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STS & Writing

Kevin DiPirro

Kevin DiPirro, STS Writing Specialist

STS Writing Specialist

Excellent communication is valuable in any field; at Stanford, the bulk of one’s academic work is demonstrated and delivered in various writing or speaking tasks. In an interdisciplinary program like STS, communication has an added value: to allow engineers to speak with policy makers and code designers to confer with ethicists. In the bigger picture, excellent communication allows its practitioners to make these cross-pollinations fruitful--to connect different areas of study in productive and innovative projects without losing coherence, specificity, or depth.

To help strengthen writing within and across STS, and to raise its profile in the program, we have a special position in STS to help students, TAs, and faculty with the writing undertaken in the various courses and in the Honors Program. Kevin DiPirro is the Writing Specialist for STS. 

In his eighteen years as a writing faculty member at Stanford, Kevin has developed expertise in identifying and assessing the troublesome areas of communication in writing instruction—the nooks and crannies of various syllabi or assignment sheets or writing/presentation prompts or paper commenting—that sometimes can block a meeting of the minds between instructors and students.

In STS, Kevin works to help facilitate these points of communication on both ends, to work jointly with faculty and students to better bridge the expectations and the specific means of meeting those expectations in writing and presentational work. 

For STS students, Kevin is dedicated specifically to be available to work one on one in office hours (see below) with writing or speaking projects. As revision, feedback, and collaboration are key features of any writing process, please do make an appointment to come in and work on: assignment comprehension; brainstorming; structure revision; use of research; thesis development; argumentation; adding complexity; or refining expression and other edit level sentence work.

Resources for STS Majors

Kevin DiPirro can meet with you individually during his office hours at any stage of the writing process to go over your STS writing work. Email him at kdipirro@stanford.edu.

Generally, the sooner in the writing process you can bring in the work, the more valuable that work will be. Rather than thinking about whether you have an extra half hour to spend, consider that half hour doing focused collaborative work on your project to be an investment worth probably an hour and a half on your own.

During office hours, Kevin can assist you with:

  • assignment assessment 
  • brainstorming 
  • mapping 
  • organizing 
  • revising drafts
  • revising/polishing prose
  • first-year writers
  • technical writing
  • Honors Thesis writers
  • Speech or talk preparation

Additional resources include:

Resources for Faculty and TA's

The STS Writing Specialist can also assist Faculty and TA's with:

  • Strategizing to get the best back from students' written work
  • Reviewing STS writing assignments such as: syllabi descriptions, assignment handouts, prompts and questions, and essay commenting.