Winning the Word War

by Laurie Holmstedt, Writer; Hooper, Cuisbane and Kellman, Woburn, MA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1990, Vol. 60, Issue 3, Pg. 70-72

Document Type: Feature article


Holmstedt offers 11 tips for writing better engineering reports. Most engineering firms have developed stylebooks that answer most common grammatical questions and that provide formats and terminology guidelines. But they don't always help when your draft just doesn't sound right. Tips include using simple, direct language and avoiding slang, personification, and malapropisms in writing. The importance of parallel construction when making lists, using complete sentences rather than fragments and ensuring proper verb tense are also covered. These suggestions, along with careful organizing, outlining, drafting and revising of a first draft should result in better-written reports.

Subject Headings: Writing skills | Terminology and definition | Construction management | Drafting

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