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Workbook for CMPE 185
Technical Writing
for Computer Engineers
and Computer Scientists

Kevin Karplus
Department of Computer Engineering
Jack Baskin School of Engineering
University of California, Santa Cruz - Dan Scripture
Writing Program
University of California, Santa Cruz


This document contains course notes and exercises for a course in technical writing. The course is intended for third-year computer engineering majors, and emphasizes technical documentation directed to engineers, engineering managers, technical writers, and other specialized audiences. Exercises include job applications and résumés, memos, electronic correspondence, algorithm description, in-program documentation, naive-user documentation, poster presentation, proposal writing, document specification, progress reports, formal technical reports, and an oral presentation.

Students are expected to have reading knowledge of PASCAL or C, and to be able to follow explanations of recursive algorithms.


Although the copyright for this workbook is retained by the authors, permission to make copies for UCSC students, faculty, and staff is granted to any copy shop located in Santa Cruz County.


Some of the assignments in this workbook were originally created by Renny Christopher, and have been used here with minor modifications. We thank Renny for giving us permission to use these assignments. Tracy Larrabee has taught using this workbook several times--her feedback and editing have been invaluable.

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Kevin Karplus
Computer Engineering
University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, CA 95064

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