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The University of Sheffield

Technical Report Writing for Engineers

The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn


Learn to communicate effectively through technical report writing

Technical reports are a vital tool for engineers to communicate their ideas. This online course introduces technical report writing and teaches the techniques you need to construct well-written engineering reports.

Each week, we’ll look at a key section of a technical report and the skills needed to write it. You’ll cover areas such as referencing and citations; presenting equations; diagrams and data; and using language and tenses correctly.

We’ll also talk to practising engineers, as well as students and educators who write and mark technical reports, who’ll give their hands-on advice.

This course is designed for both student and professional engineers. It will teach you the technical report writing skills you need to tackle everything from a two-page document to a PhD thesis. As such, it will be applicable for the entirety of your engineering degree or career.


  • What is a technical report and why write one?
    • Welcome to the course
    • Communicating clearly
    • What is a technical report?
    • Summing up and looking ahead
  • Writing your introduction
    • Welcome to Week 2
    • Introducing your report
    • Reviewing the literature
    • Explaining the theory
    • Outlining the aim and objective
    • Summing up and looking ahead
  • Explaining your method
    • Welcome to Week 3
    • What goes in the procedure section?
    • Language check: what are the rules?
    • Figures and diagrams
    • In the lab: writing a procedure
    • Summing up and looking ahead
  • Communicating your results
    • Welcome to Week 4
    • What goes in the results?
    • Reporting numbers
    • Presenting your data
    • Summing up and looking ahead
  • What does it all mean? Your discussion and conclusion
    • Welcome to Week 5
    • What goes into a discussion?
    • Language check: what are the rules?
    • Conclusion
    • Summing up and looking ahead
  • Putting it all together
    • Welcome to Week 6
    • The abstract
    • Optional sections
    • Global formatting
    • Summing up

Taught by

Andrew Garrard


4.9 rating, based on 167 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 96 ratings

Start your review of Technical Report Writing for Engineers

  • I am indeed glad to have been a participant in this series and the lessons learned as quite invaluable to my career and self-improvement as a professional in the built-environment. Furthermore, I am also now more knowledgeable in the writing of technical reports than I was at the beginning of this course..
  • It is very concise and relateable course to my field. I found it very helpful as I was about to start writing a new report and it will help me to inject all these tips professionally.
  • Anonymous
    No knowledge is wasteful, I wish I had come across this before embarking on my underground project work. Not that it was rocket science, but this course explains it in the simplest terms possible with pictures, quizes and short powerful videos that make the course a whole lot interesting to learn.
    And a little secret, due to how easy it was to Learn this course, I finished the 6weeks course in 3days
  • Anonymous
    As a student, Technical Report Writing for Engineers has made me appreciate the importance of professional technical report writing and its value to any organisation. Where I used to approach technical reports as any other essay, I now understand how the etiquette involved that sets an engineering technical report from other documents. I am eager to apply what I have learnt as a guide when writing future papers and am grateful to have come across this resource-packed course.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    As I have already written a report for my undergraduate Final Year Project, I thought the report as ideal & free from mistakes, now after learning this course, it is realized that there were many deficiencies & mistakes in my report, so much important...
  • Anonymous
    I really enjoyed this course. The language in which everything is written is easy to follow and simple, which makes it easy to understand. Personally though, after 4 weeks, I left the course alone for a while because I didn't find it as interesting. I think this might be due to how sometimes there was a lot of repetition or the fact that not much of it is interactive. I'm not sure how to solve the interactivity issue though, which is why I can't really give any useful feedback. Thank you so much for this great opportunity!
  • Anonymous
    It was a great to learn from Future Learn Technical Report Writing Course. My all memories were refreshed where I used to include lot of sections in my Thesis Project Report. Nicely explained each and every section, and one must include the details in the Report.

    Lot of things are changing and need to update accordingly. I am sure after attending this course, my upcoming project reports will be clear enough to make Client satisfaction.
  • Mbata Wisdom completed this course.

    The course is very resourceful, learners friendly. So many guidelines and expert advice. Had great materials following instructions given making study much easier. Every bit of technical report writing was well address with supplementary information that...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    As addressing the accurate report is part of the Engineers responsibility this course included the most important Technics which should be implemented during writing a report process and using those Technics could help clarity of the report and provide...
  • Anonymous
    Excellent course, pitched perfectly at the right level for me, with a the optimum breadth and depth of topics. Brilliant resources and reference materials which I downloaded and saved to use in my career moving forward. I fully recommend this course for anyone with an interest in this type of report writing.
  • Mst. Sharmin Akter

    Mst. Sharmin Akter completed this course.

    Thank you for giving this opportunity because it’s really helpful for me. I am a student of Engineering background. So, technical report writing is the best course for my educational purpose. In this course experts of different technical fields also share...
  • Anonymous
    This course clearly described and explained all you need to know to write a technical report. It also focuses on common pitfalls and contains advice from industry professionals that give a clear insight to what they are looking for and what they are not.
  • Anonymous
    It is an important course with enough ressources for all enginneers and report writers to follows. Going through this course has change my view and upgrade my skills of writing reports much successfully than before i registered the course
  • Anonymous
    This course is extremly helpful for undergraduates with their education and class projects, as well as graduate engineers with their occupation. 100% recommended.
  • Anonymous
    Excellent! Although I did not participate in the discussions, I found this to be a great refresher course for what I had learned as an undergrad when report writing.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This is my first course about writing a technical report for engineers. So, I have taken every bit of information I found in the course and hope to use it for the near future. It was great, outstanding and exceptional course which opened my eyes to what a good technical report is and why does it matter. Let me simplify it for you. At the end of this course you will be able to produce a good report and you will have a checklist to make sure what you have produced is perfect. You will also gain other important knowledge throughout the course such as referencing, access to a database from The University of Sheffield to search a background for your topic and much more.
  • Anonymous
    This was a well detailed and structured course. Key points were discussed in detail and examples were given
  • Usman Yahaya

    Usman Yahaya completed this course.

    I have being writing technical reports not knowing I have done a lot of mistake in the reports, with the help of this class I learned about my mistakes and also how I would improve on my report writing. The class was very motivating as I'm telling you now, I garnered a lot of things and I have a skills for writing effective technical report. I urge those that did not participate in the class that they should register and attained through in the class whether you know how to write the report or not, I believe you must see your mistakes. Lastly, I thank all my instructors who guide me through. I thank Sheffield University!
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The course is extremely user-friendly with regards to the short videos made of professionals sharing their experience and the graphical animations used. Also, the quizzes and activities introduced along the course ease the digestion of information given previously. I would like to thank Doctor Andrew Garrard and his colleagues for the efforts put in making such an effective course. I was attracted to it from the first chapter and was sad to have completed the course. I have learned a lot of valuable information and will definitely take it and apply it in writing my reports in the future.

    Thank You!
  • Anonymous
    I loved the course, so many details were given. At the end of this course, all participants will have a better understanding on how technical reports can be written. Thank you for the course, I love you guys

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