Engineering Writing by Design
Creating Formal Documents of Lasting Value, Second Edition
Engineering Writing by Design: Creating Formal Document of Lasting Value, Second Edition shows how effective writing can be achieved by thinking like an engineer. Based on the authors’ combined experience as engineering educators, the book presents a novel approach to technical writing, positioning formal writing tasks as engineering design problems with requirements, constraints, protocols, standards, and customers (readers) to satisfy. Specially crafted for busy engineers and engineering students, this quick-reading conversational text:
- Describes how to apply engineering design concepts to the writing process
- Explains how engineers fall into thinking traps, and gives techniques for avoiding them
- Covers the essentials of grammar, style, and mathematical exposition
- Highlights topics in writing ethics, including copyright, plagiarism, data presentation, and persuasion
Engineering Writing by Design: Creating Formal Documents of Lasting Value, Second Edition addresses the specific combination of thinking and writing skills needed to succeed in modern engineering. Its mantra is: to write like an engineer, you must think like an engineer. Featuring illustrative examples, chapter summaries and exercises, quick-reference tables, and recommendations for further reading, this book is packed with valuable tips and information practicing and aspiring engineers need to become effective writers.
Table of Contents
To the Reader
1.1 Why Bother?
1.2 Think, Then Write, Like an Engineer
1.3 Quick Review of Some Design Concepts
1.4 Chapter Recap
2 Clearly Understand the Goal
2.1 What Is the Goal?
2.2 How the Information Resides in Your Mind
2.3 Your Audience
2.4 Other Aspects of Situational Awareness
2.5 If Persuasion Is Part of the Picture
2.6 Chapter Recap
3 Mindset for Technical Writing
3.1 See Rules as Helpful Tools
3.2 Think Clearly Before Starting to Write
3.3 Again, Keep Your Reader in View!
3.4 Getting Started with a Mind Map
3.5 Chapter Recap
4 Avoid the Worst Thinking Traps
4.1 Why do We Fall into Thinking Traps?
4.3 Cognitive Biases
4.4 Informal Fallacies
4.5 Formal logic
4.6 Some Considerations When Making Arguments
4.7 Simple Checks on Correctness
4.8 Chapter Recap
5 Some Points of Grammar and Style
5.1 Rules and Suggestions
5.2 Chapter Recap
6 Keep Your Reader in Mind
6.1 More Rules and Suggestions
6.2 Chapter Recap
7 Write Your Math Well
7.1 What's Wrong with My Math?
7.2 Getting Started
7.3 Writing Math Well
7.4 The Value of Abstraction
7.5 Chapter Recap
8 Ethical Considerations in Engineering Writing
8.1 Your Duties to the Reader
8.2 Personal Issues
8.3 Dealing with Data
8.4 Ethical Concerns in Publishing
8.6 Ethics of Persuasion
8.7 Chapter Recap
Edward J. Rothwell has been a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Michigan State University since 1985, and currently holds the Dennis P. Nyquist Professorship in Electromagnetics. Dr Rothwell is a member of Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Xi, URSI Commission B, and is a Fellow of the IEEE.
Michael J. Cloud has been a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Lawrence Technological University since 1987, and currently holds the rank of associate professor. He is a senior member of the IEEE.