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A Practical Guide to Technical Reports and Presentations

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2008-08-07
  • Publisher: Pearson Learning Solutions
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This book is meant as an easy-to-use guide for engineers, scientists, and college students in technical programs at all levels who need to produce technical reports or make oral presentations. Standard technical communication textbooks tend to be complex and lengthy, and consequently both harder to use and quite expensive. But because simplicity, conciseness, and straightforwardness are crucial aspects of good technical communication,A Practical Guide to Technical Reports and Presentationsitself exemplifies the principles technical writers should embrace. It is concise, easy to use, clearly written, and inexpensive enough to attract a broad readership, both within and outside the classroom. The central feature and greatest strength ofA Practical Guide to Technical Reports and Presentationsis its organization: Each section explains the characteristics and purposes of a specific report genre concisely, presents a simple template for a typical example of the genre, and concludes with a sample document that demonstrates the features as they might actually appear. Additional useful features are its brief overview of the main considerations in technical communication and its set of detailed appendices; the latter provide more in-depth treatment of several topics that arise in the descriptions of the genres, such as language and usage, particular forms of organization, the use and documentation of sources, and the design and use of graphics. The basic philosophy behindA Practical Guideis that a communication book should help its readers learn to write clearly and directly, and that it should model the style it teaches. Further, it offers both an analytical understanding of the elements of technical documents and a simple approach to their incorporation.A Practical Guidegives both students and working technical professionals the tools they need for producing standard industry documents.

Author Biography

Pauline Bary Khan has been teaching technical communications to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Michigan, College of Engineering since 1997. She has taught report writing and coached students with their presentation skills in a variety of technical fields. She has also created seminars on resume writing and interviewing skills, worked with PhD students on dissertations and conference papers, and evaluated MBA assessment papers for the Ross School of Business. Prior to her teaching career, Ms.Khan worked to design manufacturing systems in the information technology field, to manufacture and test engine blocks for the automotive industry, and to research coatings for high-speed and high-temperature machining applications. Ms.Khan has a Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters of Science in Technical Communications, both from the University of Michigan.


Elizabeth Hildinger has taught classes in writing, technical communication, Old and Middle English, literature, and Latin at universities in the U.S. and Canada.  She has taught in the University of Michigan College of Engineering's Program in Technical Communication since 2001.


Erik Hildinger has taught classes in technical communication in the University of Michigan College of Engineering's Program in Technical Communication since 2000.  He also teaches the processing of legal materials for international law students.

Table of Contents

General Principles of Technical Communication
Audience and Purpose
Organization of Technical Reports
Elements of Technical Reports bull
Overview/Front Matter bull
The Body of the Technical Report bull
Content Development and Argumentation bull
Concluding Sections bull
References bull
Appendices of Technical Reports
Language and Style in Technical Reports bull
Grammar and Syntax bull
Diction bull
Tone bull
Level bull
Punctuation and Graphic Conventions
Graphics in Technical Reports
Formats for Technical Reports
Business Memoranda and Short Reports
Progress Reports
Laboratory or Test Reports
Design Reports
Research Reports
Oral Reports (Oral Presentations)
Strategies and Guidelines for Content Development and Argumentation Topic Sentences and Paragraph Development Developing Defensible Claims Selecting Good Evidence Making Effective Use of Source Material
Strategies for Effective Use of Language
Strategies for Development of Effective Graphics
Guidelines for Professional Use of E-mail
Checklists for Assessing, Editing, and Revising Your Documents
Features of Formal Reports
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?

The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

The Used, Rental and eBook copies of this book are not guaranteed to include any supplemental materials. Typically, only the book itself is included. This is true even if the title states it includes any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

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