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This brief 2008 guide is ideal for science and engineering students and professionals to help them communicate technical information clearly, accurately, and effectively. The focus is on the most common communication forms, including laboratory reports, research articles, and oral presentations, and on common issues that arise in classroom and professional practice. This book will be especially useful to students in a first chemistry or physics laboratory course. Advanced courses will often use the same formatting as required for submission to technical journals or for technical report writing, which is the focus of this book. Good communication habits are appropriate in all forms of technical communication. This book will help the reader develop effective communication skills. It is also ideal as a reference on stylistic and grammar issues throughout a technical career. Unlike most texts, which concentrate on writing style, this book also treats oral presentations, graphing, and analysis of data.
1. Elements of technical writing
2. Technical papers
3. Technical letters
4. Oral presentations
5. Presentation of technical data
6. Statistical analysis of experimental data
7. Resume writing
Appendix I. Common errors in writing
Appendix II. Punctuation
Appendix III. Commonly confused words
Appendix IV. International system of prefixes and units
Appendix V. The Greek alphabet and typical uses
Appendix VI. Straight line plots for some mathematical functions
David C. Van Aken is a Professor of Materials Science & Engineering at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri. Dr Van Aken is a licensed Professional Engineer in the states of Missouri and Illinois. He is the author of more than 70 technical articles. He joined the UMR faculty in 1993 after having taught at the University of Michigan for seven years. David has been the recipient of 12 awards for teaching excellence, 4 Missouri S&T faculty excellence awards and one Missouri S&T Alumni Association outstanding advising award. In 2006 Dr Van Aken was designated a Dean's Teaching Scholar. David began his engineering career in 1978 at Caterpillar, Inc. as a materials engineer and then returned in 1982 to the University of Illinois for his Ph.D. graduate studies. Dr Van Aken is the recipient of the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award and the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award. Van Aken's research interests include the physical metallurgy of ferrous alloys, experimental and theoretical aspects of phase transformations and the mechanical behavior of structural materials.
William Hosford is a Professor Emeritus of Materials Science and Engineering at University of Michigan. He is the author of more than 80 technical articles and a number of books including the leading selling Metal Forming: Mechanics and Metallurgy, 3rd edition (with R. M. Caddell) (Cambridge, 2007); Materials Science; An Intermediate Text (Cambridge, 2006); Mechanical Behavior of Materials (Cambridge, 2005); Mechanics of Crystals and Textured Polycrystals (Oxford University Press 1993); Mechanical Metallurgy (CRC Press 2005) and Materials for Engineers (Cambridge, 2008), an undergraduate textbook. Professor Hosford's research interests include explorations into the quantitative relationship between anisotropic yielding behavior and crystallographic texture, sheet metal forming and the dependence of sheet formability on plastic anisotropy and the formation of deformation textures in bcc metals, as well as the spheroidization of medium carbon steels.
"Van Aken and Hosford are highly experienced and have excellent advice to share in this brief guide aimed at students in a chemistry or physics lab course."
- M.S. Roden, Choice
"This guidebook would be especially useful to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as working professionals. It provides a sound basis for learning good technical communication skills and can help the reader avoid many common errors seen even in professional technical writing."
- IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine