How to Use the Math-Based System for Teaching and Self Study
Step One: Have You Seen the Video Trailer? [1 min. 56 sec.]
Step Two: Read this Short "How To" Excerpt from the Book's Preface [about 3 min.]
For college instructors interested in using my book to teach engineering students, here is what has worked for me. For several years, I have used Parts II and III as the principal textbook for my engineering writing classes at UC Davis. During the 10 weeks of our academic quarters, I have the students read all of the chapters in those two parts and write a short-form version of all five essential documents that I cover in part II document algorithms. I also assign graded editing exercises tied to the material covered in the book's series of lessons in part II sentence optimization.
Individual chapters from the document algorthims section also work well for just-in-time educational modules integrated into engineering classes that require specific types of reports. For instance, capstone design series classes often require students to write proposals, project status memos, and final project reports—which are covered in Chapters 15, 16, and 17. There are many ways to use individual chapters from this book for just-in-time training applications—at universities and in industry.
I developed and taught "STEM Grammar," an experimental grammar course for engineers and other STEM majors, using part I sentence algebra as the principal textbook, along with selected on sentence editing and fine-turning from chapters in part II. The class stirred a bit of controversy at my university over where a STEM grammar class belongs—Linguistics, English, Rhetoric and Composition, Engineering, or elsewhere—and frankly, some people wondered if the class' sentence algebra method was legit. However, during the class, I observed the students to be both engaged and enthusiastic. In the end, my instructor evaluations were sufficiently positive. I'm looking forward to refining this class and offering it again. I am also hoping there are some adventurous instructors out there at other universities who will try using my book's sentence algebra section to teach their own versions of STEM grammar.
If you are an engineering student or industry professional interested in improving your writing skill set through self-study, I recommend that you read the entire book. However, how and in what sequence you address the book's chapters is up to you and your individual needs. If you are already a skilled sentence-level writer and know grammar and how to avoid common errors, you can, of course, skip directly to part III and check out my document algorithms.
My math-based writing system is not the only way to develop engineering writing skills, but it does provide a novel alternative. Keep in mind that this book pioneers the system's version 1.0 release. I welcome your suggestions for improvement. And I look forward to future updates, collaborations, and refinement into version 2.0.
Step Three: If Now Sufficiently Impressed by the Preceding – Get Your Own Copy of the Book [about 30 sec., if you have a charge card handy]
If you Google "Math-Based Writing System Brad Henderson," an abundance of online shops selling this book title will pop up. Better yet, just go to the sidebar of this website's home page for a direct link to buy. Please note: if you are a student, and would like to acquire a legal ebook copy for free, read about my publisher's innovative Springer Link platform, and investigate whether your university's library has purchased a site license for Springer's extensive catalog of scientific publications.
Step Four: Check Back Later for Additional Resources as this Website Grows [tbd, future tense]
As 2020 progress, I will continue to add new content to this site-- video clips, more learning and teaching resources, even some "lost chapters" that didn't make it into my book. One of these --"How to design a compact Cover Message and Ultra-slim-line Resume"--has received accolades from many graduates of my engineering and business writing classes at UC Davis. Why? Because this quick-read, high-impact document pair has helped 100s of my students land excellent entry-level career jobs. Please look forward to this lost chapter appearing as a free download sometime in September or October 2020.