A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Basics of Negotiating

From preparation and preliminaries to formulating a Best Alternative To a Negotiated Agreement (or BATNA), teams will learn what to bring to the negotiating table, how to listen actively and participate constructively while there, and what to do when negotiations don’t go as planned.

conneXions (2008). Presentations>Business Communication>Collaboration


A Brief Introduction to Technical Style

Technical style conveys information about a scientific or engineering topic concisely and clearly. Technical style emphasizes means, actions, and results more than human agents.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Editing>Style Guides>Technical Editing


The Business Climate for Engineering Communication

This PowerPoint file of 14 slides introduces several distinctive features of today’s work climate. Slides identify challenges to productivity in a complex work environment, and provide strategies for working under time and material constraints, managing diversity, and delegating and communicating efficiently and effectively. In an intense work environment, engineering teams must learn to maximize resources to create value faster. This presentation explains how changing technologies for collaboration and communication require new approaches to the way teams work together, adapt to audiences, and ultimately add value to their collaborations.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Engineering


Chalk Talk Checklist

This checklist summarizes how to approach content, delivery, white board management, and question handling in preparing an effective chalk talk.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Presentations>Scientific Communication


Checklist for Reports

This form can be used to evaluate several types of reports, including proposals and progress reports.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Writing>Reports>Technical Writing


Collaboration and Learning: Managing Groups

This document describes ways to implement structure in group projects for effective collaborative learning. Aspects of group membership, individual and group accountability, and grading group work are discussed.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Collaboration>Management


Common Errors to Avoid in Scientific Writing

This handout defines and shows examples of grammar, usage, and style errors commonly seen in undergraduate writing in the sciences. During class, students might be asked to revise each example.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Scientific Communication>Technical Editing>Grammar


Communicating Ethically

As new advances in engineering have occurred in the past quarter century, new ethical issues have arisen, as we frequently see in health care technology. The health care industry can now keep many people alive for a longer period of time, and people who would have died twenty‑five years ago can now be treated. Premature infants, heart attack victims, and other individuals can now be treated with new devices that prolong life. But new possibilities also raise ethical questions about who should receive benefits, who should pay for them, and when is it ethical to prolong life. Should a person who is being kept alive on by a machine and who has no chance of being returned to a state of health be permitted to die? At what birth weight should a premature infant be treated with unusually expensive equipment? Learning how to deal with ethical issues will be an important part of your engineering career. This summary can only touch the surface of the issues that lie ahead.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Scientific Communication>Biomedical>Ethics


Communicating in Non-Routine Situations

This 19-slide PowerPoint presentation explains how to approach non-routine situations that require e-mail, written communication, and oral communication (including crisis communication).

conneXions (2008). Presentations>TC


Communication Evaluation and Planning Forms

Sample forms to evaluate and plan course projects, presentations and posters.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Education>Assessment>Forms


Communication Teaching Resources: Assignments and Materials to Use in Class

A well designed assignment helps students understand the purpose of the activity and the criteria that will be used to evaluate students’ work. Annotated examples and guides help students build on previous knowledge and step up to the demands of new types of communication. The materials in this section contain ideas for new types of assignments, guides that may be adapted for the specific requirements of courses, and PowerPoint files that may be shown in class to provide brief additional instruction on communication.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Education>Instructional Design


Communication Teaching Resources: Integrating Communication Instruction into Course Design

A number of universities have set quantitative requirements for writing or communication intensive programs. Instructors whose courses have been chosen for a communication intensive designation have been compelled to add specific numbers of word or pages of writing. When such assignments are merely added to existing syllabi, the assignments may not further course objectives or foster better learning. The materials in this section are intended to help faculty think about new ways that communication instruction can be integrated with their courses. Several sample syllabi are included. In addition to resources related to course design and assignment design, there are also materials to help train discussion leaders and student writing mentors or presentation coaches.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Education>Communication


conneXions: International Professional Communication Journal   (peer-reviewed)

The journal is dedicated to promoting and developing efficient and effective single and multimedia communication and its constituent communities in local, national, international, and global worksite and civic settings. The publication's major topics lie at the intersection of International Professional Communication.

ConneXions Journal. Journals>Business Communication>TC>International


Copyright and Electronic Publishing: Citation

This document focuses on why and how electronic sources must be cited so that students can avoid plagiarism. Because students now routinely use readily available electronic sources for their papers, they must learn how to properly cite them. You will have more complete coverage of plagiarism issues if you use this document in conjunction with the more general Recognizing and Avoiding Plagiarism, which includes an exercise in how to paraphrase, and The Template for Taking Notes on Research Papers, both of which are found in the Cain Project resources. Do not consider these documents to be legal advice: The author is not an attorney.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Intellectual Property>Ethics>Plagiarism


Creating and Using Interactive Lectures

Interactive lectures include lecture material interspersed with short activities that call upon students to review or develop their knowledge of the lecture topic. This module describes some of the benefits of using interactive lectures. Descriptions and examples of selected interactive lecture strategies are also given.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Presentations>Instructional Design>Education


Dealing with Discriminatory Questions in Interviews

This handout illustrates problematic questions that may come up in an interview and suggests ways of dealing with them.

conneXions (2008). Careers>Business Communication>Interviewing>Professionalism


Designing Effective Graphics Using MATLAB

This PowerPoint file of 40 slides explains the types of graphs (line graphs, column or bar charts, pie charts, and ribbon graphs) that may be prepared with Matlab software. It tells how to choose the right one for the type of data to be displayed, taking into consideration the engineer’s purpose, audience, and context. It also demonstrates the commands used to make the graphs legible and easy to interpret.

conneXions (2008). Presentations>Scientific Communication>Technical Illustration>Charts and Graphs


Developing and Maintaining Your Professional E-Portfolio

This 29-slide PowerPoint presentation addresses the challenges of developing and maintaining a professional electronic portfolio. Beginning with an introduction to the genre and its purposes, the lesson covers aspects of portfolio development from selecting to showcasing pertinent academic and professional documentation. Included are examples from sample portfolios, advice on how to avoid design mistakes, and further resources for setting goals and collecting materials throughout the portfolio process.

conneXions (2008). Careers>Portfolios>Presentations


Discipline- or Field-Specific Graduate Course Communication Resources

Although graduate students may have studied communication in their undergraduate programs, their advanced courses may introduce types of reports, such as literature reviews or presentations of published articles that are uncommon in undergraduate courses. The materials listed below offer brief but salient advice on how to succeed with such assignments.

conneXions (2008). Resources>Education>Communication


Displaying Data in Written Documents

This guide explains general rules plus specific advice for creating tables, line graphs, scatterplots, bar graphs, histograms, frequency polygons, and pie charts.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Scientific Communication>Technical Illustration>Charts and Graphs


A "Drilling Down" Communication-Intensive Syllabus

This syllabus description explains how to use group presentations and a final written report to help students understand a complex set of related issues. This syllabus was used in an energy issues seminar. All of the major topics in the course are addressed simultaneously in each of four cycles. Groups gradually improve critical reasoning and summarize their comprehensive knowledge of related phenomena. A skeleton syllabus that can be redeployed in other courses concludes the description.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Education>Communication


An Exercise in Evaluating Photo Backgrounds in Slides

“An Exercise in Evaluating Photo Backgrounds in Slides” provides students with valuable experience in evaluating effective PowerPoint backgrounds. The 24 slide presentation includes examples and instructions that guide the analysis of photo backgrounds- their qualities, elements, and effectiveness- in presentation design. Students will emerge with their own “rules of thumb” regarding photo backgrounds and develop standards for the use of background images in their own PowerPoint presentations.

conneXions (2008). Presentations>Graphic Design>Presentations>Assessment


Exercises in Evaluating Word Density in Slides

The following 21-slide PowerPoint presentation provides An Exercise[/Exercises] in Evaluating Word Density in Slides. Questions guide students through numerous examples of wordy or sprawling text. Discussion prompts help students consider why and how word choice and streamlining can assist in creating successful PowerPoint presentations. Through the lesson, students will develop their own standards and “rules of thumb” for readability, comprehensibility, and clarity.

conneXions (2008). Articles>Presentations>Usability>Assessment


First Impressions: Writing a Good Abstract

Because an abstract often determines if a published paper or dissertation will be read or ignored, a writer needs to pack a lot of persuasive information into a few words. Despite word limits, if an abstract answers the following Seven Key Questions, it is likely to be complete and enticing.

Hewitt, Janice. conneXions (2008). Articles>Writing>Research>Publishing


Five Models and a Challenge: Past, Present and Future of Translator Training Programs in Argentina   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)

Argentina has a long-standing tradition in translator training. This article has two purposes. On the one hand, it seeks to describe four translator training models prevailing in Argen- tinean universities, especially at Comahue, Córdoba, and La Plata universities. I will discuss the application of such models in relation to the students’ foreign-language training prior to and throughout their undergraduate education. On the other hand, I will present a new translator training model that aims to develop research skills in students, which might foster undergraduate education in research.

Inés Arrizabalaga, María. ConneXions Journal (2013). Articles>Education>Technical Translation>South America



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