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Resources for My Subject

Engineering Library: Academic Writing

Information about the Department of Engineering Library, including information for researchers

Image: laptop screenAcademic Writing 

The purpose of academic writing for engineers is to convey information clearly and succinctly.

Your writing, whether a technical report, conference paper or journal article, should consider the intended audience, use clear language, have a logical structure, and attribute ideas accurately.

This page includes information to support you with your academic writing.

Training from the Centre for Languages and Inter-Communication

The Department of Engineering Centre for Languages and Inter-Communication (CLIC) offers a varied online training programme called Communication for Global Engineers, which includes training and support on Excellence in Engineering Writing. You can also book individual Writing Supervisions with CLIC.

The Communication for Global Engineers courses can lead to various Digital Badges to demonstrate your achievement. 

 

Academic Writing Training

Slides from the Engineering Library's Writing Skills and Writing for Reports training sessions can be downloaded below.

writing skills title slide

Getting Started with Writing


  • To get started with writing try Free Writing. Write constantly for 5 minutes without stopping or editing on whatever topic you want to. No one will see this writing, you don't need to correct mistakes and the topic can be any of your choosing. The idea is to keep writing for the whole time period.
  • Create an outline structure for your next piece of written work. Can you add bullet points of the type of content you want to put in each section?
  • Review feedback from other assessed work to see if there are areas you can improve.
  • Look at the interactive tutorial on report writing from University of Manchester.
  • Make time to write. You could use the Pomodoro technique to set time aside for writing.
  • Don't forget to proofread, checking for flow, clarity and accuracy. This interactive tutorial from the University of Manchester takes you through those three steps

CUED Guide to Report Writing

To support Engineering Undergraduates with their technical writing there is the CUED Guide to Report Writing available in Moodle. The guide provides practical advice on all aspects of technical report writing throughout the Engineering Tripos / Manufacturing Engineering Tripos (MET). 

You may also find the article "How to Write a Paper" by Mike Ashby useful.

Academic Writing resources

In addition to the Engineering Department Guide to Report Writing, there are several further resources you may find useful:

There are a number of online writing resources provided by the University of Cambridge Language Centre.

The Researcher Development Programme have a useful Online learrning resource including writing skills.

Manchester's Academic Phrasebank gives you a range of alternative ways of expressing your ideas. You can approach it by the part of the  Sections include being critical, giving examples, comparing and contrasting, writing conclusions and signaling transition between topics.

Support is also available from the Centre for Languages and Intercultural Communication.

Machine Design have 6 Tips for Technical Writing.

Writing Resources

The books below are all good places to begin further reading about how to effectively use academic writing to communicate your research, work and ideas. 

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