Engineering students in a study space at The University of Sheffield

Reasons to communicate clearly

Almost all modern day engineering is a collaborative process. The ability to communicate concepts and information between people is critical to getting work done and ensuring mistakes are not made.

A technical report is one of the principal methods of communication used by practising engineers.

Even to the prospective engineer, there are many reasons why being able to write professional reports is important:

Be understood

If you want your ambitions to be realised, you need to be able to articulate yourself. Communicating well helps other people to understand your ideas and contribute to making things happen.

Demonstrate your ability

A report is used to describe work that you have conducted. If the communication of information in the report is poor, it obscures the content from the reader and your achievements, talent and creativity go unrecognised. You can be the best at engineering in the world, but nobody will know if you are unable to communicate your ideas.

Meet your employer’s expectations

As an engineer, you’ll be asked to produce technical reports and will be judged on your ability to create them properly. This is the most highly sought after graduate skill. In the workplace, your written work will be read by senior people that will influence your future career. If you want to be successful, you’ll want to learn how to write technical reports correctly.

Make the most of your university assessment and feedback

Whilst studying, you’ll be required to submit technical engineering reports as part of your assessments. Obtaining feedback allows you to improve your subsequent submissions, but if that feedback focuses on the communication and presentational aspects of the report, it will reduce the amount of feedback provided about the content, which is much more valuable.

Ensuring that you know how to produce a well written technical engineering report early in your studies will save you a great deal of time and effort. The sooner you learn how to do it, the sooner you can start honing your skill and seeing the benefits of good written communication.

Discussion

Can you think of any other reasons why good written communication is important? Let us know what you think in the comments.

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This article is from the free online course:

Technical Report Writing for Engineers

The University of Sheffield