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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 178 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 109 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
    A big thank you to the course team of "Technical Report Writing for Engineers". Course was very well organized and materials provided were high quality, with very pertinent, well thought through and well organized content.

    The only aspect I feel could be improved would be getting comments/feedback from course faculty in respect to our responses (unless I missed something), which will provide students (specially the younger/ less experienced ones) with an additional, more personalized and interactive learning opportunity.
  • 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
    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
    The six week technical report writing for engineers course was a well constructed, informative worth while course. I would recommend this course to anyone thinking about taking a technical writing course.
  • Anonymous
    A very Nice Course ,learn a lot from the Course. The way of teaching/Learning was very Good. I Believe this will enhance my skills & Helpful in Preparing Reports
  • Anonymous
    I have enjoyed this course. It has taken what may be a boring subject matter for some and made it interesting. It is very informative.
  • Anonymous
    I have taken this course on, it is very informative, well structured, and helped me on my journey of Engineering studies.
  • Anonymous
    Feedback: I found your course was geared towards undergrad students to teach them the fundamentals of lab reports. I think it covered the basics for the preparation of reports and it was well presented. I liked the online format. It was easy to acce…
  • Anonymous
    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 importa…
  • 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…
  • Anonymous
    Very well organized lectures. Each section was explained in detail. It has taught valuable lessons to enhance my skills for the future.
  • Anonymous
    The course took a very well structured look at how university and research-level reports should be structured, written, and presented. While the exact structure given is not automatically applicable to engineering reports written in industry or pro…
  • Anonymous
    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 prov…
  • Anonymous
    Let's organize a recommendation for a great start in the scientific activity together with the "Technical Report Writing for Engineers at The University of Sheffield" course! Be concise, clear, and professional! Thanks for the practical skills and tips! Enjoy discoveries! All the best to everyone!
  • Mst. Sharmin Akter
    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…
  • Well thank you so much because I really Appreciate this course. If you might need help or guidelines writing your siwes or swep technical report will recommend you go through this course because it really explain everything you need in a single course
  • Anonymous
    I have successfully finished this course and wow what a journey it has been. At first I was a bit hesitant that this course might be very technical, however, it was the entire opposite. It taught me the basics mandatory for a good technical report, starting with the significance of a 'good' technical report.
    I think the beginning week was the crucial one since it highlighted the aftermath of poor communication via bad technical report. The lessons, quizzes are really easily understandable which makes it even more interesting.
    Moreover, the videos of professional Engineers and industrialists motivated me to a great extent on learning all the things necessary for a good report. Like they say, experience speaks for itself.
  • Anonymous
    I have learned a lot from this course, it helped me build my ability to write Technical Reports. As an undergraduate its important to develop the skill of writing effectively reports.
    Thank You so much for your time.

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