"The Michigan Daily
English dept. aims to
use word processing
Tuesday, March 5, 1985
By JERRY MARKON
The word processing phenomenon
will enhance the English department's
curriculum next fall as two sections of
English 125 students will get special ac-
pss to the Zenith micro-computers
recently installed in the Undergraduate
The English Composition Board
recently created the Composition and
,omputers Committee to research and
;design the project, which is "still in the
planning stages," according to Jane
,Monell, student services assistant of
English Language and Literature.
COMMITTEE member Dick Hor-
mston said the committee will survey
English TAs before fall term to deter-
,mine their interest, and that the
designated sections will then be
specially marked in the time schedule.
The committee is already training TAs
in word processing, he added, at the
Micro-Computer Center in the School of
Hormston said the project has two
primary goals: to introduce students to
word processing and to help the English
department learn more about the
writing process itself.
"We're trying to answer a lot of
questions," he said. "We want to find
By LEELA FERNANDES
In a department as large and diverse
'as Electrical Engineering and Com-
puter Science, getting information to
students can be difficult and time-
Helping to smooth out the wrinkles in
this process is- an organization called
The Association of Computer Engineers
and Scientists (ACES).
FOUNDED ONLY a year-and-a-half
ago, the group offers a number of ser-
vices enabling students to get better
aquainted with the EECS department,
said ACES chairman Allen Falcon, a
junior computer science major.
As part of the effort to increase com-
munication between facully and
students, ACES provides class and
department information via the
Michigan Terminal System. Anyone
with an MTS account can access the
group's newsfile, STGQ: news.
In addition, ACES helps match
'students in need of extra help with other
students who want to tutor them,
GROUP MEMBERS also offer free
tutoring sessions on a walk-in basis on
' Mondays and Wednesdays from 11 a.m.
to noon and on Tuesdays and Thursdays
from 2-3 p.m. at 609 Haven Hall.
A feature ACES hopes to impliment
in the future would provide students
with pertinent background information
and special interests of EECS
"This would foster more familiarity,
especially for someone interested in in-
dependent study," Falcon said.
On Wednesday, ACES will sponsor a
Pre-Computer Science and
Engineering Night at the Michigan
Unior. For students considering a com-
puter science major, the event could be
a good opportunity, Falcon said,
because a number of EECS professors
will talk about the department and its
ACES plans to help companies With
computer science and computer
engineering interviews on campus. "By
working on the (recruiting) committee,
I'll be able to learn more about inter-
views," said group member Diane
Feller, a junior computer science
Right now the only problem facing
ACES is how to get more people in-
volved in the organization, Falcon said.
Meetings are held every other Wed-
nesday night. Any computer science or
engineering student may attend.
out if computers can encourage better
IN ANALYZING the problems of
freshman writers, Hormston outlined
what he called the "think and write
model," a process by which young
writers produce "short, choppy essays
because they can't hold long discourses
in their head."
"It's characteristic of freshman
writers that they don't put any
correlations between their thoughts,"
he continued. "They write in a series of
assertions which aren't defined.
Meaning is disconnected; the flow of
ideas is wrong."~
Word processing can help cure these
problems, he said, because "people
seem to flow better when they write on
"BECAUSE THE screen is a fluid
representation of writing, it will
hopefully encourage them to write more
fluidly-and perhaps to write out their
ideas and then go back and put them in
order," he said.
Monell added that the English Depar-
tment is interested in "students using
the computer for major revisions-not
just grammar and misspelled words."
"The student can manipulate the text
much more easily on a computer than
with a typewriter," she said.
TO ENHANCE the writing process,
Monell said she expected students to
write rough drafts on the computer,
store them on a floppydisc, and wait for
the instructor to read them and offer
comments before making revisions.
Hormston's main fear about the
project is that students without typing
experience may_ be distracted from the
writing process as they concentrate on
learning how to operate the computer.
To combat this potential problem, he
said, somebody from the Composition
and Computers Committee will con-
Uaily rnoto by LARUL L. FRANCAVILLA
Starting next fall, certain sections of English 125 will use these recently-installed computers on the fourth floor of the UGM to complete their coursework.
stantly be working with students during
the two hours each day-one in the
morning and one in the evening - when
they will have direct access to the com-
,"WE WANT to make the machines
disappear and make the students flow
with the words they see on the screen,"
He described a successful program in
the English Department at the Univer-
sity of Minnesota where use of word
processors "gives students a solid un-
derstanding of their own writing
Colorado State University has advan-
ced computers that are programmed to
point out grammatical errors such as
passive voice, he said, but added that
the program isn't truly successful
because "students aren't introduced to
word processing-they enter in
someting already written."
THE UNIVERSITY is also watching
what happens at Carnegie- Mellon
University in Pittsburg where students
are now required to bring personnel
computers with them to school, he said.
Nonetheless, Hormston said he
strongly supports the University
"making computers available, but let-
ting students choose whether they want
to use them."
The UGLi's new micro-computers
will be used for more than just word
processing, says David Norden, the
Although the new computers can fun-
ction independently of the Michigan
Terminal System, the campus com-
puter network, hooking them up with
MTS will give students full terminals to
work on different computer languages,
statistical programs, and various
Norden said he detects a "Need to
provide more computer facilities on
campus and greater access to micro-
"They fit right in with the other in-
formation functions at the UGLi," he
said, "and our staff didn't need to be
trained in how to operate them."
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ARE YOU LOST?
DO YOU* FEEL
OUT OF TOUCH
WITH YOUR SCHOOL
AND YOUR TOWN?
THE FUTURE IS IN
A representative will be on campus
TUESDAY, MARCH 12, 1985
AMERICAN GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF INTERNATIONAL MANAGEMENT
GLENDALE, ARIZONA 85306
Interviews may be scheduled at
CAREER PLANNING & PLACEMENT
1985 Washington Post Writers Group
Reprinted with Permission
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