Validating a short form writing attitudes survey for engineering writers

Ellen Zerbe, Catherine G.P. Berdanier, Natascha Trellinger Buswell, Joana M.M. Melo

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The objective of this research paper is to present the development and validation of a short-form survey that can be used to easily assess primary attitudes that engineering students hold as they approach academic writing. Engineering writing is a competency that is often-cited as a crucial skill for engineers to develop but is often under-emphasized in undergraduate or graduate curriculum. The affective dimension of writing (feelings, emotions, writer's block, and writing apprehension) can further complicate the process of writing for students who write infrequently. For graduate students, in particular, attitudes about writing have implications on career trajectory, persistence, and well-being in graduate school. The purpose of this research is to understand how graduate engineering student attitudes toward writing affect career trajectory, attrition, and persistence. Our prior research employs a series of previously-developed scales assessing various dimensions of writing attitudes and behaviors as a way to understand multiple dimensions of a student's affective relationship with writing; however, the survey is long (~30 minutes) and can be time-consuming for researchers to analyze. Each of the scales within the survey studies an aspect of the writer's attitudes. This research employs confirmatory factor analysis to develop a short form survey that gives accurate results, such that students can take a web-hosted writing attitudes survey and immediately be given their “writing attitude profile” with writing strategies tailored to their specific writing profile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019
Event126th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Charged Up for the Next 125 Years, ASEE 2019 - Tampa, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2019Jun 19 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Validating a short form writing attitudes survey for engineering writers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this