Carnegie Mellon University

Electrical and Computer Engineering

College of Engineering

Course Information

18-701: Technical Writing for Engineers -- Linguistic Foundations




Mini 1 (Linguistic Foundations) is designed for engineering students who are preparing for taking Qualifying exams. We will review the structure of Quals that have succeeded and Quals that have been less successful. Students will learn the linguistic foundations of successful overview papers (like those required in Qualifying exams). They will learn the linguistic basis of appropriate citation and the competent elaboration of the work of others. They will learn effective linguistic practices of transitioning from the work of others to their own work and elaborating their own work. They will learn principles of concision, character/action, topical coherence, cohesion, and emphasis, principles that work together to provide the written portion of a Qualifying exam with an “easy flow” and “readability.” They will learn how this system of principles can help them detect gaps in knowledge they will need to fill in by the time of the oral examination, if not in the written portion of the Qual itself. To the greatest extent possible, students will learn to apply these linguistic principles on the written portion of the Quals they are preparing that semester or have prepared in previous semesters.

Prerequisites: ECE PhD standing is required

Last Modified: 2020-12-01 12:37PM

Semesters offered:

  • Spring 2021
  • Spring 2020
  • Spring 2019
  • Spring 2018
  • Spring 2017
  • Spring 2016