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Politecnico di Milano

Communication skills for engineering scholars

Politecnico di Milano via Coursera


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The course teaches engineering scholars how to improve their communication skills, based on theory, examples and practical exercises. Topics include basics of rhetoric (how to be clear), basics of argumentation theory (how to be persuasive), public speaking, grant writing, scientific writing. The main target are engineering scholars; the first 3 weeks, though, can be useful to anyone wishing to improve their communication skills.


  • How to be clear
    • In this week, you will learn the first three canons of rhetoric: invention (how to find what to say), arrangement (how to organize what to say) and style (how to “dress ideas in words”). Moreover, you will learn how to take into consideration the “common ground” (mutual knowledge, beliefs…) between you and your addressee as a fundamental pre-requisite for good communication.
  • How to persuade
    • In this week, you will learn some elements of argumentation theory: what we mean by “argumentation”, how we reason when making arguments and based on what assumptions, some examples of argumentation strategies as well as of “fallacies”.
  • How to present in public
    • In this week, you will learn some tricks on how to enhance your public speaking: how to use your voice, gestures, movements; how to deal with the time you are given; how to prepare your slides. Eventually, you will “experience” what it means to listen.
  • How to write a project proposal
    • In this week, you will learn the basics of grant-writing: how to structure your proposal, write a powerful executive summary and “get ahead” of the reviewer.
  • How to write a scientific paper
    • In this week, you will learn how to structure a scientific paper, write a good abstract, not drawn in the state of the art and show that the results are valuable.

Taught by

Nicoletta Di Blas



4.8 rating at Coursera based on 24 ratings

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