(1) Course objectives (general)

To develop copy editing skills in a technical manuscript in terms of (a) translation errors made from Chinese to English and (b) general writing style errors.

To organize and write the research paper in a time-efficient manner.

To prepare for publication by meeting the expectations of one of three audiences: journal editor or reviewer, academic committee, or industrial manager.

(2) Course objectives (specific)

How can I revise my own paper by eliminating general writing style and Chinese-English colloquial errors?

What is the relation between technical writing and project time?

How can I identify my reader's interests to make the paper more user friendly?

(3) Course texts

(4) Suggested readings

technical editing

  • Substance&Style: Instruction and Practice in Copyediting by Mary Stoughton
  • Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace by Joseph Williams
  • Technical Editing by Lola Zook

curriculum text

  • How to Write and Publish Engineering Papers and Reports by Herbert B. Michaelson Second Edition
  • Technical Writing and Professional Communication for Nonnative Speakers of English by Thomas N. Huckin and Leslie A. Olsen International edition
  • How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper by Robert A. Day Fourth edition
  • The Scientist's Handbook for Writing Papers and Dissertations by Antoinette M. Wilkinson
  • Handbook of Technical Writing by Charles T. Brusaw Fourth edition
  • Technical Writing by John M. Lannon Sixth edition
  • Effective Technical Communication by Anne Eisenberg

grammatical or style reference

  • The Mc-Graw Hill Style Manual: A Concise Guide for Writers and Editors Edited by Marie M. Longyear
  • A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations by Kate L. Turabin Fifth edition

for non-native speakers of English

  • Writing Up Research: Experimental Research Report Writing for Students of English by Robert Weissberg and Suzanne Buker
  • A Handbook for Technical Communication by Jacqueline K. Neufeld
  • English Oral Presentations for Chinese Technical Writers by Ted Knoy
  • Principles and Techniques of English Oral Presentations: A Guidebook for Chinese Managerial and Technical Professionals by Chia-Jung Tsai
  • Technical Contacts: Materials for developing listening and speaking skills for the student of technical English by Nick Brieger and Jeremy Comfort
  • Learn to Listen; Listen to Learn: Advanced ESL/EFL Lecture Comprehension to Develop Note-taking Skills by Roni S. Lebauer

(5) Course homework

Written assignments will be sent for editing to the instructor via e-mail ( as an attached file in Microsoft Word format. The instructor will edit the files using the editing tool inside of the "Tools" box of Microsoft Word and, then, return the edited files to the student. During the final week of the course, the student will submit the final assignments on a 3.5 size diskette(Word format).


File name
Paper organization (research title, engineering / scientific objective,engineering/scientific motivation, personal motivation, outline for research, problem statement, and hypothesis statement)
Outline for technical argument (five questions)
Technical argument (300-450 words)
Engineering/Scientific need (five criteria) and Problem/Hypothesis statements
Twenty seven editing exercises for conciseness
Twenty nine editing exercises for clarity
Technical correspondence (NOTE: using the software package, write twelve letters by choosing from the thirty eight options in A Correspondence Manual for Chinese Technical Writers by Ted Knoy
Course grade


(6) Norms for class assignments

The instructor assesses the above assignments on the basis of the following norms:

Structure Each class assignment must adhere to the structure outlined in "Details of class assignments".
Style Each class assignment must be written in clear and concise English, omitting any grammatical, general writing style, or Chinese colloquial errors.

Each class assignment must not only have a particular audience in mind, but attempt to link the technical information with the particular reader's interest(s).


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