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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.
Scholarship Thank You Letters: Instructions and Samples
( 1 ) Sign up for a 15-minute Hanson CTC appointment on the sheets outside room 2224 SC.
( 2 ) Bring a hard copy of your thank you letter draft to your appointment.
Writing Effective Thank You Letters ( PDF )
Guidelines for Technical Documents
- How to Write a Project Report
- The Keys to Writing a Great Lab Report ( PowerPoint )
- How to Write an Activity Report
- The Proposal: The Engineer's Ally
- Jumpstarting Your Honors Thesis ( PowerPoint )
General Writing Strategies
- Writing a First Draft
- Team Writing and Why the First Draft Is Crucial
- How to Solve Common Team Writing Problems
- The Process (and Art) of Revision
- Writing Strong Paragraphs
- Welcome to the Hanson CTC! (Powerpoint)
- EPS-I - We're Engineers, Not Writers: True or False? (Powerpoint)
- ME Graduate & Professional Seminar -- 10/2/14 (Powerpoint)
- The Role of Ethics in Engineering -- 10/29/15 (Powerpoint)
Public Speaking/Presentation Strategies
- Perfecting Your Poster Presentation, and More - Kasra Zarei (PowerPoint)
In addition to helping you create a vivid picture of your research project,
this slideshow provides a wealth of advice for communicating with clarity and insight.
- Optimizing Oral Presentations
- Soft Skills For a Hard World - D. Doerres/D. Blommel (Powerpoint and Audio file)
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 Hanson Center 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.
APA Style Guide ( Purdue OWL )
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:
Citing Sources/Citation Management ( Lichtenberger Engineering Library )