Download Full Text (17.7 MB)


This course packet seeks to develop the upper level engineering student’s sense of audience and purpose in a research-based context with workplace constraints. It requires the student to choose a technical topic of interest and research it to solve for a specific problem or to meet a typical industry need by way of several assignments: Unsolicited Research Proposal, Progress Report, Visual Aids, and Oral Presentation, all of which lead to the Formal Report. This approach readies students to write informatively and persuasively in the engineering workplace, providing excellent examples of each assignment contributed by former students whose Formal Reports have won first place in the annual Technical Writing Competition. Because users can rely on demonstrably excellent student examples to understand the concepts behind assignments that build on one another rather than on disparate textbook examples, they tend to write better and to be more confident producing documents and giving presentations. In short, they recognize they are among their own in a class that challenges many engineering students. Moreover, since all the Formal Reports have won awards, convincing students they are using good models with which to create their own documents is relatively easy. Finally, mining excellent student documents makes certain skill-sets clearer, according to former students. For instance, students can follow along as the writer does the following: identifies and proves a problem or need exists; creates the research objectives that lead to the method with which they will address the issue; and develops persuasive strategies for convincing both executive and engineering readers. Similarly, these student papers demonstrate how to discern among results, conclusions, and recommendations and show correct use of sources and visuals.



Publication Date


Edition Statement

First Edition


Kansas State University, New Prairie Press




writing, engineering, research, analysis, persuasive writing, textbooks, skill-sets


Creative Writing | Engineering

Written Communication for Engineers