Engineering student resume sample



Research on college writing reveal that understand and produce texts is an issue that needs to be rethought from several looks. including teaching. The purpose of this article is to describe the experience of writing summaries of research papers of students of Mechanical Engineering, based on the comparison of versions of a summary, on the lines of analysis the canonical structure of scientific articles and strategies used by students to prepare the text. The results show that writing a genre, in this case the summary, for a semester is a learning experience about one's gender and discursive conventions of the discipline that students value positively. Also reflect on own productions and the resignifica pairs for students the task of writing.

Keywords: Summary, research papers, academic writing.

Writing abstracts With engineering students


Writing at the University reveals That the understanding and production of texts is an issue That needs rethinking from the perspective of teaching. The aim of This work is to describe an experience in writing abstracts of research articles of Mechanic Engineering With students. To do so, we Carried out action-research in Which We Gathered different versions of the texts produced by the students. We Also Interviewed them in relation to the process They Had Undertaken. The results show That the writing of a genre During one semester is a learning experience About the genre itself and of the discursive conventions of the discipline, the students highly value Which. Also, reflection upon Their Own production, and That of Their peers, transform the meaning of the handle They That writing task.

Key words: learning, action research, academic writing.


Writing in academia put in relation what students read and write, almost always, depending on what teachers request, for this reason it is ?? required to redefine what is at stake when students face to understand [ and produce] the texts proposed college ?? (Carlino, 2003, p.17). From that idea research they have shown that writing exceeds the mere knowledge of the   written code or ?? put words on paper and try not to make spelling mistakes, or explain anything but letters and words on paper, that sound good ?? (Castelló, 2007, p. 147) because e riting is a complex and contextualized process. In the academic community responds to a hearing, which, in most cases, are specialists; It requires a specialized discourse; It has a purpose and serves a specific discursive conventions (Cassany, 2006; Swales, 1990).

Camps (2007) notes that ?? one of the most obvious challenges to which we must respond in universities is to equip our students with the knowledge and tools needed to communicate in scientific contexts ?? (P.13), so the writing practices in these areas should be included not only as a content of a particular subject, but as a process of development of knowledge to enable students to be participants in the scientific communities that they belong, preparing, narrating, explaining and arguing about their own speeches disciplines.

The purpose of this article is to describe the experience of students writing summaries of Mechanical Engineering. The texts were produced using as source text scientific articles or specialized mechanical engineering. We addressed the following questions: 1) What changes are evident in the summaries taking into account the canonical structure of scientific articles? 2) What strategies students use to produce summaries, in particular, two versions of the same summary? 3) What limitations mentioned students on the development of the two summaries?

To this end, we organized the first part a theoretical development on gender summary, reproductive strategies proposed by Beke and Bruno (2005), macrorules Kintsch and van Dijk (1978) and the criteria of textuality Beaugrande and Dressler ( 1997), which served as the basis for the design of instructional scripts. Then, the context of the study followed the development of experience (focusing on a few weeks of the proposal) is presented. Subsequently, the results in light of some samples of student writing is. Finally some conclusions and recommendations in our opinion would contribute to teaching writing at the university are presented.

Summarizing what, why and how is it done?

Creating summaries by college students is not an easy task because they have to, in the words of Beke and Bruno (2005), ?? make decisions on the information to be included or not ?? (P. 09), which is a review of what is important for the writer or principal at that time. For García-Calvo (1999), interest in the preparation of summaries, in the university environment, has been the inclusion of technical and instructions manuals, guides, books, courses on this genre, but the result shows that the student ?? you are never sure which is developing a good summary of the text ?? (P. 1).

In any case, the summary is defined as a text derived from another through reduction which involves understanding the source (Cassany, 2007; Beke and Bruno, 2000, 2001, 2005, Garcia-Calvo, 1999, 2000) text which, according to Carlino (2005), ?? is faithful informationally, it tends to be autonomous (must be understood without their help [the source text]) and responds to its structure main ideas ?? (p. 83). In addition to this wemust add the presence or absence of the source text in the activity of summarizing and the audience to which this summary is intended, ie, to be read by another or for own use (Hidi & Anderson, 1986).

The previous conceptualization lead to a clarity about what the summary, however, teaching students bring diverse representations of what it means to summarize, what and how it is derived from his experiences in high school. This starting point could not leave aside for the development of our experience in the first half because any meaning add practices on texts lacking sense for students. In the experience described in this paper was the summary from reading scientific or specialized articles in other words, should ?? sum ?? a text of an investigation by experts in order to make it known to the couple, in this case, classmates.

Coupled with the same exercise to summarize this task (conceived from reading experts) involved a degree of difficulty meriting understanding of specialized vocabulary, the internal structure of the text, of the purposes and discursive conventions of the discipline of Engineering. In other words, they should summarize research done by and for experts to present it to their peers, also novice in the discipline. This strategy (read scientific texts to write to peers) is rare in college because, in most cases, a specific bibliography (chosen and requested by the teacher) to write a text is read whose sole recipient is Professor same. However, we echo that read specialized texts is a complex task in itself, since it requires understanding a disciplinary conventions to which students are not inserted yet.

To take up the idea of what it means to a summary of a scientific article, Londoño (2006) argues that this research condenses synthetically exposing the problem, the method used, the most relevant data and conclusions. It comes in a single paragraph, word limit conjugated in a past for being the autonomous section of text that can account for the investigated time. Meanwhile, scientists or specialized articles, have a limited extension and report a research by some authors (Swales, 1990). These items, in turn, are published in a journal, refereed and / or indexed ?? the purpose of reporting the results of a research conducted by the scientific method, according to the characteristics of each discipline of science ?? (Cortez, 2009, p. 102). Scientific papers have a particular structure that responds to the finiteness of the text (Teberosky, 2007), in other words, the text has a beginning and an end and also established some component parts. For the same author, ?? from the visual point of view, there is an entire font typography, layout, design, types to indicate the boundaries of the text. From a linguistic point of view, there areformulas, forms and resources to mark the beginning and end ?? (p. 28). Also says Cortez (2009) when he says that the AI ?? in each of the sections usually appears preceded by a title, the mention of the authors, institutions in which they work as researchers and a summary. Optionally, they may include tables and figures ?? (p.103).

The preparation of a summary requires processes of abstraction and generalization and construction procedures or integration for which the information provided in the source, but the own knowledge of that information (Carlino, 2005) is not enough. Students can not do this by themselves, at first, it is a priority that teachers teach to identify relevant information, to eliminate less important details, to build the new text (cf. Slater and Graves, 1990).

During the experience described in this article we took three strategies that many researchers have studied: reproductive strategies, focused on the copy, almost copy, paraphrase (Beke and Bruno, 2005); strategy comment on the letter but was inspired by the source text does not reflect the entire contents, but includes the interpretation of the subject who writes (Narvaja Arnoux, 1997 cit. by Beke and Bruno, 2005) and strategies removal, replacement and construction, also called macrorules (Kintsch and van Dijk, 1978), and namely theremoval or elimination in which dispenses with irrelevant information text or what is the same is the removal of those propositions which have the function reader clarify doubts or give additional information. The generalizationin which each sequence of propositions can be replaced by a more general, in other words, indicates how tosubstitute other ideas. Finally, the construction in which the text is reconstructed into a coherent whole.

To complement the reviews written about what we use the criteria of textuality Beaugrande and Dressler (1997) along with some questions proposed Mogollon (2006) to critically understand a text that allowed us to devise the process of reading and writing in the classroom. Beaugrande criteria and Dressler (1997) are : cohesion, coherence, intentionality, acceptability, informativeness, situationality and intertextuality.

Cohesion establishes the different possibilities that connects text to avoid unnecessary duplication and confusion. to write a cohesive text should be based on knowledge of grammatical structures. To evaluate Mogollon (2006) suggests the following questions: Repeat or not surface elements (words) from one sentence to another are repeated in the text? And from one paragraph to another? How? Or not replaced words in a sentence to another in the text? And from one paragraph to another? How? Are appropriate in the text textual markers used? And connectors?

Meanwhile, consistency refers to the links established between the concepts and relationships between them to form a clear structure. Sometimes ?? relations are not established in the text of an explicit way, that is not activated directly through expressions in the textual surface ?? (P.37). The questions may be: What is the theme of the text? What are the topics? How do they relate? How the ideas in the text are connected? What crucial information provides the text and what crucial information should I provide as a receiver?

As the intention is clear that the attitude of textual producer ?? ?? with intent defines the purpose is achieved by the plan have mentioned previously as Flower and Hayes (1980). They could guide the following questions: What pursued by the author to produce this text? What the author wants the reader to do, think ...? What mechanisms used to achieve its purpose? What sub-goals include to achieve your purpose?

The acceptability criterion has to do with the attitude ?? ?? receiver. It emphasizes the importance of information because it serves ?? to acquire new knowledge or because it allows you cooperate with your partner in achieving a particular goal discursive ?? (P. 41). The questions that could allow understanding this criterion are: Is this acceptable text in its content, form, situation ...? What mechanisms used by the writer to make the text acceptable? What aspects do not convince the reader? Why not convinced? Are the examples, anecdotes and other mechanisms illustration sufficient, relevant and attractive?

Informativeness is the criterion by which we evaluate ?? extent to which a text sequences are predictable or unexpected ?? (P. 43), to which you can make the following unknowns: Is there enough new information in this text? Do the examples, anecdotes, analysis, definitions, descriptions are sufficient in this text? Will the new information and ponders given is enough? Is the given information relevant to the communicative situation?

Moreover, the situationality ?? refers to factors that make a text is relevant in the situation shown ?? (P.44), this means that the text will be accepted as is most appropriate for the situation. We could send us the following questions to assess this criterion: What is the status text produced? What is the medium and its characteristics?When did?

Finally, intertextuality is that ?? refers to the factors that make depend on the proper use of a text of the knowledge we have from previous texts ?? (P. 45). Among the formulations that can be made they are: What other texts resemble it in structure? What does this text elements that have no other of its kind? Should reference ago to this text information in other texts? Is the structure of this text appropriate to the communicative situation?

The above questions are an opportunity for students not only read, ask and question themselves, but to exchange roles with their peers. This interaction will allow them to enrich the texts they produce, and although, as mentioned Cassany (1996). that means a change in the conception of the roles that both teachers and students fulfill within institutions. is a valuable opportunity for what they write do not stay in the hands of the teacher.

We must offer opportunities to encourage criticism, teamwork and, as mentioned Sola and De Pauw (2004), ?? aids adjusted for building practices that allow them to advance in overcoming the tension between the context of origin and the new context ?? (P. 81) because, in the words of the authors, ?? only from acceptance and respect for others we can talk and give concrete testimony of our genuine intentions to transform inequalities ?? (P. 82).

Sure are we that is not easy to change these conceptions, as a result of their investigations Garcia (1999) reflection states that ?? when students are asked to evaluate, they believe that only the teacher has the knowledge to do and show fear the judgment of someone who, they say , does not have the 'sufficient' know to put a rating ??(p. 4), I would add that we understand them and assist them in the task of evaluating.

We want to conclude this section by saying that before the act of summarizing students need a) situations that allow them to accomplish the task without fail, and that will succeed to the extent that they have adequate representation of implying that genre. It is not enough to provide strategies without these serve as a bridge between what they know and what they should know; b) a clear indication of what to do in length, genre and content; c) the opportunity to rework the text and use drafts as a way to show that is not written in one moment d) the possibility of being heard and read by their peers, but have cultural, linguistic and social differences are that they can help build the new text since they are the actual readers of this production.

Context of the study

The study was framed in a Special Degree that materialized through an Intervention Program for Promoting Academic Writing in the National Experimental University of Tachira -UNET- (hereinafter PIPEA-UNET) from an action research. Data were collected through: fifteen instructional design scripts one made before school; the application of questionnaires to investigate general ideas about the abstract, what their parts and experiences in the development of gender; preparing summaries by students during the semester; and fourthly, an interview with three students to hear their views on the experience of writing.

The PIPEA-UNET was part of a proposal inserted into a subject, language and communication, the first half of Mechanical Engineering. So that in designing the content scripts program was the matter, but development (activities, evaluation) was different because it was adjusted as proposed.

The scripts were made for one semester class with three weekly class hours (time we consider short) for a group of 45 students. In each of the classes content with reading and writing activities related to engineering topics, some are linked, they were selected by the teacher and others, by students. Some subjects were scientific reading, the popularization of science, the process of publication, publishing processes, discursive conventions of Engineering, among others, to which students were exploring different types of articles, essays, speeches, articles disclosure. In classes 10 to 14 he worked on the production of summaries, some classes focused on reading to determine the macrostructure of the text with headings (built with aspects such as subject, extension, citation and reference, sections, etc. formats ) that students should fill based on that reading; others, writing own texts (first paragraphs summarizing some items and then abstracting -with a guide indicaciones- on scientific articles) and others, in peer reviews based on the textuality criteria proposed by Beaugrande and Dressler (1997). To conclude the semester in class 14 delivered a final version ?? ?? the summary to the teacher along with a folder in which records all written texts, comments, reflections and scientific article.


The purpose of this article is to show how engineering students produced a summary from reading a scientific paper, ie, what strategies employed and limitations found in the task of writing. To do this, in this section we will focus on presenting the results regarding: the structure of the summaries made that recreates the standardized structure of a research paper. Then refer you to the strategies employed: reproduction, comment and disposal, generalization and construction. Finally, we will discuss the obstacles that the students had during the writing of the first and last overview from fragments of interview.


At the beginning of the article we consider three questions:

1) changes are evident in the summaries taking into account the canonical structure of scientific articles? The answer, beyond the number of students not included or corresponding to the structure of the scientific article section, we point based on the experiences that students were reviewing several scientific articles based on a section by setting out each party aspects with the ideas raised and how to write them.

2) What strategies students use to produce summaries, in particular, two versions of a summary? Undoubtedly strategies copy and commentary were the most present in the first article which we attribute largely to previous experiences in producing summaries and difficulty in understanding scientific information article. However, after several weeks insisting and introducing students to crumble activities, reviewing, collating information, read, re -read, write and rewrite the strategies most used were almost paraphrasing and copying. This change in strategy by the recurrence happened in rewrites and work with peers. Also, use one or the other strategies are also linked toconceive writing otherwise, not only as a final product.

3) What limitations mentioned students on the development of the two summaries? Inescapably obstacles students said had to do with understanding the source articles and the strategies they used. Take the criteria of textuality Beaugrande and Dressler (1997) allowed students to improve and revise their own and other texts. We infer that a semester is not enough to appropriate writing an academic text and summary, but offer as teaching scientific texts in line with the interests of students results in that subsequent efforts to understand and produce make more sense for them.

Although the PIPEA-UNET was a positive experience for students and teachers, it also meant rethinking teaching some content that is not anticipated at the time of the race (as read scientific papers, look at magazines, etc. ), which he resulted in greater demand for the teaching and study because it had to learn new rules cited, holder, reference, etc. they are linked to the discursive conventions of Engineering. Also, being a first experience moments of class in which all (teachers and students) is saturated with activities to read, re-read, write and rewrite felt they were given. In future experiences should make adjustments in instructional scripts.

The experience opens new research, particularly in technical careers or called hard sciences ?? ?? that they relate to longitudinal studies during the race to know what and how they learned it possible upcoming writings of academic texts and studies that integrate observers in classrooms, as in the case reported to a researcher who in turn teaches the task of objectify ?? ?? what happens became more difficult.

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