You are free to use the materials with students in any way that works for you.  Generally, instructors choose one or two units that are most important for a course and have students work through them for homework.  Specific suggestions for use:

  • Assign a unit as homework.  Have students write out their answers, check them against the answer keys, and bring their work to class.  Use a few minutes of class time to answer any questions the students have.  This can also be done lab sections accompanying a course.  (If you are concerned about the amount of homework, assign only some parts – for instance, skip the "More Practice" sections, or assign only the "More Practice" sections and skip the easier, earlier practice in the unit.)
  • Assign one or two units as homework, have students bring their answers to class, and use some class time as a "writing workshop" time when students compare their answers and discuss effective answers.  This approach has been used especially effectively in first-year introductory courses where Language Units 1 (word choice) and 3 (simple sentence structure) are used to introduce values in civil engineering besides connecting those values to language choices.
  • Post some units on a course website for students to use as reference materials.  If they are not assigned as homework, few students will use them or be able to apply the techniques – but a few students might benefit.
  • Share units with graders, teaching assistants or writing center tutors.  Language units 1, 3 and 4 – covering word choice and sentence structure – are especially helpful for alerting people to some fundamental concerns in writing for civil engineering. 

Contact Susan Conrad ( with questions or comments, for future permissions, or if you would like to have your students' papers included in analyses after you use some of the materials.