ENGL 398: Professional Communication for Engineers

Course Description, Fall 2020
English 398 introduces principles and strategies for effective communication in both academic and workplace engineering settings. Through analysis and creation of professional genres, this course develops the oral and written communication skills that characterize successful engineers. Students will prepare professional documents that focus specifically on communicating technical knowledge to diverse audiences. Because such documents are always situated within professional, social, and rhetorical contexts, this course requires students to explain and justify their communicative choices in order to navigate the work environments of professional engineers. As a SAGES Departmental Seminar, English 398 aims to prepare students for the writing they will do in Capstone projects.

As a Departmental Seminar, ENGL 398’s workload and time commitment outside of class time will be more demanding than one might expect for a 2-credit courseBe prepared and plan ahead.

ENGL 398 complements ENGR 398, a 1-credit co-requisite lecture course that introduces practical, theoretical, and workplace issues that shape the communication environment among professional engineers. For details of the ENGR 398 objectives, work commitments, grade breakdown, and assignments, please see the separate syllabus for that course.

Course Objectives
This course asks you to develop your written and oral communication skills while also honing your professional skills, including time management, organization, and punctuality.  By the end of English 398, students should be able to:

  1. Produce written, goal-oriented texts that communicate effectively and adhere to professional ethical standards.
  2. Deliver clear and professional oral presentations on scientific and engineering related topics.
  3. Reflect on and justify the rhetorical choices involved in planning, writing, revising, editing, and presenting professional documents.
  4. Summarize scientific, engineering and business related research for a non-technical audience.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to work as part of a team, coordinating workflow and collaboratively presenting outcomes.
  6. Synthesize research and professional best practices related to a product or service design project.
  7. Demonstrate the capacity for life-long learning through sustained reflection, revision, and research.