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A Guide to Writing as an Engineer


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Table of Contents

1. Engineers and Writing. EngineersWrite a Lot. EngineersWrite Many Kinds of Documents. A Successful Engineering Career Requires Strong Writing Skills. Engineers Can Learn to Write Well. Noise and the Communication Process. Controlling the Writing System. Exercises. Bibliography. 2. Eliminating Sporadic Noise in Engineering Writing. Spelling and Spell Checkers. Punctuation. Sentence Sense. Technical Usage. Edit, Edit, Edit. Exercises. Bibliography. 3. Guidelines for Writing Noise-Free Engineering Documents. Focus onWhyYou AreWriting. Focus on Your Readers. Satisfy Document Specifications. Get to the Point. Provide Accurate Information. Present Your Material Logically. Make Your Ideas Accessible. Use Lists for Some Information. Format Your Pages Carefully. Express Yourself Clearly. Use Efficient Wording. Manage Your Time Efficiently. Edit at Different Levels. Share the Load: Write as a Team. Exercises. Bibliography. 4. Letters, Memoranda, Email, and Other Media for Engineers. Which to Use? Business Letters. Business Memoranda. Email. New Internet Media. Writing Styles for Business Correspondence. Exercises. Bibliography. 5. Writing Common Engineering Documents. Some Preliminaries. Inspection and Trip Reports. Laboratory and Field Reports. Specifications. Proposals. Progress Reports. Instructions. Recommendation Reports. Exercises. Bibliography. 6. Writing an Engineering Report. Letter of Transmittal. Cover and Label. Page Numbering. Abstract and Executive Summary. Table of Contents. List of Figures and Tables. Introduction. Body of the Report. Conclusions. Appendixes. Documentation. Generating Portable Document Files. Using Wikis and Other Applications for Team Reports. Exercises. Bibliography. 7. Constructing Engineering Tables and Graphics. Tables. Charts and Graphs. Illustrations. Graphics and Tables: Guidelines. Exercises. Bibliography. 8. Accessing Engineering Information. Basic Search Strategies. Sources of Engineering Information. Internet Engineering Information Resources. Internet Search Tools. Exercises. Bibliography. 9. Engineering Your Speaking. Preparing the Presentation. Delivering the Presentation. Team Presentations. Checklist for an Oral Presentation. Listening to a Presentation. The Importance of Informal Communication. Exercises. Bibliography. 10. Writing to Get an Engineering Job. How to Write an Engineering Resume. How to Write an Application Letter. How to Write a Follow-Up Letter. Exercises. Bibliography. 11. Ethics and Documentation in Engineering Writing. Engineering Ethics. The Ethics of Honest Research. Exercises. Bibliography. Index.

About the Author

DAVID BEER is professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Texas Austin. DAVID McMURREY is a technical writer from industry, most recently with IBM. This combination of academic and industry perspective gives this book its broad perspective covering all aspects of writing, from academic research to effective corporate communication.

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