corporate ambitions and consumer demand

6. Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why): Working with “big data” which is mostly unstructured and trying to find patterns that lead to specific insights.

7. Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why): Emails since they require relatively less effort.

8. Biggest surprise about writing in your field: Analyzing and interpreting data is similar to story-telling (writing skills should be on spot)

9. Favorite thing about writing in your field: Expanding my knowledge in certain fields.

10. Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class): Snuck into the Ohio State game in 2015 and the Clemson game in 2017 without tickets.

Casey
Guest
Casey

1. Your intended career field: enterprise software engineering

2. Longest kind of document someone in your field writes: use case document (often hundreds or thousands of pages)

3. Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes: commit message (often less than 50 characters)

4. Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes: commit message (several hundred per day)

5. Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why): vision; without it, there is no project

6. Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why): business case; most software projects are probably not worth investing in so it’s hard to argue that they should be

7. Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why): wiki page; it’s low-stakes so somewhat lower quality is more acceptable

8. Biggest surprise about writing in your field: software engineering is purportedly about coding but I write vastly more than I code.

9. Favorite thing about writing in your field: it requires precision, which I find the most natural way to write

10. Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class): I have a Virginia Tech door mat which I inherited from a previous roommate and only kept because I didn’t want to spend money on a different one. I actually have moral objections to strong tribal identities like this and try to avoid it as much as possible.

Caed Cunningham
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Caed Cunningham

Hi! My intended career field is Civil Engineering

Longest kind of document someone in your field writes –> Depends, likely reports or proposals.
Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes –> E-mail or abstract.
Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes –> E-mail.
Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why) –> Designs and calculation are most important as they are integral and end up becoming the tangible final project.
Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why) –> Depends, I’m guessing white papers because they require so much research and thoroughness.
Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why) –> Invoices, simple list of what to bill a client!
Biggest surprise about writing in your field –> How much of the job entails writing!
Favorite thing about writing in your field –> Its all very clear and practical communication about a tangible subject.
Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class) –> Volunteered to hand out recycling bags at VT football tailgates!

Thanks!

Caed

Rachel Cannon
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Rachel Cannon

1. Your intended career field => Civil and Environmental Engineering
2. Longest kind of document someone in your field writes => site assessment reports that detail all features of site, environmental contamination, wetlands, parcel boundaries, topography, etc.
2. Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes => memos
3. Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes => emails
4. Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why) => proposals because they are how companies get bids for projects based on the proposed solution and budget
5. Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why) => construction general conditions because the scope of the project must be clearly defined so that there is no confusion between the owner, architect, engineer, builder, and other parties involved in project.
6. Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why) => CAD drawings because the writing is just labels and descriptions for the maps and images.
7. Biggest surprise about writing in your field => how many different types of writing there is in the field
8. Favorite thing about writing in your field => I enjoy being able to convey image graphically and format data so it can be easily understood.
9. Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class) => jumping to enter sandman before taking exams

shuai liu
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shuai liu

1. Your intended career field: Data analysis
2. Longest kind of document someone in your field writes: research paper
3. Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes: Messages with one word
4. Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes: emails
5. Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why) research paper because i have to write ideas, logic, and all those need to be precise.
6. Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why): research paper because all the data I need it’s base on the tests, i have to record almost everything.
7. Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why): journal, just for recording what i did for the day .
8. Biggest surprise about writing in your field: people had the same thought like mine.
9. Favorite thing about writing in your field: Project analysis, because this is the time i can brainstorm a lot of ideas.

Mark Marut
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Mark Marut

1. Your intended career field: Chemical Engineering
2. Longest kind of document someone in your field writes: Either process/user manuals or technical full fledged reports on operations of equipment.
3. Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes: E-mails, and daily/weekly progress reports.
4. Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes: Daily reports to ensure safety requirements and equipment is working properly.
5. Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why): I would say project proposals, because these are the initial papers that get a project started, and cannot be too long or short, and will get shut down a lot of the time, but it’s how the engineering department keeps moving forward.
6. Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why): Probably technical reports and user reports, because these need to be in depth about every single piece of equipment that is being used, from predictions on what will happen, to what actually happens, and what could go wrong, and how different environments will affect the equipment.
7. Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why): Emails, because these are short and to the point, and can be facilitated anywhere, without much editing needed.
8. Biggest surprise about writing in your field: Not much room for creative writing.
9. Favorite thing about writing in your field: It covers all the basis in technical writing, because handling and operating equipment that costs hundreds or thousands of dollars requires a tremendous attention to detail.
10. Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class): Haven’t missed a chicken parm day yet.

Jeremy C.
Guest
Jeremy C.

Your intended career field
Computer Science

Longest kind of document someone in your field writes
Documentation

Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes
Code Comments

Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes
Commit Messages (Short text that accompanies small code changes)

Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why)
Code comments because it really does help other co-workers understand the logic behind your work.

Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why)
Documentation. It is a challenge to write good documentation that concisely describes the functionality of a service.

Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why)
Slack message. It is a casual form of writing that does not take much cognitive effort.

Biggest surprise about writing in your field
More prevalent than I originally thought.

Favorite thing about writing in your field
Often very short, but feels important.

Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class):
Yell ‘go hokies!’ when running into alumnus around the country.

Ashleigh Griffin
Guest
Ashleigh Griffin

Your intended career field: Oral History
Longest kind of document someone in your field writes: Transcripts
Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes: Emails
Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes: Transcripts or outlines/interview questions
Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why): IRB Proposals; they are what the IRB uses to assess a project to determine whether it is within the safety guidelines when working with human subjects.
Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why): Transcripts/Subject Index; they are long and take a lot of time to do as you have to listen to the interview and write word for word what is being said and any noises or side comments that are made. There may also be information within the transcript that can’t be included for third party privacy so the editing process can be tedious. Time stamps for transitions must be included and important subjects added to the index along with information on where to find that subject in interviews.
Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why): Advertisement; generally a flyer or facebook event or small packet of information doesn’t take long to put together and can be reused or revised for other uses.
Biggest surprise about writing in your field: Not much if I’m honest, maybe that IRB proposals are so involved because I thought that they were maybe a two or three page document where as the one for the project I work with is 11 pages long.
Favorite thing about writing in your field: You get to explore different topics that aren’t talked about or are only shown in one perspective. Getting to share stories and new information to people is exciting.
Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class): I put VT stickers on my cars (and I hate putting any typs of decals or stickers on my cars)

Khang Lieu
Guest
Khang Lieu

Your intended career field: Software Engineer
Longest kind of document someone in your field writes: User manuals (Which are boring to write too)
Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes: Instant messages (Slack)
Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes: Code comments
Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why): Code comments, because they explain how each part of the code works for future contributors. Without them, other people can’t improve the code since they can’t understand parts of it.
Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why): Technical data sheets, the format has to be easy to read and the information cannot have any errors (The parts might be used in life or death situations such as space shuttles, airplanes, cars, etc.
Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why): Instant messages, quick and easy
Biggest surprise about writing in your field: I didn’t realize that my field would include as much writing as it does
Favorite thing about writing in your field: I like explaining how all the code fits together
Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class): Talking to alumni I meet about Tech at my part time job in D.C.

Clement Boateng
Guest
Clement Boateng

Your intended career field – Civil Engineering

Longest kind of document someone in your field writes – Project Development Plan

Shortest kind of document someone in your field writes – Technical Memorandum

Most frequent kind of document someone in your field writes – Site Visit Reports

Most important kind of document someone in your field writes (and why) – Site Visit Reports and Bridge Inspection Reports ( It is important to document the current situation of various sites because that is what decisions are based on).

Most difficult/challenging kind of writing in your field (and why) – Project Development Plan (It can be very lengthy depending on the type of project. All information relating to the proposed project has to be gathered as well before it can be written).

Easiest kind of writing in your field (and why) – Memo (It is usually one or two pages long. It does not require research. It is just a general idea about a project or experiment).

Biggest surprise about writing in your field – I thought civil Engineering was all about calculations and not writing.

Favorite thing about writing in your field – One gets to communicate technical information using good writing skills.

Hokiest thing you have done (that you can talk about in class) – Paying extra $50 on my car car registration to get the VT number plate instead of a regular number plate.

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