Welcome to EE 393

Advanced Technical Writing


Course Overview

The purpose of this course is to introduce electrical engineering undergraduate students to proper writing strategies, grammatical syntax, and appropriate word choice for formal technical writing. Most students are already familiar with the basics of writing technical papers and reports, and this course takes them to the next level. The course teaches students how to structure a formal technical paper at the level of a technical conference, satisfying all requirements of language, syntax, style, composition, and appearance. Although content undoubtedly matters, the adherence to proper grammar and standard writing styles is very important for a seasoned engineer. Poorly presented results, no matter how brilliant, usually lead to rejection from journals and conferences, failure to receive funding, low priority scoring of a project, reader confusion, and other mishaps.


In this course, students will learn to: (1) use clear, concise, and appropriate language in technical writing, (2) prepare technical documents according to stringent style requirements of engineering societies, (in the case of electrical engineers, the IEEE), (3) learn how to design effective illustrations, (4) avoid common grammatical pitfalls and use appropriate punctuation, (5) use modern software tools (currently Microsoft Office 2013 and EndNote) for technical writing, and (6) confidently present conference-level papers to an audience. In the final weeks of the course, students will explore hot topics in technical writing.


The skills and concepts covered in this course are applicable to all forms of writing, although emphasis will be placed on writing and publishing electrical engineering conference papers. Understanding how to write a quality conference paper builds an excellent foundation for journal papers, dissertations, internal corporate reports, proposals, business plans, and other documentation. 

Required Texbooks

  • Michael Alley, The Craft of Scientific Writing (IBSN: 0387947663)
  • Alexander Mamishev and Sean Williams, Technical Writing for Teams: The STREAM Tools Handbook (ISBN: 9780470229767)


Grades will be based on homework assignments, quizzes, a midterm course exam, and a group paper. A breakdown of the grade distribution appears below:


                            Homework:                             25%

                            Quizzes (announced):              10%

                            Class Participation:                  10%

                            Midterm Assignment:               30%

                            Final Group Paper:                   15%

                            Final 90 min Paper:                  10%


Authors of selected papers will be given an opportunity to present their paper in front of the class. Class time will be taken to critique and analyze the subject of the paper and the presentation itself. Extra credit will be assigned based on the presentations and on class participation.


Grading is on the curve. There will be no Final Exam.


HW 1
Apr 12, 2015 3:18 PM
HW 1 is now posted
Midterm Exam
Apr 8, 2015 2:34 PM
Your Midterm Exam will be on Thursday May 14th, please mark your calendars.
NO quiz section on the first week
Mar 29, 2015 5:22 PM
There will no quiz section for the first week of the quarter.
Send questions about this workspace to Sep Makhsous.