Strategies for Engineering Communication - Download as PowerPoint by v1jQ0W3u


									                      Steve Whitmore
                       August 2010

                   ENSC 803 Wrap-Up

     "You persuade a man only insofar as you can talk
        his language by speech, gesture, tonality,
          order, image, attitude, idea, identifying
                   your ways with his."

                     ~Kenneth Burke~

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                   Learning Objectives

    By the end of this module, you will be able to do the

 Recognize how this course was structured in order to
  achieve the goals outlined by Kenneth Burke

 Mentally unify the assorted topics and exercises in order
  to have a sense of what you have accomplished

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                   The Writing Process
 Planning:
      • Plan major writing tasks to leave time for revising
      • Plan how you will organize your writing, what voice (perspective)
        you will use, and the tone you will adopt
 Drafting:
      • Drafting is idiosyncratic in nature – if it works don’t change it
      • For large writing tasks, consider using a linear rather than an
        iterative approach (in the interests of efficiency)
 Revising:
      • Revise, revise, revise . . . .
      • Use technology such as spell checkers, thesaurus, and grammar
        checkers to help improve your writing

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                     Rhetorical Issues
 Persuasion:
      • Analyze your audience and purpose
      • All writing is persuasive in nature
      • Based upon logos (logic/reason), ethos (character, credibility),
        and pathos (emotion) – fundamentals of human relationships
 Tone:
      • Tone is about the way we use words in specific contexts
 Informing:
      • Aimed at the cognitions of readers
      • No written document ever communicates 100%
      • Memory limits, the order of information, connecting new
        information to the known, repetition, general frameworks, using
        graphics, KISS principle, cognitive interference

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                     Principles of Form
 Format:
      • Form is persuasive (based upon convention) and informative
        (based upon ease of understanding)
      • Form is both constraining (accepted forms) but also generative
        (new forms)
      • Learn to use the features of your word processor or presentation
 Paragraphing and Organization:
      • General-to-Specific organizational pattern is useful in most
      • Paragraphs with many levels of generality are hard to

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                     Principles of Style
 Order:
      • Weak endings, embedded phrases, weak sentence openers,
        passive voice
 Coherence:
      • Repetition, parallel sentence structure, vague “this” subjects,
        using transitions
 Clarity:
      • Sentence length, general language, specialized language
        (jargon), noun strings, prepositional phrases, punctuation
 Conciseness:
      • Verbal and nominal styles, talkie verbs, wordy phrases

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               Oral Presentation Principles
 PowerPoint Strategies
      • You can do a lot of things with PowerPoint that will irritate your
      • Familiarize yourself with the presentation environment (lighting,
        equipment, etc.)
 Graphics in Presentations:
      • More graphics – less text
      • Ensure you use graphics appropriately
 Poster Presentation Strategies:
      • Color, layout, correctness – all matter. So does creativity.
 Answering Questions:
      • Deferring certain questions can keep you out of trouble
      • Ensure you understand the question; never fake an answer

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Observations about Oral Presentations
 Introductions:
      •   Sometimes you need more context (history, applications)
      •   Why does it matter (how can this be applied)?
      •   Leave title slides up longer
      •   Provide an outline/organizer slide
 Conclusions:
      • Frequently too brief
      • Emphasize again why it matters
      • Summarize, acknowledge, talk about future work
 Other:
      •   Edit for capitalization, spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.
      •   More graphics, less text
      •   Face the audience
      •   Speak slowly

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                    Preparing Theses
 Graduate Assistant:
      • Learn the things you need to do leading up to the defense
      • Be nice to the Graduate Assistant or you may never graduate
 Penny Simpson:
      • Use a template
      • Review the material provided by the library
      • Contact Penny’s replacement early in the process to avoid
        delays later on
      • Your thesis will be the exercise for this ;-)

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 One way or another, you are all teachers:
  • Discover how the mind works (cognitive psychology,
    neuro-psychology, social psychology, personality
    psychology, behavioural psychology, psychology of
  • Determine what you want others to learn (learning
  • Choose teaching methods most appropriate to
    objectives (many models of teaching)
  • You may not win a Nobel prize or make millions of
    dollars, but you may teach someone who does – and
    that is one way to make the world a better place.
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                   What’s Left?
 Revised paper due today, Thurs Aug 5, by 11:59 pm
  (.pdf). Include “Blind Review Response Form”
 Poster presentations due Thurs, Aug 5 by 11:59 pm (.ppt
  or .pdf)
 Tues, Aug 10 from 09:30-10:30 in WMC 3250 to view
  poster presentations (attendance optional)

 Revised papers & poster evaluations returned via e-mail
 Any paper docs returned via campus mail
 I will submit course grades on Sunday, Aug 15 or sooner

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                   This is Your Course!
 I am not designing this course – you are
 Please take the time to make comments about what
  changes you would like to see in the future (what
  worked, what didn’t, what is missing, etc.). Just add an
  extra sheet of paper to the evaluation.
 If you found the course helpful, recommend it to others
  (I’d like to see this course offered university wide)

 Feel free to see me about writing issues, letters of
  recommendation, TAships, etc.
 But note that I don’t edit theses or journal articles (I can
  recommend people who will)
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               I enjoyed working with you on this course.
               The grades you receive reflect your high levels of
                motivation and the work you put into this course.
               Re-reading the materials posted on the website
                in 4-6 months will help increase your retention.
               You are all better at writing than you realize.
               Enjoy the semester break.
               Evaluations.

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