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Announcements. 1. Next week: Chris Milner, Kimley-Horn & Associates 2. How to do well in CE 104 a. Participate in your group b. Read the comments on the assignments. Technical writing!. Objective. Convey information as quickly, clearly, concisely, and correctly as possible.

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announcements
Announcements

1. Next week: Chris Milner, Kimley-Horn & Associates

2. How to do well in CE 104

a. Participate in your group

b. Read the comments on the assignments

objective
Objective

Convey information as quickly, clearly, concisely, and correctly as possible.

Powers of the Management Committee:

To employ staff, agents and other people (either casually, temporarily, permanently or on secondment) to carry out the objects of the Association upon such terms and conditions as they may from time to time consider desirable, and to terminate such employment or agency, and to pay their salaries, fees, commissions, remuneration and other charges out of the Association's Fund and to confer upon any staff or agents so appointed the right to exercise any discretion which may be vested in the Management Committee Members.

The Management Committee may employ staff.

objective4
Objective

Convey information as quickly, clearly, concisely, and correctly as possible.

To: A. Customer

From: E. L. Ittrett

Re: Bridje design

Pursuant to your request, of February 6, 2008, please find inclosed the Design of a bridje.

motivation
Motivation

A high school student seeks an internship with Civil

Solutions Inc., which is managed by vice president

Richard Rehmann.

The student walks into the office of Civil Solutions

and says,

“Where’s Rich?”

Could the student have improved his communication?

How?

rhetorical factors
Rhetorical factors

The student did not consider the factors important in

communication:

  • Purpose
  • Audience
  • Context
  • Content

What do you want?

What information does the reader need?

What is the history? The future?

Is the content appropriate? Accurate?

purpose
Purpose

What are some possible purposes? Give examples of each.

  • To inform: Technical report, journal article
  • To record: Minutes of a meeting, technical report
  • To persuade: Proposal, review article, essay, brochure
  • To recommend: Feasibility study, report
audience
Audience

What are some considerations regarding audience?

  • Who is the likely audience?
  • Do you know the readers? How well?
  • What does the reader already know?
  • What does the reader need to know?
  • What does the reader want to know?
  • What will the reader be able to understand?
  • How much time will the reader have?
  • How will the reader use this information?
  • What questions will the reader most likely have after reading?
context
Context

Considerations regarding context:

  • Need for the document
  • Possible results from the document
  • Budget
  • Timeline
  • Familiarity with audience
  • Audience expectations
  • Health of the relationship with the audience
  • Nature of the subject matter, potential controversy
  • Range of purposes of the readers
  • Audience preferences for verbal or visual descriptions
content
Is the content accurate? Did you
  • check calculations?
  • cite authoritative sources?
  • separate observation from speculation?
  • avoid unwarranted claims?
Content

Is the content appropriate? Did you

  • motivate the document sufficiently?
  • provide just enough background?
  • explain what you will do?
  • provide good visuals?
example speaker report
Example: speaker report

Write a report of no more than one page (12 point font, single spaced) on the

speaker’s presentation. Answer the following questions:

1. What is the speaker’s background? Describe the speaker’s career path briefly.

2. What sort of projects or positions did the speaker describe?

3. What obstacles, barriers, or professional issues arose in the speaker’s career? In particular, discuss how the speaker addressed communication skills, ethics, and leadership in his or her career.

4. What were the key lessons you learned from the talk?

speaker report rhetorical factors
Speaker report: rhetorical factors
  • Purpose
  • What is your purpose?
speaker report rhetorical factors13
Speaker report: rhetorical factors
  • 2. Audience
  • What do we know about the audience?
speaker report rhetorical factors14
Speaker report: rhetorical factors

3. Context

  • Need:
  • Possible results:
  • Budget:
  • Timeline:
  • Familiarity:
  • Expectations:
  • Relationship health:
  • Controversy:
  • Verbal/visual:
next steps
Next steps
  • Generating ideas
  • Gathering information
  • Narrowing the information
  • Outlining
generating ideas
Generating ideas

How might you generate ideas?

“What people somehow (inadvertently, I’m sure) forgot to mention…was that we need to make messes in order to find out who we are and why we are here—and, by extension, what we’re supposed to be writing.” (Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird)

gathering narrowing information
Gathering & narrowing information

How might you gather information?

How might you narrow the information?

outlining
Outlining
  • Write an outline (or at least a list).
  • Start with a standard template and modify.
  • Add as much detail as you comfortably can.
  • Don’t etch it in stone.
scientific proposal template
Scientific proposal template
  • Significance and objectives
    • Significance and motivation
    • Objectives
    • Hypotheses
    • Summary of proposed work
  • Background
    • Introduction
    • Literature review
    • Summary
  • Proposed work
    • Overview
    • Details
    • Plan
    • Preliminary work
technical report template
Technical report template
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
    • Problem statement
    • Background
    • Overview
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusions
  • References
  • Appendices
writing the document
Writing the document

Are you a farmer or a hunter?

Advice: Just start somewhere and write. Make a mess.

Break the rules.

writing the document23
“It is no sign of weakness or defeat that your

manuscript ends up in need of major surgery.

This is a common occurrence in all writing, and

among the best writers.”

Writing the document

Why is it OK to break the rules and make a mess when

you write?

Because you are going to revise, revise, revise.

revising the document
Revising the document

Use a top-down approach:

  • Structure
  • Paragraphs
  • Sentences and words
    • Sentences
    • Grammar
    • Word choice
    • Punctuation

http://www.ucalgary.ca/uofc/eduweb/grammar/marking/

revising the document25
Revising the document

1. Structure

Revisit purpose, audience, context, content

  • Did you meet your purpose?
  • Do you have a new purpose?
  • Did you address the audience properly?
  • Did you provide the right content?
  • Do you need more?
  • Can you cut anything extraneous?
revising the document26
Revising the document

2. Paragraphs

  • Make the paragraph the unit
  • of composition.
  • b. Ask whether you developed
  • the idea sufficiently.

< 100 words: Developed enough?

> 200 words: Split into two?

revising the document27
Revising the document

3a. Sentences

Sentence errors are legion:

1. Sentence fragment

2. Run-on sentence and comma splice

3. Fused sentences

4. Overloaded sentence

5. Mixed construction

6. Faulty parallelism

7. Dangling modifier

8. Misplaced sentence elements

9. Shift of number or person

10. Shift of tense, mood or voice

11. Omissions

12. Lack of variety

13. Illogical sentence (e.g., faulty co-ordination, faulty subordination)

revising the document28
Revising the document

Sentence fragments

“If you write a fragment, you fail.” (W. Heston, 1984)

Propane and natural gas on the other hand are still

fossil fuels, but they hold the potential for a very good

short term solution. Short term meaning eventually

fossil fuels will be completely depleted.

Where’s the fragment? How would you revise?

revising the document29
Revising the document

Run-ons and fused sentences

I also have us booked at Fareway on Friday from 4-8 pm

the store manager said the store is busier on Friday than

Saturday.

How would you revise?

I also have us booked at Fareway on Friday from 4-8 pm.

The store manager said the store is busier on Friday than

Saturday.

revising the document30
Revising the document

Mixed construction

Convective heat transfer is when the flow carries the heat.

In convective heat transfer the flow carries the heat.

The reason the coverage of the Olympics frustrates him

is because NBC focuses on the stories instead of the sports.

NBC’s coverage of the Olympics frustrates him because

it focuses on the stories instead of the sports.

Temperatures in Ames will be warmer this weekend.

Temperatures in Ames will be higher this weekend.

Ames will be warmer this weekend.

revising the document31
Revising the document

Faulty parallelism

Sugarbush Ski Instruction

● Exciting

● Lots of experience

● Enjoyable

● You’ll have a great time!

revising the document32
Revising the document

Faulty parallelism

Elements of a list must have the same grammatical form.

Compare apples to apples.

The experiments will involve measuring velocity, sampling

the water quality, and to record the wind speed.

How would you revise?

The experiments will involve measuring velocity, sampling

the water quality, and recording the wind speed.

revising the document33
Revising the document

Misplaced modifier

What is wrong with these sentences?

Nailed to the fence, Julie read the sign.

Having eaten the remains of the zebra, we watched the lion

lick its chops.

revising the document34
Revising the document

Dangling modifier

What is wrong with these sentences?

Groundwater contamination is a major concern when

designing the geologic repository.

Varying from a simple lime softening system to a complex

electrodialysis reversal operation, the incidence of radium

in drinking water can be greatly reduced.

Based on these tests, we conclude that this option is

not feasible.

How would you revise them?

revising the document35
Revising the document

3b. Grammar

1. Idiomatic grammatical constructions

2. Syntax

3. Usage

4. Case

5. Verb form

6. References

7. Subject-verb agreement

8. Parts of speech

revising the document36
Revising the document

General pronoun reference

Antecedents of pronouns need to be unambiguous.

These conditions allow MTBE to travel quickly and with

little hindrance into the groundwater. This poses a huge

problem because the plume for MTBE is much longer than

that for any other gasoline product.

What is “This” in this passage?

revising the document37
Revising the document

Subject-verb agreement

What is wrong with this sentence?

revising the document38
Revising the document

3c. Word choice

1. Wrong word

2. Too many words

3. Excessive compression

4. Diction

5. Active/passive voice

revising the document39
Revising the document

Wrong word

Correct the errors in these messages:

Your ignorant of the ways of the world.

This is a reminder email that I send to all the authors.

If you have all ready uploaded all your papers and

have received confirmation emails than your okay.

revising the document40
Revising the document

Too many words

15% of words in technical writing are unnecessary.

Unnecessary

Necessary

Source: Rehmann made this up.

revising the document41
Revising the document

Too many words

Shorten these sentences:

At this point in time, the firetrucks have not arrived at the airport.

The firetrucks have not arrived at the airport.

In order to give an estimate of the dissipation, we made measurements

of the velocity with PIV, which is capable of achieving small-scale

resolution.

To estimate the dissipation, we measured the velocity with PIV, which can resolve small scales.

revising the document42
Revising the document

Too many words

Shorten these sentences:

He utilized a saw to facilitate the cutting of the wood.

He cut the wood with a saw.

Upon visual inspection, there are three discernible regimes.

There are three regimes.

revising the document43
Revising the document

Too many words

Put action in verbs, not nouns. Clue: look for “of”.

In all cases the variable dispersion coefficient model provided

a much more accurate description of experimental results.

The variable dispersion coefficient describes the experimental

results more accurately.

Electrodialysis reversal (EDR) uses electric current to

achieve removal of hardness and other ions.

Electrodialysis reversal (EDR) uses electric current to

remove hardness and other ions.

revising the document44
Revising the document

Too many words

Just say it:

I am in a position to complete a purchase of a new car.

Due to the fact that he experienced a sudden illness, it was

necessary that the trip be cancelled.

You should have a discussion with Prof. Rehmann if you

are in a situation in which you have questions

concerning the matter of dimensional analysis.

revising the document45
Revising the document

Too many words

Don’t oversay it.

large in sizeoften timesof a bright colorheavy in weightperiod in timeround in shapeat an early timeeconomics field

of cheap qualityhonest in characterof an uncertain conditionin a confused stateunusual in natureextreme in degreeof a strange type

past memoriesvarious differenceseach individual

basic fundamentalstrue factsimportant essentialsfuture plans

terrible tragedyend resultfinal outcomefree giftpast historyunexpected surprisesudden crisis

very unique

revising the document46
Revising the document

Too few words: excessive compression

Omit needless words, but don’t overdo it.

An efficient anti-aliasing spectral continuous window shifting

technique for PIV (article title)

revising the document47
Avoid cliches:

Don’t inflate your language:

These experiments go hand-in-hand with the numerical

simulations.

The skier’s speed is dependent on many factors.

Revising the document

Diction

Avoid slang:

This report will take an in-depth look at the Yucca

Mountain Project.

revising the document48
Revising the document

Diction

Don’t mix metaphors:

He is not the sharpest cookie in the jar.

You can beat a dead horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

That's the pot calling the kettle's bluff.

He's got too many oars in the fire.

It's not rocket surgery.

I can see the carrot at the end of the tunnel.

The monkey is in your court.

Not to put her up on a limestone, but my sister is really terrific.

We are treading on thin water

We'll burn those bridges when we get to them.

revising the document49
Revising the document

Active/passive voice

Prefer the active voice:

The effect of flow length on longitudinal dispersivity was studied by Xu and

Eckstein (1995), and it was found that the dispersivity increases with length.

Xu and Eckstein (1995) studied the effect of flow length on longitudinal

dispersivity and found that the dispersivity increases with length.

The longitudinal dispersivity increases with flow length (Xu and Eckstein 1995).

revising the document50
Revising the document

3d. Punctuation

Separate independent clauses with a comma before the

conjunction (and, but, or,…).

We went to the store and bought milk.

We went to the store, and then Gunnar called.

revising the document51
Revising the document

Use a comma or commas to set off a non-restrictive (i.e.,

non-essential information) phrase or clause…

Richard, my brother, did not hire that high school student.

I drove my Subaru, which is green.

…but if the phrase or clause is restrictive, do not use commas.

I drove my car that I bought in Hyannis, Massachusetts.

revising the document52
Revising the document

Use commas to separate items in a list:

I bought eggs, milk, and bread.

The comma before the conjunction is optional, but it helps

avoid confusion:

I thank my parents, Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney.

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