Tips for technical writing

Technical Writing Seminar 2013s

"Common Errors in Technical Writing"

The Technical Writing & Presentation Courses (47000-34 and 47000-35) were originally designed to stress speaking and presentation skills because it was thought that students’ reading and writing skills are generally better than their listening and speaking skills on the whole.

In February 2013 KIO organized a special seminar in response to student feedback requesting more time on technical writing skills. Because of the favorable response from last semester’s seminar, KIO will be repeating another “free” seminar on September 25.

Both sessions are open to graduate students, researchers, and university staff; and English will be the language of instruction. No units are given, however. The instructor is John Freeman, Special Project Associate Professor in the Graduate Program in Sustainability Science who also teaches the regular technical writing and presentation courses.

Poster (PDF)

Last Seminar's handout (2012w)

Course Information

There will be two sessions (100 mins each) dealing specifically with common English errors in technical writing.

Session 1 is a condensed version of the original seminar last semester, and will deal with English errors at the sentence level. The seminar covers a review of more than 15 common errors and important points of good technical writing in English (articles, negatives, subject-verb agreement, wrong word etc.). The instructor will make every effort to minimize items covered in the Technical Writing & Presentation course, but some key concepts (with different examples) will be included due to their importance. Extra examples (answers provided) will be provided so that participants can reinforce the concepts of the session through further review after the seminar at home.

Session 2 is a newly-added component, and will deal more with errors at the paragraph level such as coherence, organization, structure, and other aspects. Paragraphs are integral elements of the technical writing itself since paragraphs represent the basic unit of ideas or concepts. Even if a writer’s word choice, word order, and sentence structure are excellent—even if sentences are not too long or not too complex—poorly constructed paragraphs will likely not be understood. Paragraphs must have coherence, the quality of communicating your ideas clearly to readers through the logic of the organization of your writing; and consistency, the quality of steadfastly adhering to writing principles which enables readers to find information quickly and understand that information.

Seminar Day Time Place

Technical Writing Seminar

September 25 (wed), 2013

1) 10:30-12:00

(lunch break)

2) 13:00-14:40


Media Hall, Kashiwa Library


Application Start Application End Instructor Credit

Beginning of September, 2013

Septemter 18 (wed), 2013

John Freeman



*The instructor will NOT check your own writing. Please use "English Consulting Office Hour" for personal advice from the instructor.

   Application Procedure

Thank you for applying!

Please direct any questions to KIO. (

Updated: Sep 6, 2013

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