MCE 102 Technical Writing & Professional Communication
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Spring Semester, 2008
Catalog MCE 102 Technical Writing & Professional Communication (2-0-2).
Description: Prerequisite: ENG 101. Technical writing as a process for organized
expression of ideas and knowledgeable opinion; oral presentation and writing of
letters, reports, memos, and proposals for effective communication; utilization
of word-processing software to assist in the writing process.
Instructor: Dr. W. Atherton, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Office: SH 233
Phone: (216) 687-2595 FAX: (216) 687-5375
Office Hours: M & W 11:00 AM -12:00 PM
T & Th 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM & by appointment
Textbooks: Pocket Book of Technical Writing for Engineers and Scientists, 3rd Ed., Leo Finkelstein, Jr., McGraw-Hill, 2008.
Reference: The Everyday Writer, 2nd Ed., Andrea A. Lunsford, Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2001.
Goals: To provide engineering and science students an introduction to technical writing, acceptable ethical standards, use of various media for information research, development of logical arguments, and effective and concise communication of ideas through written and verbal means.
Grading: The course grade will be based on several short assignments, a progress report, a comprehensive assignment, an oral presentation, mastery of the mechanical elements of Standard Written English, a midterm examination, and the final examination. An average level of performance (“C” or better) in application of the elements of Standard Written English is required to receive a passing grade for the course.
The formula for the overall course average is numerically determined:
Course Grades => Short assignments => 20%
Progress report => 5%
Vocabulary => 5%
Oral presentation => 10%
Comprehensive assignment => 20%
Midterm Examination => 20%
Final Examination => 20%
The following grading scale will be used to determine the grade for this course unless otherwise indicated during the semester:
Class Policies: Good
writing can be learned by anyone.
Like anything else, it comes as a
result of practice. To this end, I encourage you to have classmates/family/ friends review and critique each assignment before it is turned in. Fresh viewpoints can point out mistakes and help eliminate “noise” that would otherwise be overlooked.
The midterm and final examinations are closed book/closed notes. The keys to good communication should be learned, committed to memory, utilized at every opportunity, and become a part of your daily life. Missing the midterm (or the final) will result in a score of zero points unless prior notification is given and arrangements have been made for an alternative test time prior to the time of the scheduled examination.
PLEASE - Turn off your cell phone when attending class.
The following course outline is subject to change.
Jan. 14 Review of basic concepts. Assignment #1: Finkasaurus rex
Jan. 16 Read Preface & Chapters 1 & 13 before coming to class. Vocabulary test.
Jan. 21 Martin Luther King Day Holiday – No class.
Jan. 23 Read Chapters 2 & 3 before coming to class.
____________Assignment #2: Technical definition. Vocabulary test.
Jan. 28 Read Chapters 4 & 5 before coming to class.
Jan. 30 Writing letters, memos, and sending emails
____________Assignment #3: Describe a component. Vocabulary test.
Feb. 4 Read Chapters 7, 8 & 9 before coming to class.
Feb. 6 Writing various reports,
____________Assignment #4: Writing a progress report. Vocabulary test.
Feb. 11 Read Chapter 11 before coming to class.
Feb. 13 Research reports.
____________Assignment #5: Research report assignment. Vocabulary test.
Feb. 18 President’s Day Holiday – No class.
Feb. 20 Read Chapters 12, 14 & 15 before coming to class.
Documentation. Using tables and graphics.
____________ Vocabulary test.
Mar. 3 Read Chapter 17 before coming to class.
Mar. 5 Effective presentations
Mar. 17 Read Chapter 20 before coming to class.
Mar. 19 Working in teams.
Mar. 26 Forms of business communication
Assignment #6: Resume. Vocabulary test.
Apr. 2 Abstracts/Executive Summaries/Odds & ends.
Assignment #7: Business correspondence. Vocabulary test.
Apr. 9 Presentations
Apr. 14 Presentations
Apr. 21 Presentations
Apr. 23 Presentations
Apr. 28 Presentations
Apr. 30 Presentations