Effective Writing for Engineering and Technical Professionals

The ability to write concise and unambiguous reports, proposals, manuals, or other technical documents is a key skill for any high-functioning engineer or technical staff person in the mobility industries. Through a combination of class discussions, interactive workshop activities, assignments, checker teams (review teams) and job aids, this course delivers real-life technical writing techniques and tools that can be immediately applied. Attendees discover the importance of knowing their audiences and how to communicate technical information in a "user-friendly" style.

During the conclusion of the final session, participants will also share their action plans and learn more about available resources (books, online courses, tools, etc.) to enrich their learning experiences.

To enhance social learning, participants will organize into "Checker Teams" to support each other with developing and critiquing session assignments. Review checklists will be provided to support Checker Team activities.

Because this course is highly interactive, participants are required to bring samples of their own writing projects (past, present, or future ideas) to analyze and develop during class. There may be some sharing of documents among participants on Day Two, so please bring non-proprietary document samples for some class activities. If proprietary documents are to be reviewed, the instructor is available to provide confidential, one-on-one coaching for each participant during the end of Day Two.

A critical resource included as part of this course is Hacker, D. & Sommers, N. (2014). Pocket Style Manual: Updated With MLA's Guidelines and Internet Resources. 7th Edition.

What Will You Learn

By attending this course, you will be able to:
  • Describe basic technical writing techniques
  • Interpret documentation including procedures, work instructions, specifications, and reports
  • Apply your technical writing knowledge to documentation and projects

Is This Course For You

This course is valuable for anyone motivated to enhance his or her writing skills in the technical environment. Job roles that may benefit from this workshop include engineering, testing/validation, procurement, marketing, quality management, and management.

Materials Provided

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Course Requirements

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Day One
  • Technical communication and how to identify the good from the bad
  • Complete a self-assessment to identify personal technical writing goals
  • Form Checker Teams for workshop activities
  • Objectives and purposes of various forms of technical documentation
  • Identifying audience needs using audience analysis job aid
  • Strategies for gathering, organizing, and developing content effectively, focusing on: "Readability", "usability" and "accuracy"
  • Principles of proper grammar, mechanics, and spelling using the Hacker Pocket Style Manual
  • Principles of graphically representing text and data
Day Two
  • Formatting techniques to enhance readability
  • Other "unwritten rules" and considerations
  • Exercise: writing and editing your own documentation
  • Exercise: personal goals based on the self-assessment
  • Exercise: personal success plan refinement
  • Instructor coaching on writing