Engineering leaders must write extensively for their jobs, and their writing needs to be professional, reader-focused, and error-free. What leaders write in particular can affect productivity and the bottom line, so the written communication that leaders create must be clear and concise. In this course, you’ll learn essential writing skills that you can apply in your daily activities on the job as an engineering leader. You’ll learn key principles in
• Approaching various engineering genres
• Using the writing process to create quality documents
• Making your writing structured
• Making your writing clear and concise
• Handling style, tone, and voice
Selected materials courtesy of Communication Faculty at Rice University - all rights reserved.
Specialization Introduction - Communication for Engineers
Course Introduction - Writing Skills for Engineers
Week 1: Things to Know Before You Begin
There are many components to good writing, and we'll focus on those that give you a foundation for building the skills that you are most likely to need in the engineering workplace. In this module, we'll talk about how to plan and begin writing, the importance of following the writing process, and formatting for readability. Then we'll look at the type of writing that engineers do every day: email.
Week 2: Developing Paragraphs and Writing Reports
Paragraphs play an important role in your writing. If your paragraphs are poorly written, your readers can't follow your thoughts. In this module, we'll talk about what makes a powerful paragraph and how to develop your paragraphs so readers understand your ideas. We'll also talk about what goes in to writing good engineering reports.
Week 3: Clarity and Conciseness
You need to make sure that your writing is clear and concise so your readers can understand what you are saying to them. Clear sentences help engage readers. In this module, we'll talk about what makes good sentences: Strong verbs, specific information, choice of clear words, and active voice. We'll also talk about what goes into writing good proposals.
Week 4: The Finishing Touches
It takes conscious effort and discipline to work through the writing process--to plan, write a draft, revise the draft to make sure your content suits your purpose and your audience, edit for conciseness and clarity, and finally to proof for quality. When you follow the process, your writing will be stronger. But there are still some finishing touches that will make your documents even better. In this module, we'll talk about writing introductions and conclusions, writing executive summaries, writing as a team, and writing for electronic media.