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This manual discusses the role of student writing mentors and the processes of consulting on student papers, giving feedback, and grading. The manual provides specific examples of working with students who are assigned to write critical summaries of research articles.


The Cain Project in Engineering and Professional Communication designed this manual for undergraduate students who plan to become communication mentors. The manual prepares mentors for the experience of consulting with student writers—reading, evaluating, and offering helpful feedback in conference with individual students. In some courses and/or assignments, writing mentors also grade papers, so the manual also includes tips and guidelines for assigning grades to student work.

The goal of the mentoring process, both for mentors and their student clients, is to develop a voice in the field. Because science and engineering fields are highly collaborative, fast-changing, and competitive, individual members of these disciplines must be able to communicate effectively with one another in teams; give feedback; and analyze, summarize, and respond to published studies. As new members of a community, student writers need to feel that they are involved in a conversation with engaged members of their field. Even a summary can manifest a dialog between the student writer and authors or presenters whose work is summarized. By relaying the ideas and findings of others, student writers construct a position for themselves alongside these others in the field. As readers, mentors relate to the published authors through the voice of the writer who summarizes. Mentors judge the value of a summary in terms of accuracy and a well-constructed explanation of the source, as expressed in the summarizer's own words.

Writing mentors are typically advanced students who are actively involved in analyzing published work and working on their own research or design projects. Through the mentoring process, they develop an ability to respond to student writing, hone their own writing skills, and act as guides and examples for younger students. In a large course whose rigorous content can sometimes intimidate, these younger students may end up feeling like faceless wheel-cogs in the information-churning academic machine. Mentoring brings human interaction back to the forefront of intellectual activity in science and engineering.

What is a mentor?

A mentor cares about the person who learns, and that means the mentor commends before criticizing, tries to understand the student's purposes, and directs comments toward helping the student succeed. Realizing that praise changes habits much more than nagging or condemning, a mentor may point out a place where a student made a decision correctly and then suggest that the student look for a couple of places where the decision went wrong and try to figure out why.

A mentor models the attitudes he or she wants others to imitate. It's all right to tell a student that you were disappointed in the work and that you hope he or she will do a better job next time. It's not all right to demean the student. However, you don't want to give a student the idea that a weak draft will earn a high grade; you can't take responsibility for the student's work, which must remain his or her own. So you want to be honest. Furthermore, when you grade the student's work, you must be free to award points without favoritism. Students should expect warm human beings with high standards in the scientific and engineering communities.

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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