Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Professional Communications: A Handbook for Civil Engineers / Edition 1

Professional Communications: A Handbook for Civil Engineers / Edition 1

by Heather Silyn-Roberts

ISBN-10: 0784407320

ISBN-13: 9780784407325

Pub. Date: 01/28/2004

Publisher: American Society of Civil Engineers

This handbook provides guidelines for writing large proposals, feasibility studies, operating procedures, formal letters, brochures, conference papers, e-mails, and even office memos. Silyn-Roberts (mechanical engineering, University of Auckland) defines the requirements for each section and element of a document, explains the structure of an executive summary or


This handbook provides guidelines for writing large proposals, feasibility studies, operating procedures, formal letters, brochures, conference papers, e-mails, and even office memos. Silyn-Roberts (mechanical engineering, University of Auckland) defines the requirements for each section and element of a document, explains the structure of an executive summary or abstract, and reviews the rules regarding citing sources, editorial conventions, and grammar. Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR

Product Details

American Society of Civil Engineers
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
Product dimensions:
7.00(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Table of Contents

Preface and Introductionxi
About the Authorxv
Part 1International Best Practice in Report Writing: Getting Started1
Chapter 1The Basics of Technical Writing3
1.1What to aim for: characteristics of an effective document3
1.2Pitfalls to avoid4
1.3Solutions to the main problems: questions and action plan5
Chapter 2The Structure of an Engineering Document8
2.1The traditional basic skeleton of most reports8
2.2A navigational pathway: the sections that engineers read first9
2.3Traditional report structure: the diamond structure of a document9
2.4Structure for an executive audience: nontraditional report structure11
2.5Sections of a document: also diamond-shaped12
2.6Helping nonengineers to understand a complex document12
2.7Deliberate repetition of information in a document13
Chapter 3Organizing a Document and Choosing Appropriate Sections15
3.1Why plan?15
3.2Steps to take when planning a document16
3.3Using the Outline mode of Microsoft Word17
3.4Brief descriptions of possible sections to choose for a document18
Chapter 4Presentation Style23
Part 2The Sections of a Document25
Chapter 5Requirements for Sections and Elements of a Document27
5.1Listing of commonly used sections and elements of a document28
5.2Requirements for the basic skeleton of sections29
5.3Requirements for commonly used preliminary sections34
5.4Requirements for sections commonly used at the start of the main body of the document37
5.5Requirements for sections commonly used at the end of a document38
5.6Requirements for other possible sections, in alphabetical order39
Part 3Specific Types of Documents55
Chapter 6Summarizing: An Executive Summary, a Summary, and a Conference or Journal Paper Abstract57
6.1Definitions: Executive Summary/Summary/Abstract58
6.2The purpose of any type of summary58
6.3Difficulties in writing59
6.4General requirements59
6.6Steps in summarizing60
6.7The different types of content (descriptive, informative, descriptive/informative)61
6.8An Executive Summary63
6.9A journal paper Abstract64
6.10A conference Abstract65
6.11Common mistakes in Abstracts or Summaries66
Chapter 7Reports69
7.1Major formal proposal70
7.2Feasibility study73
7.3Due diligence report74
7.4Environmental assessment report75
7.5Progress report76
7.6Incident report77
7.7Inspection report78
7.8Trip report78
7.9Performance review79
7.10Laboratory or research report79
Chapter 8A Set of Instructions: Handbook, Procedure, Operating Manual81
8.3Possible structure for a procedure82
8.4Guidelines for wording of the instructions82
Chapter 9Formal Letters88
9.1The conventions: the elements of a formal letter88
9.2Font, spacing, arrangement on the page91
9.3Structure of the information91
9.4Style of writing91
9.5Sample letters to illustrate the principles92
9.6Letters that accompany a document94
Chapter 10Short Workplace Documents: E-mails, Faxes, Memoranda, Agendas, and Minutes97
10.1E-mails to communicate matters of work98
10.4Agenda and minutes of a meeting101
Chapter 11Publicity Material: Brochures and Press Releases105
11.1Writing a brochure105
11.2Writing for the media107
Chapter 12A Journal or Conference Paper114
12.1The process of publishing a journal paper114
12.2The structure of a journal or conference paper118
12.3Requirements for the sections of a journal or conference paper118
Chapter 13A Conference or Display Poster130
13.1Attending a conference and presenting a poster: the basics131
13.2Purpose of a poster131
13.3What readers like in a poster131
13.4Steps in planning a poster132
13.5Design of the layout134
13.6Poster title135
13.7Possible sections for a poster136
13.8Figures and tables137
13.9Structure of the text138
13.10Style of font139
13.11Using color and background140
13.12Printing the poster140
13.13Final production141
13.14Common mistakes141
Part 4Referencing, Editorial Conventions; and Revising, Proofreading, and Reviewing143
Chapter 14Referencing Your Sources145
14.1Purpose of referencing146
14.2Referencing a document: the basics146
14.3When references should be used146
14.4The two main systems of referencing147
14.5Personal communications156
14.6Sample text and corresponding List of References section for the two main systems157
14.7Using direct quotations with quotation marks160
14.8Compiling a Bibliography160
14.9Common faults161
Chapter 15Editorial Conventions163
15.1Conventions for writing numbers in the text163
15.2Rules for capitalization164
15.3Defining acronyms in the text166
15.4Numbering of chapters and sections of documents, pages, and illustrations166
15.5Titles and captions of tables and figures168
15.6Conventions for tables168
15.7Formatting equations in the text170
Chapter 16Revising, Proofreading, and Reviewing a Document172
16.1Brief definitions: Revising, proofreading, and reviewing172
16.2Revising a document173
16.3Proofreading the final draft of a document175
16.4Proofreading the printer's proof176
16.5Reviewing a document178
Part 5Writing Style181
Chapter 17Problems of Style: Recognizing and Correcting Common Mistakes183
17.5Pairs of words that are often confused191
17.6Jargon phrases to avoid195
17.7Writing to inform, not to impress195
17.8The split infinitive196
17.9Verbs and vivid language197
Part 6Presenting Work Orally203
Chapter 18A Seminar or Conference Presentation205
18.1The aims of a presentation and the constraining factors206
18.2Guidelines for beginners206
18.3Structuring the presentation208
18.4Suggestions for wording: your own, and for visual aids210
18.5Types of speaker's notes214
18.6Spoken style215
18.7Designing visual aids216
18.8Delivering your presentation219
18.9Answering questions224
Chapter 19A Presentation to a Small Group227
19.1The constraints of presenting to a small group227
19.2Basic principles for preparation227
19.3A professional interview or an oral examination228
19.4A presentation to a review panel228
Part 7References and Resources233
References and Resources235
Quick reference guide: The Parts of Speech and Verb Forms241

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews