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Writing, presenting, discussion, and making posters can help students understand key course concepts or apply them to specific circumstances. While working with faculty in the schools of engineering and natural sciences at Rice University, instructors from the Cain Project in Engineering and Professional Communication have prepared assignments and supporting materials for communication instructions appropriate to specific fields. Some of these materials also explain techniques or situations that will be common in a specific field, such as designing legible graphics with software packaged, MATLAB, used in Chemical Engineering.

The materials listed below were designed for courses in specific departments, but they may be relevant to other courses as well. You may look for your own field in the grouped materials, but be sure to consider those labeled "general" or "professional" as well.


  • A Brief Introduction to Technical Style
  • A Guide to Writing a Recommendation Report
  • Basics of Negotiating: Based on the Harvard Negotiation Project Principles
  • Communicating Ethically
  • Displaying Data in Written Documents
  • Exercises in Evaluating Word Density in Slides
  • Giving Feedback on Students’ PowerPoints
  • Good Design in PowerPoint
  • Group Leader Handbook
  • Graphics Evaluation Form
  • How to Read a Scientific Article
  • How to Consult with a Writing Mentor: OWL-Space Scheduling
  • How to Work with Presentations Coaches
  • How to Work with Writing Mentors
  • In-House Memo Reports Reporting to Colleagues
  • Instructions for Using Calibrated Peer Review
  • Literature Review Introduction Sample
  • Managing Conflict in Teams: Switching to Successful Negotiation
  • Organizing an Analysis for a Review of Published Literature
  • Organizing an Argument for a Literature Review
  • Preparing and Delivering Oral Presentations
  • Presenting a Failure Analysis
  • Presenting a Technology Analysis
  • Recognizing and Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Rules for the Use of Numbers in Scientific Writing
  • Sample Chemical Engineering Student Team PowerPoint for Analysis
  • Seven Ways to Motivate the Audience
  • Test Whether Your Poster Can Stand Alone
  • Working in Teams: A Brief Introduction
  • Writing Mentors


  • Communicating in Non-routine Situations
  • Dealing with Routine Situations
  • Guide to Communication and Corporate Culture
  • Presenting to Managers and Other Professionals
  • The Business Climate for Engineering Communication

Science and engineering


  • An Exercise in Evaluating Photo Backgrounds in Slides
  • Course Project: The Costs and Benefits of Building “Green" (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)
  • CPR Questions for Poster Module
  • Instructions for Using Calibrated Peer Review
  • Poster Draft from Bioengineering’s Capstone Design Course (1)
  • Poster Draft from Bioengineering’s Capstone Design Course (2)
  • Poster Evaluation Form (Bioengineering Poster Assignment)
  • Poster Summarizing Results from HDF Survival and Function in vitro (Poster Assignment in Bioengineering)
  • SmartWhistle Poster Draft from Bioengineering’s Capstone Design Course
  • Team Presentations in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
  • Write an Application Letter that Lands a Bioengineering Internship

Civil and environmental engineering

  • An Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering Communication Materials
  • Evaluation Sheet for Project Presentations
  • Group Paper Assignment
  • Group Paper Proposal Assignment
  • Guide for Team Presentations
  • Literature Review Introduction Sample
  • Managing Conflict in Teams: Switching to Successful Negotiation
  • Organizing an Analysis for a Review of Published Literature
  • Organizing an Argument for a Literature Review
  • Project Proposal Evaluation Form
  • Sample Proposal #1
  • Sample Proposal #2


  • An Exercise in Evaluating Photo Backgrounds in Slides(Biosciences)
  • Assignment: Central Plant Flow Meter Report (Mechanical Engineering)
  • Project Assignment: Analysis of Algorithms and Data Structures (Computer Science)
  • Sample Chemical Engineering Student Team PowerPoint for Analysis (Chemical Engineering)
  • Writing Assignment: Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami(Earth Science)

You may also wish to consult more general resources on communication:

  • Group or Team Communication Resources
  • Speaking and Oral Presentations Resources
  • Writing Resources
  • Visual Design, Poster, and PowerPoint Resources

You may possibly wish to search for

  • Discipline- or Field-Specific Graduate Course Communication Resources
  • Communication Evaluation and Planning Forms
  • Communication Teaching Resources: Assignments and Materials to Use in Class
  • Communication Teaching Resources: Integrating Communication Instruction into Courses
  • Communication Teaching Resources: Training Materials for Student Communication Mentors, Coaches, and Discussion Leaders
  • Resources for Professional Development and Communication
  • Resources on Thesis and Dissertation Preparation for Graduate Students

The preparation of these materials was funded through a generous grant from the Gordon and Mary Cain Foundation.

Questions & Answers

Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Communication resources. OpenStax CNX. Jul 23, 2008 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10554/1.2
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