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Report Writing and Communications Tips

Civil Engineers use much of their time for communicating with other people and organizations - to convey design ideas, make recommendations, schedule services, specify test procedures and report results, speak to the public, and for many other reasons. As a civil engineering student you will have many opportunities to practice and refine your ability to write and speak as a professional.

You should take of advantage of the numerous resources that can help you to become a comfortable and competent communicator. The following links are just a few communication resources that you may find useful in you academic career.


The Writing Center - Offers services to help students with writing technique.

Speech Center - Provides instruction and coaching for public speaking and presentations.

Career Development Center - Gives assistance and training for developing effective communications with potential employers.

Civil Engineering Department

Lab Report Writing for CE courses

The following links are intended to provide you with some helpful general information for writing reports and papers for civil engineering courses. For specific report formats and information required for lab courses please visit the Report Requirements page for the course in question.

Writing Effective Memos

Writing Formal Reports

Report Attachments (PDF)

DOs and a few DO NOTs for CE Lab Reports

Photography for Engineering Documentation (PDF)

Avoiding Plagiarism

See the following resources for further guidance about how to avoid plagiarizing.

Citing References and Avoiding Plagiarism

• Fair Use:

• Purdue's Online Writing Lab:

• University of Southern Mississippi's Plagiarism Tutorial:

Other Links

ASCE Writers Guide

This ASCE reference is primarily intended to be a guide for writing journal articles. The information is also useful for writing reports and articles. In particular, please refer to the sections for Author-Date references for referencing other sources and on Writing Styles. Note that the ASCE author-date reference styles are very similar to the American Psychological Association (APA) styles.

More useful information is provided on our graduate student page Research Paper Guidelines and Tips.

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