Professional Communication for Engineering Students

Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Course Code
CMNS 1135
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
Method(s) Of Instruction
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
In this introductory course, students will learn the fundamentals of the communication and teamwork skills required in an engineering career. Students will learn how to use the writing process to produce informative and persuasive research papers, emails, résumés, cover letters, and presentations. Students will also learn strategies for communicating effectively and persuasively with different audiences, addressing political, ethical, and social issues facing engineers.
Course Content

Course Content:

  1. The Writing Process

1.1   Planning

1.1.1  Purpose and scope
1.1.2  Audience analysis
1.1.3  Form and format conventions
1.1.4  Organizing and outlines

                1.2   Drafting

1.2.1  Clarity, coherence, and conciseness
1.2.2  Tone
1.2.3  Effective sentences and paragraphs

        1.3    Revising

1.3.1  Drafts
1.3.2  Peer review
1.3.3  Final submission

2.  Rhetorical principles and strategies

2.1   Audience analysis
2.2   Persuasive correspondence, proposals, and reports

3.  Critical thinking

3.1   Identifying technical, ethical, and social issues in engineering
3.2   Analyzing technical, ethical, and social issues in engineering

4.  Research strategies

4.1   Library resources
4.2   Online resources

5.  Graphics

5.1   Documents
5.2   Oral presentations

6.  Oral presentations

6.1   Informative presentations
6.2   Persuasive presentations
6.3   Presentation aids and graphics

7.  Job search tools

7.1   Résumés and cover letters
7.2   Online job application tools

8.  Academic integrity

8.1   Citing sources
8.2   Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and American Psychological Association reference citation styles

9.  Teamwork, project management, and professionalism



Learning Activities

Some or all of the following methods will be used:

  1. lecture/discussion
  2. group work
  3. peer review
  4. projects
  5. instructor feedback on students' work
  6. individual consultation
  7. presentation (individual or group)
Means of Assessment

Assessment will be in accordance with the Douglas College Evaluation Policy. Students will be assessed using a variety of evaluations, both written and oral, such as the following:

Cover letter and résumé  10%
Oral presentations 10%
A combination of written documents and tests totalling 70% with no component exceeding 25% and including 70%
1. Persuasive letter (e.g. to a government body)  
2. Progress report on an engineering project  
3. Persuasive or informative report (1,500-2,500 words)  
4. Special topics assignments (e.g., summary of an engineering article or an annotated bibliography)  
5. Editing tasks and tests (e.g. citation practice)  
Participation and professionalism 10%
Total 100%
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Use the multi-step writing process to plan, draft, and revise reports, correspondence, and presentations.
  • Use rhetorical and audience analysis strategies to produce persuasive research reports and presentations.
  • Use research strategies to produce informative and persuasive research reports.
  • Produce and deliver oral presentations on engineering issues.
  • Produce effective graphics for documents and presentations.
  • Use engineering conventions in form, format, and reference citation.
  • Produce cover letters and résumés and use job application strategies.
  • Demonstrate effective use of teamwork skills to complete communication tasks.
  • Demonstrate academic integrity.
  • Use critical thinking to identify and analyze contemporary political, ethical, and social issues in engineering.
Textbook Materials

A coursepack or a current edition of a relevant engineering communication textbook such as one of the following may be used:

Beer, D., and McMurrey, D. A Guide to Writing as an Engineer. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Irish, R., and Weiss, P. Engineering Communication from Principles to Practice. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Stevenson, S., and Whitmore, S. Strategies for Engineering Communication. Toronto, ON: John Wiley & Sons.



Any College entrance Language Proficiency Requirement with the exceptions of the Douglas College Course Options in ELLA or ENGU and the assessments listed below. These require the specified higher standard for entry into CMNS, CRWR and ENGL courses.
• a minimum grade of C- in ELLA 0460, or a minimum grade of C- in both ELLA 0465 and 0475, OR
• a minimum grade of C- in ENGU 0450 or ENGU 0455 or ENGU 0490, OR
• Mastery in ELLA 0330 and any two of ELLA 0310, 0320, or 0340, OR
• TOEFL overall score of 83 with a minimum of 21 in Writing, OR
• IELTS overall score of 6.5 with no band below 6.0; for individual bands below 6.0:
       • if in Speaking, ELLA 0210 required
       • if in Reading or Listening, ELLA 0220 required
       • if in Writing, ELLA 0230 and ELLA 0240 required
• CLB score of 8, OR
• CEFR level B2+, OR
• CAEL minimum overall and essay score of 70 (computer or paper based), OR
• recognized equivalent or exemption.


No corequisite courses.


No equivalent courses.

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

These are for current course guidelines only. For a full list of archived courses please see

Institution Transfer Details for CMNS 1135
Alexander College (ALEX) ALEX ENGL 100 (3)
Athabasca University (AU) AU ADMN 2XX (3)
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU CMNS 250 (3)
College of New Caledonia (CNC) CNC ENGL 1XX (3)
College of the Rockies (COTR) COTR COMC 100 (3) or COTR COMC 101 (3) or COTR COMC 102 (3)
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU CMNS 1XXX (3)
Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (NVIT) No credit
North Island College (NIC) NIC ENG 160 (3)
Okanagan College (OC) OC CMNS 133 (3)
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU ENSC 105 (3) or SFU MSE 101 (3) or SFU SEE 101 (3)
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU CMNS 1850 (3)
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU MCOM 1XX (3)
University Canada West (UCW) UCW COMM 140 (3)
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO APSC 176 (3)
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV APSC 176 (3)
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC ENGR 110 (3) or UNBC NRES 100 (3)
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV CMNS 125 (3)
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ENSH 202 (1.5)
Vancouver Community College (VCC) VCC SCIE 1110 (3)
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU ENGL 115 (3)

Course Offerings

Fall 2023