College of Engineering, Penn State
The College of Engineering at Penn State is now offering micro-credentialing badges on writing as an engineer. Given below are descriptions, requirements, and registration link for these badges. Engineering students at all Penn State campuses are eligible to enroll for and earn these badges at no cost.
At present, three badges are being offered: one on writing professional emails, another on avoiding common grammar errors, and another on writing engineering reports.
Writing Engineering Reports: Understanding Expectations. This foundational badge focuses on meeting the expectations of managers and faculty for engineering reports, which are written to document engineering designs, experiments, computations, and other technical work. This badge presents an overview of these expectations from several perspectives: organization, language, illustrations, and analysis of writing constraints.
Avoiding Common Grammar Errors in Engineering. This badge focuses on avoiding common errors of grammar, punctuation, and usage in engineering and science. Specific issues discussed are as follows: avoiding run-ons and fragments; using commas, colons, parentheses, and em-dashes; punctuating equations; making proper word choice (such as affect versus effect); using the proper verb tense; and writing numbers. Not covered are second-language errors, which are specific to each foreign language.
Writing Professional Emails: Understanding Expectations. This foundational badge focuses on meeting the expectations that professionals have for emails written for companies, colleges, agencies, and other institutions. Using a job-application email (often referred to as a cover letter) as an example, the badge presents an overview of these expectations from three perspectives: analyzing your constraints (audience, purpose, and occasion), organizing the email (subject line, beginning, middle, and ending), and writing sentences (being precise, being clear, and adopting a professional tone).
Many differences exist between the style and form of writing taught in general writing courses and writing done by engineers. These badges focus on the most important of these differences. The requirements for earning each of these badges are as follows:
Enrollments for Offerings
In Fall 2021, the College of Engineering at Penn State will offer the badges listed above. Viewing the preparation films can be done any time before class. Likewise, taking the Canvas quiz can be done anytime up to a week after class. Attending the class itself will occur at one of the following times on the scheduled class day:
Writing Engineering Reports:
February 3, 3:00-4:30 p.m. (EST), or
February 4, 3:30-5:00 p.m. (EST)
Enrollments are limited to 200 students for each class period. Deadline for enrollment is by midnight on the day before the class.
Please feel free to provide comments or questions for the information on this website. To help us understand your feedback, would please let us know whether you are a student or faculty member.