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Engineering Writing Support

Engineering Cafés

Engineering Cafés are a series of interactive workshops designed to give GradPack engineers a leading edge in their writing and communication skills. These are “hands-on” sessions where we “think and do writing” through practice and engagement with peers across disciplines. While Engineering Cafés might cover a variety of writing topics, there are four core Cafés that will be offered every semester. Click the name of each Café to learn more:

In this two part workshop, we’ll focus on strategies for planning and managing a writing project, as well as fundamental tips for structuring the engineering writing. Participants will clarify their writing goals for the semester and learn strategies to implement on current and future writing projects. We will use different genres of engineering writing projects as case studies, so participants will also gain tips for summarizing, paraphrasing, and synthesizing their writing projects.

In this two part workshop, we address the challenges of conveying your research story in a persuasive way for technical and nontechnical stakeholders. We will focus on various writing forms in engineering that include organization and interpretation of results. These will include technical/non-technical reports, results & discussion sections or articles and theses, and similar types of writing projects. Specifically participants will practice and discuss strategies for:   

  • Choosing an appropriate structure for reporting and commenting on data
  • Effectively organizing data commentaries 
  • Integrating figures and visuals in reports 
  • Structuring and revising report

Do people say that your writing is wordy? In this interactive workshop, we’ll address the challenge of building clear, concise sentences that represent your science to diverse stakeholders. Using Richard Lanham’s famous “Paramedic Method” and other approaches, participants will leave the session with strategies for “user-friendly” sentences in reports and other workplace documents.

Contact colleagues at NCState and beyond with tact and ease! In this workshop, you will gain strategies for crafting effective professional emails. Specifically, participants will practice and discuss strategies for: 

  • Organizing a professional email message
  • Making inquiries and requests
  • Creating a professional tone or voice in email

These core Cafés are also the building blocks of the new Writing Certificate due to their emphasis on essential tools for clear, concise, audience-centered writing. GradPack engineers can earn the certificate by participating in the four core Engineering Cafés, four elective elective writing workshops, writing retreats, and other writing support programs through the Graduate School.

Srinivasan Balan (Industrial & Systems Engineering) participates in a group activity. Engineering Cafes combine “hands-on” writing practice with opportunities to revise your own writing projects.

Resources for COE Grad Students and Faculty

Individual Writing Consultations: Trainees can meet for 30-60 minute sessions to work on specific documents or features of their writing. Get strategies for starting, revising, or strengthening academic and technical writing: Research papers, articles, reports, proposals, application materials. You may also email a draft of your project in advance to get the most out of the individual session.

Qiwen Cheng (Civil Construction & Environmental Engineering) works on her abstract.

Class Visits and Workshop Events: We are happy to collaborate with COE faculty to spread the word about our writing initiatives, for example, in the required first-year seminars. Faculty can request a course visit for a brief informational presentation about the Graduate School’s resources in their classes or collaborate to design a more extensive, “hands-on” writing workshop around a departmental event.

Writing Course Consultations: We are happy to offer suggestions on designing and implementing writing into courses, building bridges with writing-focused departmental courses.