Cleveland State University

College of Engineering


ESC 720 - Research Communications

Fall 2015


Textbook (recommended; not required): Technical Communication, by Mike Markel


Recommended References:

The Elements of Style, by Oliver Strunk

Guide to Grammar and Style, by Jack Lynch

The King's English, by Henry Fowler

The Chicago Manual of Style, by University Of Chicago Press

The New York Times Manual of Style and Usage, by Allan Siegal and William Connolly

A Writer's Reference, by Diana Hacker and Nancy Sommers


Prerequisites: None


Goals and Objectives: This course is designed to enhance the ability of engineering doctoral students to communicate effectively in technical areas and in technical venues.


Overview of Assignments:


Homework: Expect to work two hours outside of class for every one hour in class. Homework will be assigned throughout the course and will be shown at Homework must be handed in to the instructor at the start of class on the due date in hard-copy format, except as noted below. Email submissions will not be accepted. If you cannot attend class on the due date, fax your homework to 216-687-5405.


On-Line Homework Submissions: The following assignments must be submitted at The deadlines for these assignments are enforced by the turnitin web site, so late submissions cannot be accepted.

1.      Presentation slides

2.      Job application (cover letter and resume)

3.      Paper Version A - The requirements for this report and the grading criteria are explained on the grading rubric.

4.      Research Proposal - The format must follow specific proposal format guidelines.

5.      Paper Version B - The requirements for this report and the grading criteria are explained on the grading rubric.

6.      Research Poster

7.      Get the Turnitin Class ID and Password from the instructor


Course Ethics:

See for the EECS Department Ethics Policy.


Grading Criteria:


Homework and participation


Paper Version A


Peer Reviews and Response Documents


Report Version B


Research Poster


Research Proposal


Final exam (open book and open notes, but no electronic devices are allowed)


Grading scale:



A minus


B plus




B minus






Dan Simon








Email address:


Web site:


Course web site:


Stilwell Hall 343



Stilwell Hall 310


Office Hours:



Lecture / Discussion Topics:


Markel Material


Number of Lectures (?)

Chapter 1


2 lectures


Success as a DRE Student

3 lectures

Appendix B

References and Citations

1 lecture


Journal Impact and Citations -
Theresa Nawalaniec

1 lecture


Refworks - Theresa Nawalaniec

1 lecture

Chapter 2


1 lecture

Chapter 6, Appendix A

How to Read

2 lectures


How to Do Research

1 lecture

Chapters 5, 7, 8, 9

How to State Your Thesis

1 lecture

Chapters 3, 10

The Writing Process, Effective Writing,
and Common Mistakes

2 lectures


Peer Review

2 lectures


How to Respond to Peer Reviews

1 lecture


ACC Reviews


Chapters 7, 9

Writing Structure and Style

1 lecture

Chapter 12

Graphics and Tables

1 lecture

Chapter 21

Oral Presentations

1 lecture


Dissertation Proposals

1 lecture

Chapter 16

Research Proposals

2 lectures


Research Posters

1 lecture

Chapter 14

Letters, Memos, and Emails

1 lecture

Chapter 15

Job Applications and Resumes

1 lecture


LaTeX -

2 lectures


Other Slides

Selekted Riting Wrules

Common Writing Errors

Poor Writing Sample


Research and Writing References

Technical report template

How to do research, by Dan Simon - published as Research in the balance (7.2 MB)

You and your research, by Richard Hamming

Hints on Writing Technical Papers and Making Presentations, by Victor Li

CSU Writing Center


Sample Research Proposals

Electrocardiology proposal

Biogeography proposal


Professor Simon's Home Page


Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science


Cleveland State University

Last Revised: November 23, 2015