This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: Written Reports (Ch. 6) Written
Lecture 8 Technical Argument Technical
Technical documents often present convincing Technical data and/or a technical argument. data s What is your main claim? s What key evidence do you have to support What your claim? your s What is central? What is extraneous? Build your paper around an argument, not the Build order in which you did the project! order Structure of Written Reports Structure
s Be deductive
– Let readers know where you are going. – No mystery novel approach! Key claim must be early (1st paragraph) 1. Motivation 2. Reference Pugh matrix in prose 3. Selected disposal plan 4. Why it will work
s Use Numbers Use
Engineers make decisions based on Engineers quantitative information. quantitative s Numbers should be used to support Numbers claims. claims.
s – Landfill costs are $XXX/ton. – Many numbers are “per unit.”
s Avoid vague terms: very, some, many, Avoid a lot, quite, … lot, Use Tables and Figures Use
Tables and figures can summarize Tables numbers and information cogently and concisely. concisely. s Important data from charts and figures Important must be explained in prose. must
s – Sentence typically states result, with Fig # Sentence or Table # in parenthesis. or – E.g. The current is highest in … (Figure 1). Writing Mechanics Writing
s Topic sentence for a paragraph
– Argument vs informative s Closing sentence for a paragraph
– Think about transitions s Consistency
– Careful with multiple writers s References
– Peer reviewed – Consistent format – Use “recent” references Common Mistakes to Avoid Common
s Lack of data (both qualitative & Lack quantitative) to support claims quantitative)
– “Factor of 10” not “enormous” – “Cost of $100/lb” rather than “high cost” s Not forecasting key recommendations Not at beginning of paper at
– Briefly introduce criteria – Say, “Our team proposes…” Common Mistakes to Avoid Common
s Students struggle to reference figures and Students tables from within text. tables
– E.g. “The Pugh Matrix illustrates how the five E.g. disposal methods were evaluated against the stated criteria (Table 1). stated – Figures and tables need titles. Figures E.g. Table 1: Concept Scoring Pugh Matrix Matrix Activity – Team 1 Activity Focus on Evidence
Read through paper. s On left side of paper, write the key point On for each paragraph. for s On right, write the evidence in each On paragraph that contributes to the argument/ key point. argument/ s Check with partner/team.
s Activity – Team 2 Activity Focus on Numbers
Read through 2-3 pages of paper. s Circle vague words that need to be made Circle specific to support a claim. specific
s – e.g. “a lot of environmental damage…” or “very e.g. costly…” costly…” Check with partner/team. s Identify quantitative data needed to make Identify the statement specific and numbers-based. the
s – e.g. “40%, or 400 GW, of U.S. power…” Activity – Team 3 Activity Focus on Coherence
Conclusion and Introduction results-oriented s Topic and closing sentences
s – Topic sentences to guide reader – Transition
s Figures and tables
– Should some be added to help clarify? – Proper references within text? ...
View Full Document
- Fall '08