Audience, Purpose, and Tone
The purpose of this essay is to prompt you to analyze and articulate the environmental, societal, and/or economic impacts that engineering interventions can produce in contemporary settings. Your essay may be shared with alumni and faculty and therefore should be written to stand on its own, independent of the assignment prompt.
A great essay will address the prompt below in an provocative or insightful way. The best essays are usually built around a strong core example and persuasive arguments. Be persuasive with your essay, make a point, but be careful to acknowledge both sides of the issue. Finally, excellent essays are those that are provocative and controversial, with arguments supported by the literature. Good essays are interesting, but not particularly controversial.
The most common issues in argumentative essays submitted by students are:
Essay does not follow an argumentative essay format; reads more like an informative essay or book report (check common argumentative essay formats online — lots of examples, guidelines, and resources) or is not terribly creative or controversial.
Spelling, grammar, and typographical errors.
Inappropriate tone, overuse of first person, narrative and personalized versus objective, vague or awkward language.
No opposing viewpoints discussed and shot down.
Essay lacks a thesis or central argument in one of the early sentences — you must take a stand, and that is the theme of the essay that you buttress and defend, while discussing and shooting down opposing views.
Background, proponent views, opposing views, or other relevant information and statistics are not cited and included in references — must show evidence of research and preparation, review of literature, must support arguments and claims made.
There are various online resources to help you write persuasive arguments. Here is one from Purdue Online Writing Lab (Links to an external site.).
Use the provided template Preview the documentwithout any formatting changes. Please keep your word count between 1000 and 1500 words.
Designed systems can impact the behaviors of people and environments. Develop a position that argues how an engineered system has positively or negatively impacted the behavior of society, the environment, and/or the economy. The essay should be either related to your project or your field of engineering and use contemporary, concrete examples in the arguments.
MODIFICATION FOR ECDS:
You’ve done the research, and you can really get into broader impacts in ways that other student teams may not. Consider something related to your design using the Bridger and Luloff Criteria we have discussed in class and reflect on what it means to do engineering for communities.
Think about the prompt above in terms of
1) the design you’ve decided on 2) a technology or system that your design might change or modify 3) an instance of your design used elsewhere 4) a design option you’ve decided against 5) a technology or system in the community you are working with or 6) anything else that you think will serve you in your work right now
Reframing_Eng_Capstone_Design_ASEE_Final (2).pdfPreview the document
A copy of the assignment must be submitted electronically, in PDF format, using this Canvas assignment submission link by or before the due date listed on the course schedule. Please make sure electronic file submissions do not exceed 2 mb. The Turn-It-In online plagiarism checker is integrated into this assignment and you will be able to see your submission’s originality report.
Broader Impacts Essay Awards
The faculty will select the 10 best essays from the class to send out to a panel of volunteer faculty and alumni judges. The authors of the top 10 essays will be contacted by a lead instructor, and the students will need to email a copy of their essay (in MS Word format).
Comply with this file-naming convention: Title-Broader Impacts.docx. These essays will be published in the Innovation Expo program and the authors will earn 10 points extra credit on their essay grade.
A panel of outside judges will select the top essays. Awards for 1st 3rd place overall will be given at the Innovation Expo.
The top three authors will receive a plaque at the Graduation Reception. The 1st place finisher will have their name added to the enduring plaque located in the Brown Building Atrium. In addition, the top three authors will receive additional extra credit on their essay grade.
Broader Impacts Essay Rubric
Broader Impacts Essay Rubric
Criteria Ratings Pts
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeRELEVANT: How well does the essay answer the question posed in the assignment prompt? Is the overall question the student poses controversial? Does the student demonstrate that they understand the intent of the assignment, especially pertaining to the Broader Impacts of engineering?
Addressed the assignment prompt in an especially controversial, interesting, insightful, mature, or novel way
Met most components of the criteria. Interesting but not particularly controversial.
Made an adequate attempt to address the different components of the criteria.
Needs sufficient improvement to address the criteria.
Poor attempt to address the criteria.
Failed to answer the prompt; student did not understand the intent of the assignment at all.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomePERSUASIVE: Overall, is the essay successful in providing relevant arguments on different sides of the question or issue? Does it address the Broader Impacts of engineering in a global, economic, environmental, or societal context? Does it address contemporary issues? Is it creative or common? Is it thoughtful or mundane?
Inspiring, thought-provoking, and creative; strong evidence of the students engineering education; details strongly support concepts.
Met most components of the criteria. Interesting but not overly thought-provoking. Arguments are good but could be stronger.
Made an adequate attempt to address the different components of the criteria. Arguments are not particularly persuasive.
Needs to be more convincing in the arguments. Essay is not overly creative, exciting or thoughtful.
Poor attempt to address the criteria.
Failed to provide a readable or reasonable essay.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeWELL WRITTEN: Assess the quality of the writing, especially the tone and style. Was the writing compact, efficient, concise, and punchy? Or was it rambling, narrative, overly personalized, more than minimal use of first person (I, we, our, us, me, my, etc.) or ANY use of second person (you)? Were sentences direct and specific, or vague (“this” or “these” without defining what “this” or “these” refers to within the same sentence)? Were there awkward sentences (often long sentences that can be broken up, or misuse of commas) that were difficult to follow or whose meaning could be misconstrued? Did the writing seem “noisy” or was it clean and to the point?
Excellent tone and style. Essay could be considered for professional publication, and has practically none of the issues listed.
Writing is almost excellent — great except for one or two minor issues.
Writing is mostly good but could improve further — a few issues with sentences and tone here and there.
Writing needs improvement for senior-level writing.
Difficult to Read
Writing makes work difficult to read and process; quality of writing is a big distraction.
Unacceptable Tone or Writing Quality
Inappropriate or unprofessional tone; errors of style that greatly inhibit readability.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSpelling & Grammar: Did the student take care to avoid spelling and grammar errors? Does it show evidence of proofreading? Are there typographical errors?
Practically no spelling or grammatical errors, strong evidence of proofreading and quality control; practically no typographical errors.
Minimal spelling, grammar, and typographical errors, perhaps one per page or less.
A couple of spelling, grammar, or typographical errors per page, but does not detract from the overall work.
A few spelling, grammatical, or typographical errors per page; impacts readability; evidence of less care or proofreading in the work.
Difficult to read
Pervasive spelling, grammatical, and typographical errors makes work difficult to read and process; errors are a significant distraction.
Unacceptable / excessive level of spelling, grammar, and typographical errors.
Unacceptable level of spelling, grammar, and typographical errors; work is difficult to read and process.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeArgumentative Essay Format: Essay follows one of a few common formats that typically include: 1. Relevant Title invoking the Thesis or stand taken 2. Thesis Statement that takes a stand, for which the essay will argue, often in the opening or an early paragraph 3. Background Information, often in the opening or an early paragraph 4. Proponents’ Arguments Discussed and Buttressed 5. Opponents’ Arguments Discussed and Shot Down 6. Strong Conclusion, closing, restating, and establishing a winning argument in light of the evidence provided 7. References for citations
Excellent argumentative essay format, well-organized and formatted essay follows or improves on conventions and lends strength to the author’s arguments; progression is clear and easy to follow; a comprehensive argument is made.
Overall format is good, but lacking in an area, perhaps not uniformly well-formatted per argumentative essay expectations.
Some issues with argumentative essay format; perhaps lacks an explicit thesis, which must be construed from the context of the work; or perhaps a bit weak on proponent or opponent arguments; overall not a bad argumentative essay, but needs some polish and revisiting of typical argumentative essay formatting and content expectations.
Essay makes somewhat of an argument and provides support, but main thrust or goal of the work is not readily evident; lacking significant consideration for opponent or proponent points of view; reads a bit more like an informative essay or a report on a topic rather than a persuasive or argumentative essay.
It is not evident why this was written, or if any argument is being made over one issue or another; seems like an informative paper, book report, or a mere topic of interest for the author to share with the reader.
This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeReferences & Citations: Background information and facts, proponents’ arguments, opponents’ arguments, statistics, and any relevant information which is not common knowledge are all cited at the relevant point in the text and corresponding references provided at the end of the paper per IEEE formatting expectations.
Thoroughly Researched, Complete Citations & References in IEEE Format: Background information and facts, proponents’ arguments, opponents’ arguments, statistics, and any relevant information which is not common knowledge are all thoroughly cited at the relevant point in the text and corresponding references provided at the end of the paper per IEEE formatting expectations. All the author’s statements and arguments and perspectives claimed by others are well-cited and referenced without formatting errors. Higher quality, scholarly, and authoritative references used wherever appropriate and available.
Background information and facts, proponents’ arguments, opponents’ arguments, statistics, and any relevant information which is not common knowledge are NEARLY all thoroughly cited at the relevant point in the text and corresponding references provided at the end of the paper per IEEE formatting expectations. Perhaps a fact, statistic, or perspective needs a reference; perhaps the paper is well-researched, though there is a minor formatting issue. Perhaps a reference or two is of questionable quality or appropriateness, but only one or two of these minor issues, no pervasive problems.
A couple of additional citations and accompanying references would be appropriate and desired; a couple of formatting issues; some of the references are not appropriate, or are not scholarly or authoritative when they should be. Multiple minor issues.
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