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Oxford University Press
The Engineering Communication Manual / Edition 1

The Engineering Communication Manual / Edition 1

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The Engineering Communication Manual addresses authentic writing issues and communication tasks faced by engineers, such as collaborative writing, design of data graphics, and poster presentations. The text helps students to generate effective technical arguments and to think critically about how they present content.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780199339105
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publication date: 01/08/2016
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 496
Sales rank: 171,737
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Richard House is a Professor of English at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He received a B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University and M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Irvine. In addition to engineering communication and pedagogy, he has scholarly interests in sustainability and Shakespeare.

Richard A. Layton is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and past Director of the Center for the Practice and Scholarship of Education at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He received a B.S. from California State University, Northridge, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington. His areas of scholarship include data visualization, student teaming, and undergraduate retention.

Jessica Livingston is an Associate Professor of English at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. She received a B.A. from The University of Georgia, an M.A. from the University of Kentucky, and a Ph.D. from the University of Florida. Her areas of interest include humanitarian engineering, the intersections of gender and work in a global economy, and documentary film.

Sean Moseley is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. He received a B.S. from The Georgia Institute of Technology and an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. His areas of interest include effective engineering education techniques, solid mechanics, and humanitarian engineering.

Table of Contents


1 Planning your communication
Assessing the rhetorical situation
Displaying evidence and reasoning (logos)
Conveying credibility (ethos)
Accommodating audience needs, values, and priorities (pathos)
Writing within genres

2 Understanding your audience
Analyzing stakeholder audiences
Listening to stakeholders
Techniques for listening

3 Meeting your ethical obligations
Ethics in engineering The engineer's rights and duties
Analyzing consequences of action and ethical principles
Types of unethical communication

4 Accommodating global and cultural differences
Recognizing cultural values and assumptions
Emphasis on the individual or the group
Preference for equality or hierarchy
Experiences of time
Role of the writer or the reader in conveying meaning
Considerations for face-to-face communication

5 Designing documents for users
Professional audiences as users
Chunking: dividing content into manageable units
Relationships among content: proximity, alignment, repetition, contrast
Setting type for ease of reading
Using color


6 Engineers
Who they are and how they think: credible arguments required
Why you communicate with your engineering peers
How to communicate with your engineering peers

7 Technicians and technical staff
Who they are and how they think: implementers
Why you communicate with technicians
How you communicate with technicians

8 Executives
Who they are and how they think: authorizers
Why you communicate with executives
How you communicate with executives

9 Clients
Who they are and how they think: it's in the contract
Why you communicate with clients
How you communicate with clients

10 The public and the public sector
Who they are and how they think: health and safety are first priority
Why you communicate with the public
How you communicate with the public


11 Reporting in a research community
Writing for a technical audience
Elements of the IMRaD format
Experimental reports
Reports that advance theory
Literature reviews

12 Reporting in an industrial organization
Writing for decision-making audiences in industry
Elements of the "answers-first" format
Progress and status reports
Design reports
Feasibility studies

13 Corresponding
Maintaining a professional tone in correspondence
Phone calls
Social media

14 Proposing
Common elements of proposing
External proposals and responding to requests for proposals
Internal proposals

15 Instructing
Principles of writing instructions
Usability testing

16 Applying for a job
Targeting the audience
Application letters
Academia: the curriculum vitae and statement of purpose


17 Researching
Consulting with experts
Finding scholarly sources
Using patents to review prior art Integrating sources: paraphrase and direct quotation
Citing sources

18 Drafting
Planning the argument
The sequence of drafts

19 Revising
From revising to editing to proofreading
Revising content and argument based on feedback from experts and peers
Revising structure and organization
Revising and editing for clarity

20 Collaborating
Avoiding the common pitfall of collaboration
Planning a document as a team
Drafting a document as a team
Integrating and unifying a document

21 Meeting
The first team meeting: roles, responsibilities, charters
Why meet? (agendas)
What happened? (minutes)
Optimizing virtual meetings


22 Headings
Communicating the argument to the hurried reader
Unifying style and voice

23 Paragraphs
Focusing paragraphs on a single idea
Moving coherently from one sentence to the next

24 Sentences
Solidifying the sentence core
Coordinating and subordinating ideas
Avoiding sentence fragments, fused sentences, and comma splices Increasing conciseness while maintaining clarity

25 Words
Achieving precision without needless jargon
Selecting precise verbs
Using pronouns precisely
Managing emotive language

26 Summaries
Executive summaries
Abstracts Submitting an abstract as a proposal

27 Front and back matter
Front matter: title pages, tables of contents, and lists of figures
Back matter: notes, appendices, and bibliography


28 Graphs
Choosing the best graph for the task
Shared conventions of graphs
Pie charts, bar graphs, and dot plots
Scatterplots and line graphs
Box-and-whisker plots and histograms
Fine-tuning your graphs:
Enhancing visual clarity with text

29 Illustrations
Choosing the best illustration for the task
The range of illustrations, from pictorial to schematic
Commonly encountered types of illustrations
Fine-tuning your illustration

30 Tables, equations, and code
Designing tables
Writing mathematics
Writing chemistry
Writing computer code


31 Print pages
Creating a page layout
Managing the appearance of paragraphs
Selecting typefaces

32 Talks
Overcoming stage fright and connecting with listeners
Analyzing audience & setting Identifying the genre, purpose, and desired outcome
Rehearsing and preparing the talk

33 Presentation slides
Recognizing the limitations of slideware
Designing slides using assertion-evidence style
Using Prezi to illustrate spatial relationships
Adapting slide designs for other purposes

34 Posters
Understanding the audience for a poster presentation
Delivering the poster talk
Placing major elements of the poster
Applying design principles to the poster

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