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Print Price: $105.99

Paperback, eBook
320 pp.
36 photos, 112 figures, 14 tables, all full colour, 7.5" x 9.25"


Copyright Year:

Imprint: OUP Canada

Writing in the Technical Fields

A Practical Guide, Third Edition

Thorsten Ewald

The most engaging, relatable, and practical text available for students in the technical disciplines learning how to communicate effectively.

Writing in the Technical Fields is a concise guide to the practical elements of technical writing. Using clear, straightforward language and easy-to-follow principles, this third edition teaches students how to approach a wide range of fundamental concepts - including planning and editing documents, ethics in technical fields, and delivering engaging presentations - and helps them develop the skills and confidence they need to be effective technical writers and communicators.

Readership : Writing in the Technical Fields is intended for use in technical writing courses at colleges and universities.


  • "With his approachable tone, practical and concise advice for writing and formatting, and extensive real-world examples of communication in action, Thorsten Ewald has crafted a text that aspiring practitioners in the technical fields are sure to find useful and engaging."
    --James Ross, Dalhousie University

  • "This book is comprehensive, yet concise. The tone is accessible, creating a feeling that the book is genuinely working to meet the needs of students and instructors. The book provides a wealth of sample documents from the workplace."
    --Gefen Bar-On Santor, University of Ottawa

1. Why Technical People Needn't Fear Writing
2. Technical Sentences
3. Technical Paragraphs
4. Parallelism, Lists, Headings, and Layout
5. Routine Correspondence
6. Short Reports, Proposals, and Technical Documents
7. Formal Reports
8. Intercultural Communication, Collaborative Writing, and Document Control
9. References and Citations
10. Technical Graphics
11. Technical Definitions and Descriptions
12. Instructions, Procedures, and Manuals
13. Oral Presentations
14. Ethics NEW
15. Job Application Process
APPENDIX: Grammar and Usage Handbook
· Part 1: Punctuation and Grammar
· Part 2: Mechanics and Conventions
· Part 3: Glossary of Commonly Misused Words

Instructor's Manual
· Answers to all end-of-chapter exercises
Additional cases studies
For each case:
-- Links to relevant material
-- 2-3 critical thinking questions
-- 2 teaching activities/discussions topics
PowerPoint Slides
For each chapter:
· 20-35 lecture outline slides
· All images and figures from the text
Test Bank
For each chapter:
· 25 multiple-choice questions
· 15 true-or-false questions
· 10 short answer questions
· 3 long answer
· Answer key
Student Resources
- Two annotated formal reports

Thorsten Ewald holds a Master's degree in Literature and Rhetoric and, in addition to having worked as a technical writer documenting electromechanical systems and writing business plans and annual reports, he has taught at the British Columbia Institute of Technology for 17 years. Ewald continues to teach technical communications full-time at BCIT but also works in the field doing corporate communications training.

Making Sense in Engineering and the Technical Sciences - Margot Northey and Judi Jewinski
The Essentials of Technical Communication - Elizabeth Tebeaux and Sam Dragga

Special Features

  • Written by a Canadian consultant and technical writing instructor, this text exposes students to the most current industry practices in the country.
  • A focus on practical writing skills and a conversational tone make this an accessible resource that students can use throughout their academic and professional careers.
  • Industry-specific examples and sample annotated documents from a wide range of technical fields demonstrate how the principles of writing can be easily applied and adapted to different contexts.
  • Comprehensive yet concise coverage of core technical writing concepts makes material logical and easy to remember for undergraduate students.
  • In the Field boxes, written by industry professionals, provide students with a first-hand look at different aspects of technical communication in practice and bring the texts' principles of clear communication to life.
New to this Edition
  • A chapter on ethics, previously Appendix C, outlines a variety of ethical principles and guidelines for students to apply in technical writing.
  • Expanded Grammar and Usage Handbook includes additional topics - such as gender-neutral language, using colons and commas in letter salutations, and inconsistent pronoun references - as well as more exercises.
  • New end-of-chapter exercises - on creating short emails, writing a formal report, BMX Track Quick-read, and more - encourage students to apply their learning to real-world challenges within the field.
  • New and updated coverage of current topics in the field, including engineering and project logs, usability testing, and customizing résumés for online submission, ensures students have an up-to-date resource.
  • Updated citation guidelines for all major styles, including IEEE style.
  • Fully updated figures throughout, reflecting the most recent Microsoft Office interface.
  • New full-colour design makes the material more visually engaging and easy to follow.
  • Revisions made with EAL students in mind, such as simplified and shortened questions, pronoun usage instruction, and replacement of idioms with plain language.