WPE - Writing Professional English

Leonardo da Vinci II: CZ/02/B/F/LA - 134043
Duration: 1/11/2002 - 31/10/2005
This project has been carried out with the support of the European Community. The content of this project does not necessarily reflect the position of the European Community, nor does it involve any responsibility on the part of the European Community.


The proposed project, entitled Writing Professional English, is a language project further developing the results of the previous project entitled Effective Communication in Technical/Scientific Writing in English - A Practical Guide for Technical and Scientific Writers. The four partners / CZ, UK, D and SK/ put together a manual of about 75 pages for the benefit of technical/scientific writers. The project 's output raised a great deal of interest when presented at Brussels Training 2000. The work done so far, though, is limited, since it only provides users with a handbook or reference approach to their writing problems, and it mainly concentrates on shared writing difficulties of non-English end - users.

The aim of the continuation project therefore is to add value to what has been achieved so far. The final product of the project will be designed in the form of 11 self-study training modules for professional writers in English, from which any end-user, or national group of end-users, can select what is appropriate for them. Because of the flexible way the product is structured, it will fill in a gap in the market that commercial producers or publishers cannot normally deal with.

Description of the previous project

Title of the project:

Effective Communication in Technical/Scientific Writing in English


1/12/1998 - 5/4/2001


Scope of the project:

The project addresses the need of scientific and technical staff at research institutes, educational institutions and industry to write scientific reports, papers for conferences and project proposals more effectively. The primary focus is on regions of Central and Eastern Europe - pre-accession countries, although the materials developed are valuable for scientific writers in other countries too. The project aims have been to develop training materials in scientific writing skills so as to improve researchers' career prospects and their effectiveness in the institutions/companies for which they work. The materials are primary intended for self-study but they can also be used as a basis for constructing programmes for continuous education for technical/science personnel in institutes and industry. The handbook entitled A Practical Guide for Technical/Scientific Writers has been designed to be a reference book and guide for researchers who have to write up their scientific work in English and who may need help to compose and write more clearly and accurately in the language. The authors of the handbook have strengthened the areas of scientific/technical writing that were identified - through needs analysis - as the most problematic. The handbook contains the following chapters:

  1. Types of writing - scientific articles, research papers, proposals
  2. Composition - titles, planning your writing, paragraph writing, introductions, writing the main body, conclusions, sections of a research paper, describing tables and graphs, referencing, plagiarism, abstracts, summary writing
  3. Style - objectivity, clarity, formality, hedging, signposting
  4. Language functions - agreeing and disagreeing, classifying, comparing and contrasting, defining, emphasising, generalising, paraphrasing, quoting
  5. Grammar - adverbs, articles, numbers, passive voice, punctuation, verb tenses, word order
  6. Words - abbreviations, prefixes, suffixes

Description of the chapters:

  1. This chapter deals with the basic differences between the above - mentioned types of writing and their structure
  2. This chapter identifies the individual elements that form the backbone of scientific/technical writing
  3. This chapter focuses on the language features that are often neglected by scientific/technical writers but are of particular importance for a proper dissemination of ideas
  4. This chapter summarises the most commonly used language functions from the point of view of technical/scientific writing
  5. This specific chapter contains only the most problematic grammatical features that occur recurrently in technical/scientific writing
  6. This chapter offers a survey of the most commonly used abbreviations, prefixes, and suffixes related to technical/scientific writing

As the handbook is written for technical/scientific staff, the language of descriptions and explanations to the linguistic problems concerned is concise. Practical examples of technical/scientific texts (authentic pieces of writing) are presented both in the original and improved versions; the handbook is based on the most common mistakes as identified through the collection and collation of raw materials. A graphical design including tables should meet the needs of technically oriented groups of end-users.

The electronic version available from the web-side is an appropriate tool for those who seek quick solutions to the writing problems they face in their everyday routine at the workplace.



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Last update: 19-Dec-2005, 15:15