Language Units (for building judgment about effective language choices)
Word choices for precision and accuracy – Introductory nontechnical level
Word choice, precision and accuracy in technical information
Effective sentence structure – simple sentences (one main idea per sentence)
Connecting ideas effectively in sentences – complex sentence structure
Active and passive voice - how to choose what’s most effective for the context
Sequence of Information through a document (for reports and tech memos – not proposals)
Information sequencing in sentences - Known-new information structure
E-mail – Professional use of e-mail and special language considerations for e-mail
Webcasts to accompany these units are in development. They will be posted as they become available.
Answer keys available from Susan Conrad, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grammar and Mechanics Lessons (addressing common errors civil engineering students make)
1. Sentence structure and punctuation: What's a complete sentence? How is it punctuated?
2. Verb tense and reporting methods: What verb tense is needed to report data collection and analysis?
4. Commas: Where is a comma obligatory? Where should it be omitted? Where is it optional?
5. Parallel Structure: How do you write grammatical, effective sentences that include lists of items?
6. Semi-colons ( ; ) : What is the correct use of semi-colons?
8. Using "The" - The Definite Article: How does the use of "the" differ between notes and formal documents?
9. Apostrophes ('): When do you need an apostrophe? When should you leave it out?
10. Figures and Tables: What makes visuals effective? How should you label them?
Genre Units (describing the typical purpose, content, sequencing, and formatting of common text types)
1. Field Observation Memoranda (Note: This genre unit is designed especially for first-year course assignments that require students to visit construction sites, engineering firms, etc.). Additional for Genre Unit 1 - Unannotated Excellent Example, Unannotated Weak Example, Annotated Excellent Example, Annotated Weak Example and FOM Template
2. Cover Letters and Letters of Transmittal
3. Geotechnical Site Visit Investigation Reports