Technical Communication Program
The School of Engineering's Technical Communication Program (TCP) is a resource for students seeking to strengthen their technical writing and/or speaking skills. The program offers courses, individual consulting, and tutorial support for departmental courses in the school. Our services are primarily designed for students in engineering, but we attract students from a wide range of technical disciplines, including science, medicine, and business. We welcome interested students from across the university.
"Technical ability is obviously crucial to success in an engineering career. But of equal importance is the ability to communicate clearly and effectively. Individuals who rise to leadership positions in organizations generally do so partly because they can express ideas orally and in writing in persuasive, concise ways. Stated another way, it's hard to get a group of people excited about an idea or a new product or a research objective, if these things cannot be communicated in a compelling way."
-James D. Plummer, Dean of the School of Engineering and John M. Fluke, Professor of Electrical Engineering
Last modified Wed, 16 Jan, 2013 at 11:17
Are TCP courses open to students outside the School of Engineering?
Yes. Although our courses are primarily designed for engineering students, they cover principles and issues which are applicable to a wide range of technical disciplines, including science, medicine, business, economics and education. We welcome interested students from throughout the university.
Are there any other restrictions on enrollment?
Some of our courses have enrollment caps, sign-up deadlines, pre- or co-requisites or a requirement of instructor permission. For details, see explore courses.
What is the difference between Engr202W and Engr202S, and which should I take?
E202W, Technical Writing, is a regular course, with two class meetings per week, structured around a systematic set of topics. It also includes a conferencing component, structured around the application of class topics to a relatively small independent project. E202S, Special Projects, is a directed writing tutorial consisting solely of weekly individual meetings, structured around an independent project of some scope, e.g., proposal, thesis, journal article, or conference paper. Students seeking a general, systematic acquisition of technical writing skills are advised to take E202W. Students seeking extended tutorial help with a major independent writing project are advised to take E202S, with the caveat that they will usually get more out of E202S if they have already acquired a grounding equivalent to that provided in E202W.
Can undergraduates take Engr202S?
Yes. Although most of the students who enroll in E202S are grads, this directed writing tutorial can also be very useful for undergrads who are working on an honors thesis or other independent writing project.
Can undergraduates take Engr202W?
E202W is a graduate level course, but advanced and highly motivated undergrads may take it with permission of the instructor.
Can I get help from TCP without enrolling in a course?
Yes. For short-term help with a writing project or a presentation see the consulting tab.
The Technical Communications Program offers a variety of courses to help students improve their technical writing and speaking skills. Although primarily designed to serve the needs of engineering students, our courses also attract students from other areas, such as science, medicine, and business.
ENGR 100: Teaching Public Speaking
The theory and practice of teaching public speaking/presentation. In this tutor-training course, students deliver lectures, lead discussions, practice critiquing speeches, take part in fieldwork, and develop teaching materials in a term project. Hands-on introduction to designing an effective course, developing tutorial and workshop techniques, and teaching delivery, organization, audience analysis, visual aids, and style. Successful students are eligible to become paid public speaking instructors in the TCP. Admission to this course is by instructor's permission. To schedule an interview, contact Matt Vassar
5 units. Offered as needed in fall, winter and spring.
ENGR 103: Public Speaking
Introduces students to the full range of speaking activities, from impromptu talks to carefully rehearsed formal presentations, and includes instruction on the development and use of visual aids. This practical course helps students develop confidence in their speaking ability through weekly practice in class, rehearsals in individual tutorials, and videotaped feedback.
3 units. Offered in fall, winter and spring.
ENGR 202S: Writing: Special Projects
Writing tutorial for students working on non-course related projects, such as proposals, journal articles, conference papers, and theses. Weekly individual meetings structured around the student's project. This course may be repeated for credit.
1 unit. Offered in the fall, winter and spring.
ENGR 202W: Technical Writing
How to write clear, concise and well-ordered technical prose. Drafting strategies and principles of editing for structure and style. Applications to a variety of genres in engineering and science. Class format combines lecture and workshop.
3 units. Offered in fall, winter and spring.
Note: In all our work with students, the TCP emphasizes instruction. This principle applies to non-credit consulting; the consulting is not an editing service. Also note that non-credit consulting is for limited, short-term assistance only. Students seeking extended help are advised to enroll in one of TCP's formal courses.
To request a consultation with a writing or speech tutor, complete and submit the form below. Please be aware that during periods of high demand, availability may be limited. You can improve your chances of getting an appointment if you submit your request well ahead of your project's deadline.
Last modified Mon, 25 Nov, 2013 at 11:14
In addition to staffing its own courses, the TCP provides tutorial support for writing and speaking activities in the School of Engineering's undergraduate and graduate courses.
We provide tutorial support for many of the School's writing in the major courses, as well as other courses in the school.
We customize support to the needs of the course and invite interested faculty to contact our director to confer about support design.
Director Technical Communication Program