Academic Writing and Presentation in Engineering Studies

Academic Writing and Presentation in Engineering Studies

This course intends to train students to critically read and write academic research papers in engineering studies. Students will also be trained how to make an oral presentation of their research.

To achieve the course objectives, the training includes introductions to English academic writing and presentation and to the framework of each part of an engineering academic paper. Each training session consists of two hours of lectures/class discussions, the purpose of which is to equip students with the essential knowledge of writing English engineering papers, and one hour of group discussions/writing tasks, the purpose of which is to enable students to practice the knowledge and skills using authentic publications in the engineering field. Various learning tasks (guided reading/writing practices, class/paired discussions, and individual/collaborative writing tasks) are designed to develop their writing skills and deepen their understanding of the structural features of research papers relevant to engineering studies. By the end of the training, students should be able to make use of the moves and techniques learned from the course to finish an individual term paper or a collaborative writing project. In addition, students are provided the opportunity to apply the taught presentation techniques to giving their oral and poster presentations.


Core Competences (CC)

The purpose of this course is to cultivate students’ following competences:

CC 1: independent judgment and ability to innovate
CC 2: professional knowledge and skills
CC 3: communicative and team skills

Course Contents

  • Features of academic writing
  • Writing general-specific texts
  • Problem, process, and solution
  • Data commentary
  • Writing summaries
  • Writing critiques
  • Moves and steps in engineering research papers
  • Presenting skills

Course Intended Learning Outcome (CILO)

By the end of the course, students should be able to:

CILO 1: critically evaluate and analyze a variety of texts for academic purposes (CC 1, 2 & 3)
CILO 2: identify features of academic writing in engineering field and apply their knowledge to organize their ideas into a logical and coherent text (CC 1, 2 & 3)
CILO 3: recognize the moves and steps in constructing engineering research papers (CC 1 & 2)
CILO 4: develop proof-reading and self-editing skills (CC 1 & 3)
CILO 5: make effective written and oral presentations of one’s own work (CC 1, 2 & 3)

Teaching & Learning Activities (TLAs)

1. Students will develop reading and writing skills through guided practice, group discussion and peer-review. (CILO 1, 2, 3 & 4)
2. Students will analyze structural features of engineering research papers (CILO 1, 2 & 3)
3. Students will complete a variety of individual as well as collaborative reading and writing tasks, making use of the moves and techniques that they have learned from the course. (CILO1, 2, 3 & 4)
4. Students will practice tailoring their written and oral presentations to their target audience. (CILO 1, 2 & 5)

Assessment Methods

a. Learning tasks 30% (CC 1, 2 & 3; CILO 1, 2 & 3)
b. Assignment (Abstract; data commentary; SPSE/mini-project) 30% (CC 1, 2 & 3; CILO 1, 2, 3 & 4)
c. Poster presentation + 3-minute thesis presentation 20% (CC 2 & 3; CILO 5)
d. Paper Analysis (Individual & collaborative tasks) 20% (CC 1, 2 & 3; CILO 1, 2, 3 & 4)

Reference Materials

  • Beer, D. & McMurrey, D. (2005). A Guide to Writing as an Engineer, 2nd Ed. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Budinski, K. G. (2001). Engineers’ guide to technical writing. Materials Park, OH: ASM International.
  • Day, R. A. & Gastel, B. (2011). How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper. Santa Barbara: Greenwood.
  • Gillett, A., Hammond, A., & Martala, M. (2009). Inside Track: Successful Academic Writing. Person Education Limited.
  • Katz, M. J. (2009). From Research to Manuscript: A guide to scientific writing, 2nd ed. Cleveland OH: Springer Science & Business Media B.V.
  • Hamp-Lyons, L., & Heasley, E. (2006). Study Writing. Cambridge University Press.
  • Markel, Michael H. (1994). Writing in the Technical Fields: A Step-By-Step Guide for Engineers, Scientists, and Technicians. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • McCarthy, M. & O’Dell, F. (2008). Academic Vocabulary in Use. Cambridge University Press.
  • Mkandawire, M. (2010). Ecowriting: A Device to ESL on Effective Scientific Writing in Environmental Science and Engineering. New York: Nova Science Publishers.
  • Powell, Mark. (2002). Presenting in English: How to Give Successful Presentations. Boston, MA: Thomson-Heinle.
  • Robert, A. D. & Gastel, B. (2011). How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper, 7th ed. California: Greenwood.
  • Silyn-Roberts, H. (2000). Writing for Science and Engineering: Papers, Presentations, and Reports. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
  • Swales, J. M., & Feak, C. B. (2012). Academic Writing for Graduate Students, 3rd ed. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
  • Weissberg, R., & Buker, S. (1990). Writing Up Research. London: Prentice Hall.