Looking Back and Moving Forward: Reflecting on Writing for Engineering

Hello everyone, my name is Kevin Wang and I’m a freshman studying at City College. I was born in New York, but lived in China for a while when I was younger. I used to want to major in computer science, but have changed to electrical engineering, as I’ve always thought being able to create technology like robots and planes was cool. My pronouns are he/him, and I speak both Mandarin and English. Outside of academics, I enjoy exploring my interests. Martial arts is a passion of mine, introduced to me from watching combat sports. I enjoy watching fights, particularly from the UFC, and I’ll try to integrate moves I see in them into my own training. As of now, I’m doing Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai. I also enjoy good movies and books, especially thrillers and mysteries. “No Country for Old Men” is one of my favorite films because of its thrilling storyline and packed action, and my favorite book is “And Then There Were None”, by Agatha Christie, because of how suspenseful the story is. My main problem in writing is that I have a hard time starting, and I never seem to know what to write about, even if the instructions are given. This causes me to to ramble on about a lot of nothing, which I end up deleting after reviewing. Lots of the time, I just end up repeating this until I have to rush the due date. However, I plan on improving this during my time in this course, and hope I’ll have this solved by the end of the semester.

My first assignment, which was creating a resume and cover letter, was a learning moment for me. While I already had a pre-existing resume, it wasn’t any good and didn’t reflect my work experiences and skills effectively. This assignment forced me to revise it, and after multiple drafts, helped showcase my qualifications and capabilities in a more professional manner. I added insightful words, easier to read fonts, and a better layout. As for the cover letter, it would be my first time writing something like this. It helped me when I thought of it as a professor writing a letter of recommendation, stating all the students strengths in hopes of making them look better. In the cover letter, I addressed the hiring manager nicely, stated my motivations for joining, and my qualifications, using words that aligned with ones on their website. Although I never got hired, this experience provided me with valuable lessons on presenting myself to future employers.

The first major paper in this course was the lab report on dice rolling probability. In this paper, I rolled two six-sided dice to find out which number sum appeared most. I found this experiment very enjoyable, and had fun doing it. The thing I liked most was the process of collecting data and conducting the experiment, which allowed me to see the concepts of probability happen in real time. This helped keep me interested in writing the report, and helped me understand probability much better. This paper also taught me how to navigate and utilize online resources better too, like finding and accessing peer-reviewed articles related to my report through City College’s online library, which enhanced my information literacy skills. Personally, I didn’t dislike or struggle much doing this lab report, only making some grammar mistakes. Overall, doing this lab report was fun for a change and was interesting to learn about.

In the group proposal for student centers, I was fortunate enough to work with collaborative and communicative teammates. We chatted with each other often through iMessage and Discord, which was both easy to setup and use. Everyone was always on time to meet, and we never had any issues related to meeting up. In the proposal, everyone was tasked with specific jobs, mine writing the introduction, comparing peer-reviewed articles, and summarizing studies that backed up our claims. We made sure the proposal would resonate with our audience, making clear the reasons and purpose behind our ideas. After we all completed our part in the proposal, each of us peer-reviewed a teammates part, making sure there was no error on their end. We also practiced presenting the proposal with each other, talking as if it was in class. This project was overall a great experience, and allowed me to meet classmates who were helpful and understanding. Thanks to them, doing the proposal was bearable and fun to do.

For my technical description poster, I focused on transistors. I had to do a lot of reading and research, as transistors were such a wide topic. I had a hard time even figuring out the type of transistor I wanted to talk about, as there were so many. In the end, I ended up choosing the field-effect transistor(FET), mostly at random. In my poster, I synthesized information from various sources in order to give a detailed overview of FETs, like their functions and build. After I decided on the transistor I wanted to write about, finding information on it was easy. However, since there was limited space on the poster, I had to change the paragraphs of information online into just a few sentences, while maintaining all the important information. This was hard to do, and took me hours of revising. I also used technology like Blackboard to watch previous sessions from the Writing for Engineering course, to get ideas for my own poster. Thanks to previous presenters, I learned how to convey all my essential points into just a couple sentences, and also the proper way to cite sources(APA style). The technical description was by far the hardest out of all these assignments, but it also rewarded me with knowledge I’d need for the future, especially when transistors will be talked about in my future classes.

My journey in the Writing for Engineering class has been challenging but worthwhile. Every assignment given to me has taught me new things, and helped me grow. This course has sharpened my skills in research, analysis, and presentation. My communication and teamwork skills have heavily improved, and have deepened my understanding of what good writing really is. My writing problem I had at the start of the course has also gotten better, as I now do drafts before my actual writing. While there are still things I can improve on, that’s now one less problem to worry about. As I keep going further in my college journey, I will continue using the knowledge gained from this course, and push through future challenges with what I’ve learned here. Writing for Engineering has helped me develop a deep understanding of writing concepts, and has given me valuable skills I’ll use for the rest of my life.

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