what is the single most significant contribution that engineers have made for the betterment of humankind?

ENGR 111 HW #4 Innovation Essay


In your opinion, what is the single most significant contribution that engineers have made for the betterment of humankind? Prepare a brief persuasive essay supporting your opinion.

This contribution can be anything that you are interested in. Your objective is to find three sources that substantiate your opinion. In industry it is not uncommon for an engineer to have to support (sell) an idea to get backing for a project.


1. Pick an engineering contribution that you feel you can support as a single most significant contribution for the betterment of humankind.

2. Research the contribution using the WEB, history of technology books, magazine articles etc… (bonus points for getting help from the research librarian)

3. Write a 2-page (700 – 1000 words) essay on the topic. The essay should start with a historical perspective; the body is composed of the three sources that support your opinion, and finally a conclusion.

4. Attach a reference page that sites the documents that you obtained your information from. You may use MLA, APA, or Chicago style citations. For websites, include the full link and date of access.


Form and general content – 30% Reference page – 20% Spelling/grammar – 20% Your ideas actually support your opinion – 30% Use of the writing center is worth 10% extra credit. Enlisting the help of a research librarian is worth another 10% extra credit.


Writing helps the individual writer think critically and has long been recognized as a vital component of engineering education. Simply put, when students are asked to write, they grasp subject matter more thoroughly and more deeply. They are then able to use this understanding to transport knowledge across disciplinary boundaries.

Writers are forced to think comprehensively and to link thoughts in sequence. The vast majority of successful writers also extensively rewrite and revise their work. The habits developed when writing – thinking comprehensively, expecting to rework the initial results, and realizing there is no one “correct answer” – are indispensable in educating what Schon calls the reflective practitioner. These steps are included in most descriptions of the design process, and it would seem particularly useful that writing be thoroughly integrated into engineering education since some of the most central elements of design are present in the writing process. Both processes have a preliminary creative stage – often termed brainstorming in design and prewriting in writing. The initial solutions in both are most often

changed via a recursive procedure, and, through gradual improvement, some acceptable final solution is reached. Implicit in both is the crucial idea that there is often more than one acceptable solution and that a unique “correct” solution usually does not exist.

Reason is language, logos – Demosthenes.


Phase 1: Getting Started Preliminary reading of general reference sources to: -get a handle on the terminology -get a general overview of the issue -note conventional ways the topic is broken up -find possible bibliographies -clarify audience and purpose Action: draft work plan and preliminary questions

Phase 2: Finding Information Acquire information sources by researching: -Library resources (books, reference section) -CD Rom resources (journals, newspapers) -Internet (experts, reports, papers, articles, e-mail) Action: revise preliminary questions into key word outline

Phase 3: Synthesizing the Information Process, analyze and evaluate the information Develop your own opinions by -reading sources actively (SQR4) -taking notes (quotes, paraphrases and summaries) -recording bibliography (citation format) -writing reactions to research Action: understand information; revise key word outline slightly

Phase 4: Drafting the Paper Create a rough draft by -organizing papers, journal entry and notes

-writing a “section” draft with intro, discussion and conclusion for each major section of your outline

-making sure that you have answered all the questions -allowing time for two stages of revision -Level 1: content and organization -Level 2: style and format

  • ENGR 111 HW #4 Innovation Essay
    • So, Why are we writing in an engineering class?