However, the textbooks used by students are not able to address the issue, as engineering students find themselves to remain limited to established formats, which are meant mainly for students going for humanities based courses. The prescribed technical communication textbooks provide the advice to engineering students for such communication details. However, the information and tools mentioned in these textbooks do not match with the standards required in meeting the engineering or scientific knowledge, which these students gain from their professional courses.
The areas covered by these textbooks include the use of active and passive voice, which is more oriented towards humanities. The other major concern refers to citation formats, which are not compatible with engineering studies. The books do not have enough instructions for presentation methods regarding data visualization and research papers, on technical matters. There is little evidence in the textbooks that can provide guidance on arguments and evidence presentation, which is the major requirement for all engineering students who want to become successful technical writers.
There is enough evidence that passive voice is necessary to report certain technical details. Most technical communication textbooks prescribe MLA, APA and other citation formats, which favors writing on humanities subjects. However, textbook by Beer & McMurray is the only book that discusses the engineering citation style, IEEE.
These books must have enough information regarding interpretation of data and making a conclusion about scientific studies. The learning methods explained in these books must aim at presentation of “bottom line” conclusions, which are properly highlighted and emphasized. This would help busy readers capture the important aspects of the presented data. In addition, the presentation of data in the form of tables and figures must support the bottom line conclusion. The books must have ...
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