Writing for Engineers
Software engineers don’t just write code. From technical documentation to code comments, proposals to portfolios, engineers also write to communicate ideas and showcase their work. In this course, you’ll take a logical approach to the craft of writing by focusing on the essential ingredients of great communication: audience awareness, organization of ideas, clarity of message, and efficiency of language.
In this course you’ll learn how to identify your audience, solidify your message, structure your thinking into a comprehensive outline, and write a clear and compelling draft. Along the way, you’ll cement your knowledge through lectures, timely feedback, peer reviews, low-pressure in-class exercises, and engagement in the most urgent conversations about writing and content today.
Course taught by expert instructors
Content Strategist & Instructor at NYU
Meg Nanson is a writer, educator, and freelance SEO strategist with 11 years of agency experience in SEO and content strategy. She leverages her agency background – which includes exposure to hundreds of businesses, from early-stage startups to Fortune 1000 companies – to design and execute high-growth strategies for her clients.
Meg has found a professional niche in the SaaS industry, where she spends a lot of time learning and translating complex concepts. Her specialties are machine learning, data labeling/MLOps, and data science.
Learn and apply skills with real-world projects.
Software engineers, data scientists, and other technically-minded folk who are interested in developing a logical and structured approach to writing and communication
Other writers at every level and domain can also benefit from the tools, strategies, and resources discussed in the course
At least some writing proficiency in English will help you get the most out of this course
Try these prep courses first
You’ll come to class prepared with an idea for the writing project you’d like to work on in this course. We’ll begin exploring some early considerations for your project right away.
- What webs, trees, and strings have to do with the architecture of grammar
- Why all great writing starts with finding your “Why” (audience, message, and purpose)
- The essential elements of great writing: clarity, conciseness, and coherence
- How to effectively participate in a peer review process (and why peer review is important)
- Your intended project’s format, audience, subject matter, and goals will be fully flexible. The target word count can also be flexible, but you’ll want to aim for an end product of at least 400 words to make the most of our writing exercises.
- A list of sample options will be provided prior to the start of the course. Examples include proposals, cover letters, marketing copy, product documentation, thought leadership content, and persuasive writing.
- You’ll define the audience, message, and purpose behind your proposed project.
You’ll create a comprehensive outline of your proposed writing project, leveraging a provided format we’ll discuss in class. You’ll learn and incorporate concepts like BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) and MECE (Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive) to create the bones of a hard-hitting piece. Your goal will be to complete most of the hard work before you ever start writing.
- Why structure and logic are the keys to keeping your reader hooked
- How to plan the direction and movement of a piece
- Why you should never skip the outline, and how to build a useful one
- How to write your introduction, hook, and thesis
- Upon completion of your outline, you’ll submit it for peer review so you can receive feedback about the logic and structure of your intended piece. In return, you’ll provide peer feedback on at least two other outlines.
You will turn your outline into a full, complete draft that strives for the hallmarks of great writing and, above all, meets the goal(s) of the individual piece of writing.
- Why accessibility should matter to everyone
- How to format your work for maximum readability & accessibility, exploring factors like: eye-friendly fonts & colors; the importance of breathability & whitespace; breaking up text using headers, bullets, and images; and other attention span-friendly formatting options
- Why a healthy dose of CRAP (contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity) can improve design & usability across any medium
- Upon completion of your draft, you’ll submit it for peer review to receive feedback and address any points of confusion your peers highlight as they read. In return, you’ll provide peer feedback on at least two other drafts.
After incorporating peer feedback and practicing some of the editing strategies discussed in class, you will submit your draft for final feedback & peer review. In turn, you’ll review at least two of your coursemates’ final projects. While constructive feedback will still be encouraged, peer reviews will largely focus on the positive at this stage.
- Why & how to edit your own writing – plus some tips and tricks that can make editing easier
- When to call in an outside reader, and how to help them provide useful insights about your writing
- Which ethical issues are most urgent for professional writers today, including copyright law, content ownership, and (of course) generative AI writing software
- The state of AI writing today and where it’s headed in the near-term (plus a quick, highly speculative look at the long term)
- Everything you need to know about AI writing tools: their uses and limitations, how to mitigate legal and SEO concerns, and some tricks & hacks to help you make the most of them
Work on projects that bring your learning to life.
Made to be directly applicable in your work.
Live access to experts
Sessions and Q&As with our expert instructors, along with real-world projects.
Network & community
Core reviews a study groups. Share experiences and learn alongside a global network of professionals.
Support & accountability
We have a system in place to make sure you complete the course, and to help nudge you along the way.
Get reimbursed by your company
More than half of learners get their Courses and Memberships reimbursed by their company.
Hundreds of companies have dedicated L&D and education budgets that have covered the costs.