Writing Resources

Contrary to popular belief, engineers do not live in a language-free zone: far from it. As problem-solvers, a true measure of success is your ability to explain and justify your work to a wide range of audiences, including professors, managers, colleagues, clients - even the general public. To that end, the following guides will acquaint you with some of the basic formats and situations in which engineers express their expertise.

Guidelines for Technical Documents

General Writing Strategies

Public Speaking/Presentation Strategies

The Perils of Plagiarism and the Importance of Citing Sources

Documenting your sources is crucial not only to the successful completion of your writing assignments but as a statement of your integrity as an engineer preparing to enter a community of practice.

For citation guidelines, the HCTC recommends that students refer to the Purdue Online Writing Lab. This is a reliable resource that is updated regularly to adhere to current APA style standards.

  • Model of APA Reference List ( PDF )

The HCTC works closely with Kari Kozak, Head of the Lichtenberger Engineering Library, to ensure that Iowa engineers have all the digital tools they need to create professional reports and proposals. "Our next door neighbor" in the Seamans Center's Student Commons, the Lichtenberger Library offers a wide range of citation and bibliography software to help you cite sources with speed and accuracy -- check out their Citing Sources page for free access to these essential tools:

Engineering: a Global Community of Practice