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Professional Expression

Book Description

Technical topics in science and engineering always present challenges when it comes to conveying or arguing information in a clear and effective manner. This book was written to address that challenge, using time-proven techniques developed by the author for academic courses and onsite training programs he has used for several decades at engineering schools, design and professional conferences. The book will show how to focus on critical objectives, develop a logical outline, and then use clear, concise, unambiguous language to create effective reports, articles, paper presentations, and even books. Useful references will help lead the reader to more resources for help with style, formats, and other matters of interest to those engaged in technical writing.

The reader will find invaluable help with:

  • How to develop and expand on a technical theme and organize a clear outline for a report or other type of communication.
  • Invaluable guidance on using plain, every day English for clear communications of difficult topics.
  • Useful tips on writing articles, conference presentations, and books.
  • Help with creating references, bibliographies and indexes.
  • Engineers, scientists, and technicians will find in this book a very clear and direct guide to the fundamentals of developing and writing effective technical communications. Even the elements of this book like its index and bibliography are set up to demonstrate how such are created and what they are used for. Every part of this book is meant to instruct and guide its reader on how to write better and more effectively.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright
  3. Dedication
  4. Contents
  5. Foreword by Francis J. Lombardi, pe
  6. Disclaimer
  7. Preface
  8. Acknowledgments
  9. 1. Basics
    1. 1.2.1
    2. 1.2.2
    3. 1.2.3
    4. 1.2.4
    5. 1.4.1 TO INFORM
    6. 1.4.2 TO INSTRUCT
    7. 1.4.3 TO INFLUENCE
    8. 1.4.4 TO CONTROL
    9. 1.4.5 TO CRITICIZE
    10. 1.4.6 TO RECORD
    11. 1.5.1 THE APPARENT AUDIENCE
    12. 1.5.2 THE REAL AUDIENCE
    13. 1.5.3 THE INDIVIDUAL AUDIENCE
    14. 1.5.4 MULTIPLE AUDIENCES (SEC. 2.1.34)
    15. 1.5.5 PRIMARY-LEVEL AUDIENCE (SEC. 2.1.35)
    16. 1.5.6 SUBORDINATE LEVELS
    17. 1.6.1 DESCRIPTIONS
    18. 1.6.2 COMPARISONS
    19. 1.6.3 MOTION
    20. 1.7.1 PASS HIS BARRIER OF RECEIVER RESISTANCE
    21. 1.7.2 BE UNDERSTOOD
    22. 1.7.3 BE BRIEF
    23. 1.7.4 GET YOUR READER INVOLVED
    24. 1.8.1 ORIGIN
    25. 1.8.2 TRANSMITTAL
    26. 1.8.3 RECEIPT
    27. 1.8.4 RESPONSE
  10. 2. Organization and Development
    1. 2.0.1 PREMISE
    2. 2.0.2 APPLICATIONS
    3. 2.0.3 THE PROTOTYPE PROBLEM
    4. 2.1.1 VIABILITY
    5. 2.1.2 REASON FOR WRITING (FIG. 1.3, SEC. 1.4)
    6. 2.1.3 RECEIVER(S)
    7. 2.1.4 MATERIAL SUBSTANCE (SEC. 1.3)
    8. 2.1.41 SUPERFICIAL PRERESEARCH
    9. 2.2.1 STATIC RESEARCH
    10. 2.2.2 DYNAMIC RESEARCH
    11. 2.2.3 ORIGINAL RESEARCH
    12. 2.2.4 ETHICS VERSUS ENTERPRISE
    13. 2.2.5 AVOID “ONE-STOP SHOPPING”
    14. 2.2.6 PREPARATION FOR RESEARCH (STAGE R)
    15. 2.3.1
    16. 2.3.2 ESTABLISH PRIMARY SORT MAJOR HEADINGS
    17. 2.3.3 SECONDARY AND LESSER SORTS
    18. 2.4.1 ADVANTAGES OF THE DECIMAL-NUMERIC WAY
    19. 2.4.2
    20. 2.5.1 THE SUBORDINATED SORTS
    21. 2.5.2 OUTLINE DETAILING
    22. 2.5.3 SINGLE-ENTRY NOTATION
    23. 2.6.1
    24. 2.6.2
    25. 2.6.3
    26. 2.6.4
    27. 2.6.5
    28. 2.6.6
    29. 2.6.7 PRIMARY SORT POSSIBILITIES
    30. 2.6.8 SECONDARY AND LESSER OUTLINE SORTS
    31. 2.6.9 DETERMINING ORDERS OF SUBORDINATION
  11. 3. Writing Technique
    1. 3.1.1 WORKPLACE
    2. 3.1.2 QUIET
    3. 3.1.3 CHAIR
    4. 3.1.4 LIGHTING
    5. 3.1.5 IMPLEMENTS
    6. 3.1.6 REFERENCE MATERIAL
    7. 3.1.7 REFRESHMENT
    8. 3.1.8 TIMING IS PARAMOUNT
    9. 3.3.1 FIRST DRAFT
    10. 3.3.2 SECOND DRAFT
    11. 3.3.3 THIRD DRAFT
    12. 3.3.4 FOURTH DRAFT
  12. 4. Characteristics, Refi nements, and Style
    1. 4.1.1
    2. 4.1.2
    3. 4.1.3
    4. 4.1.4
    5. 4.1.5
    6. 4.1.6
    7. 4.1.7
    8. 4.1.8
    9. 4.1.9
    10. 4.2.1
    11. 4.2.2
    12. 4.2.3
    13. 4.2.4
    14. 4.2.5
    15. 4.2.6
    16. 4.2.7
    17. 4.2.8
    18. 4.2.9
    19. 4.3.1 NO SOLECISMS
    20. 4.3.2 SPELLING
    21. 4.3.3 PUNCTUATION
    22. 4.3.4 SENTENCE LENGTH
    23. 4.3.5 REDUNDANCIES
    24. 4.3.6 MANAGEMENT OF WORDS
  13. 5. Descriptions
    1. 5.8.1
    2. 5.8.2
    3. 5.8.3
    4. 5.8.4
    5. 5.8.5
    6. 5.8.6
    7. 5.9.1
    8. 5.9.2
    9. 5.9.3
  14. 6. Comparisons
    1. 6.2.1
    2. 6.2.2
    3. 6.2.3
    4. 6.2.4
  15. 7. Motion
    1. 7.3.1 FIRST STAGE.
    2. 7.3.2 SECOND STAGE.
    3. 7.3.3 FURTHER STAGES
    4. 7.3.4 INSTALLATION BUILDING
    5. 7.3.5 FINISHING
  16. 8. Short Forms
    1. 8.1.1 ABSTRACT
    2. 8.1.2 INFORMATION RETRIEVAL
    3. 8.1.3 LETTER REPORTS
    4. 8.1.4 PRESS RELEASES
    5. 8.2.1 REDUCE PRINCIPAL MATTERS TO FEWEST WORDS.
    6. 8.2.2 GIVE A GENERAL VIEW OF THE OVERALL SITUATION.
    7. 8.2.3 SEPARATE CAUSE FROM EFFECT, AND LABEL EACH.
    8. 8.2.4 RETAIN A SENSE OF BOTH SUBSTANCE AND QUALITY (SEC. 8.6).
    9. 8.3.1
    10. 8.3.2
    11. 8.3.3
    12. 8.3.4
    13. 8.3.5
    14. 8.3.6
  17. 9. Formats
    1. 9.1.1 REPORT FORMAT PROTOTYPE
    2. 9.1.2 REPORT BODY
    3. 9.1.3 END MATTER
    4. 9.2.1 REPORT FORMAT PROTOTYPE
    5. 9.3.1 LETTER REPORT PROTOTYPE
    6. 9.4.1 PROTOTYPE OF PARALLEL REPORT STRUCTURE
    7. 9.4.2 TRACKING STEAM LINE INFORMATION
  18. 10. Expanding Outline and Text
  19. 11. Focus Analysis
    1. 11.1.1 COLUMN 1
    2. 11.1.2 THINK!
    3. 11.1.3
    4. 11.1.4
    5. 11.1.5
    6. 11.1.6
  20. 12. Alternative Specialized Formats
  21. 13. Oral Presentations
    1. 13.0.1
    2. 13.0.2
    3. 13.0.3
    4. 13.1.1
    5. 13.1.2
    6. 13.1.3
    7. 13.2.1
    8. 13.2.2
    9. 13.2.3
    10. 13.3.1
    11. 13.3.2
    12. 13.3.3
    13. 13.4.1
    14. 13.4.2
    15. 13.4.3
    16. 13.4.4
    17. 13.4.5
    18. 13.5.1
    19. 13.5.2 A FIRST VISIT SALES CALL
    20. 13.6.1
    21. 13.6.2
    22. 13.7.1
    23. 13.7.2
    24. 13.7.3
    25. 13.7.4
    26. 13.7.5
    27. 13.7.6
    28. 13.7.7
    29. 13.7.8
    30. 13.7.9
    31. 13.8.1
    32. 13.8.2
    33. 13.8.3
    34. 13.8.4
    35. 13.8.5
    36. 13.8.6
    37. 13.8.7
    38. 13.8.8
    39. 13.8.9
  22. 14. Authorship
    1. INSTANCE:
    2. LESSON:
    3. INSTANCE:
    4. LESSON:
    5. INSTANCE:
    6. LESSON:
    7. INSTANCE:
    8. LESSON:
  23. 15. Articles
    1. 15.0.1
    2. 15.2.1 ARTFUL
    3. 15.2.2 ACCEPTABLE
    4. 15.2.3 ACCESSIBLE
    5. 15.2.4 ARTICULATE
    6. 15.2.5 ACCURATE
    7. 15.2.6 AFFLUENT
    8. 15.2.7 ANECDOTAL
    9. 15.2.8 AFFIRMATIVE
    10. 15.2.9 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    11. 15.2.10 AFTERTHOUGHTS
    12. 15.3.1
    13. 15.3.2
    14. 15.3.3
    15. 15.4.1
    16. 15.4.2
    17. 15.4.3
    18. 15.4.4
    19. 15.4.5
    20. 15.4.6
    21. 15.4.7 SECURITY
    22. 15.4.8 GRAPHICS
    23. 15.4.9 ENDING
    24. 15.5.1 TO THE SUBJECT
    25. 15.5.2 TO THE READER
    26. 15.5.3 TO THE PROFESSION
    27. 15.5.4 TO THE LANGUAGE
    28. 15.5.5 TO YOURSELF
    29. 15.6.1 PROCEDURE
    30. 15.6.2
    31. 15.6.3 SOME CAUTIONS
  24. 16. Books
    1. CAUTION:
    2. 16.6.1 READY RESOURCES
    3. 16.6.2 READY WHEN YOU ARE
    4. 16.6.3 MATURATION
    5. 16.6.4 NEW
    6. 16.6.5 SERVING ALL LEVELS
    7. 16.6.6 ADVANCEMENT
    8. 16.6.7 PROTOCOL JUDGMENT
    9. 16.6.8 IMPROVE THE PRESENTATION ARRANGEMENT
    10. 16.6.9 RESOURCEFULNESS
    11. 16.6.10 FORMAT FOLLOWING FUNCTION
  25. 17. Critique, Discussion, Rebuttal
    1. 17.1.1
    2. 17.1.2
    3. 17.1.3
    4. 17.2.1 SOMETHING WRONG
    5. 17.2.2 AN ERROR OF OMISSION
    6. 17.2.3 SUPERFLUOUS MATERIAL
    7. 17.2.4 BLANKET COVERAGE
    8. 17.2.5 APPLICATIONS TO NEW IDEAS IN THE SUBJECT AREA
    9. 17.2.6 SPRINGBOARDS TO IDEAS IN OTHER FIELDS
    10. 17.2.7 A WEAK CASE
    11. 17.2.8 A SUPERIOR EFFORT DESERVES PRAISE
    12. 17.3.1 CITE A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
    13. 17.3.2 ENGAGE IN PERSONALITIES
    14. 17.3.3 MAKE JESTS
    15. 17.3.4 COMPOUND AN ERROR
    16. 17.3.5 CORRECT TYPOS OR SOLECISMS
    17. 17.3.6 FAULT THE AUTHOR’S STYLE
    18. 17.4.1
    19. 17.4.2
    20. 17.4.3
    21. 17.4.4
    22. 17.4.5
    23. 17.5.1
    24. 17.5.2
    25. 17.5.3
    26. 17.5.4
  26. 18. Letters
    1. 18.1.1 GENERAL RULES
    2. 18.2.1 INITIAL (UNSOLICITED) LETTERS
    3. 18.2.2 RESPONSIVE (SOLICITED) LETTERS
    4. 18.2.3 PROPOSALS
    5. 18.2.4 UNSOLICITED PROPOSALS
    6. CAUTION:
  27. 19. Appendices
    1. APPENDIX 4.3.1 WRITE ON!—22 STYLE, FINE GROUND RULES
    2. APPENDIX 4.3.3
    3. APPENDIX 4.5.1
    4. APPENDIX 4.5.2
    5. APPENDIX 7.3.15
    6. APPENDIX 7.3.171
    7. APPENDIX 7.3.172
    8. APPENDIX 8.2.1
    9. APPENDIX 8.3.1 POSSIBLE SOLUTION TO SHORT-FORM DRILLS
    10. APPENDIX 8.3.6
    11. APPENDIX 9.2.1 REPORT FORMAT PROTOTYPE
    12. 1.1.1 WHAT WE KNOW
    13. 1.1.2 QUESTIONS FROM PREVIOUS RESEARCH
    14. 1.1.3 RESULTS FROM PREVIOUS RESEARCH
    15. APPENDIX 13.6.2
    16. APPENDIX 13.7.6
    17. APPENDIX 15.5.5
    18. APPENDIX 16.0.1
    19. APPENDIX 17.1.2
    20. APPENDIX 18.5.1 VOCABULARY ENRICHMENT
    21. APPENDIX 18.5.2
    22. ANSWERS TO APPENDIX 18.5.2 MAKE EXERCISE
  28. 20. References and Bibliography
    1. 20.1.1
    2. 20.1.2
    3. 20.1.3 SPECIAL CASE
    4. 20.2.1
    5. 20.2.2
    6. 20.2.3
  29. Postlude
  30. Index