Welcome to EE 501

Academic Writing For Graduate Students

Contact Info

Instructor: Prof. Alexander Mamishev      mamishev[at]uw

TA: Sep Makhsous                                  sosper30[at]uw

Course Overview

Most graduate 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 organize their work and structure formal technical manuscripts, satisfying all requirements of language, syntax, style, composition, and appearance. The course covers conference and journal papers, reports, dissertations, and proposals.

You need this course if:

  • Need to improve your chances of passing the Qualifying Exam
  • Have to generate a critical review of others' papers 
  • Do not know how to structure your abstract, papers, and reports
  • Overwhelmed with the task of writing your dissertation
  • Have trouble effectively working with your team
  • Your writing is met with a high rate of criticism and rejection
  • Spend too much time on mundane tasks, such as formatting, proofreading, editing, managing citations
  • Struggle with the compatibility between Word and LaTeX
  • Feeling lost in the sea of literature
  • Need to come up with a publication plan for your research

The course is built around mastering three elements for each aspect of writing: Efficiency, Content, and Style.

Content without Style is not sufficient,

Style without Content is irrelevant, and

Style plus Content without Efficiency is not competitive.

 The course focuses on best practices for generating and managing the Content of complex engineering manuscripts, teaches the Style of formal engineering writing, and teaches the use of modern software tools for accomplishing each writing-related task faster and better. 


  • Alexander Mamishev and Sean Williams, Technical Writing for Teams: The STREAM Tools Handbook (ISBN: 9780470229767)


  • Homework Assignments                          40%
  • Conference Paper                                   15%
  • In Class Group Paper                              15%
  • Proposal (in teams of 3 or less)               30%

Grading is on the curve. There will be no final Exams.


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Send questions about this workspace to Sep Makhsous.