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Writing in Engineering - A Guide to Communicating

 
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Writing is an increasingly large part of the engineering process, with many professional engineers spending over 60 percent of their time writing letters, memos, proposals, reports, and specification documents. The trend in many government and engineering firms now is to hire technicians for the technical work. Fifteen years ago, one city that had a population of 100,000 people employed eight engineers. It now employs three, and 20 certified technicians.

Writing is a skill that, like any other, can be developed. When you are learning to ski, you can watch the Olympic slalom, you might take lessons and have the pros tell you to "plant your pole, unweight, and turn," the instructor might demonstrate on a mogul for you - and then you can put on the skis and fall flat on your face. Before you master skiing, you have to slide down the hill a few times, trying to plant the pole and bend the knees, learning to turn and stop. This is a good analogy for writing: you need to learn the basics, understand what is expected, and then write and rewrite until the words run effortlessly on the page.

Some experts say that one can't write well - cannot write clean, coherent English - without reading well-written books, books that have been written with "force and freshness." Yes, good reading is important (and some good reports by experienced engineers are works of art), but most of us have read Shakespeare and we still do not write well. Attention, care, concentration, observation, effort, revision - and practice, practice, practice - will steadily improve your skill in technical writing.

This book is based on the premise that with knowledge of some basic writing principles, and how they apply to the special writing tasks that engineers are called upon to perform, engineering students can prepare themselves for the responsibilities they will face in this field today.

 

Contents:

Preface

Part I General Principles of Writing and Communicating in Engineering

Chapter 1

WRITING AND PROBLEM-SOLVING IN ENGINEERING

Chapter 2

GENERAL WRITING SKILLS

Chapter 3

SPECIAL WRITING SKILLS NEEDED IN ENGINEERING

Chapter 4

THE WRITING PROCESS IN ENGINEERING

Chapter 5

THE VISUAL ELEMENT 64

Part II Specific Communication Tasks of Engineers

Chapter 6

OPENING A FILE: PROFESSIONAL DOCUMENTATION

Chapter 7

LETTERS AND MEMOS: STYLES AND ELEMENTS 

Chapter 8

LETTERS: CONTENTS

Chapter 9

CREDENTIALS PACKAGE; COMPANY PROFILE; RESUME

Chapter 10

PROPOSALS

Chapter 11

ORAL PRESENTATIONS

Chapter 12

REPORTS

Chapter 13

SPECIFICATION DOCUMENTS AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT REPORTS

Chapter 14

MANUALS

Chapter 15

THE JOURNAL ARTICLE OR CONFERENCE PAPER

Chapter 16

WRITING TASKS FOR MEETINGS

Appendix A: Common Punctuation Problems

Appendix B: A Sample Recommendation Report

Index

Contents




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Tags: Writing, Engineering, write, rewrite, until, Communicating, Guide