Free Slides to Teach Technical Writing

Teaching Resources
Writing Guidelines
Writing Exercises
Slides on Speaking

This web page presents a free collection of presentation slides for you, the instructor, to use when you discuss writing and editing in your engineering and science courses. These slides have been used with much success in communication courses for engineers and scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and several universities including the University of Barcelona, the University of Texas, the University of Oslo, and Virginia Tech. More than 400 instructors around the world have obtained these slides. The slides are available in a computer file for two reasons: (1) to allow you to make a computer presentation, and (2) to allow you to modify the text to suit your needs (modification is fine as long as you continue to credit the source). The program used to generate these slides is Microsoft PowerPoint.

To download the slides to a PC, right click on the PowerPoint files below and select "Save Target As" to bring the files to your computer. To download the files to a Macintosh, simply click on the file and hold down the mouse until you obtain window with an option to save the file to your computer. Given below is a description of each file and the month/year of the last update:
Introduction (07/04)
Formatting (07/04)
Mechanics (07/04)
Editing (07/04)
Structure (07/04)
Language (07/04)
Illustration (07/04)

After you have used the files, please send an e-mail to Michael Alley ( to give feedback on how well the slides worked for you and whether you encountered any problems. In that email, please identify your institution and course(s) in which you have used the slides.

Within the files, the presentation slides are accompanied by pages of lecture notes. To view the notes, simply click on "Notes Page," which is located under "View" in the PowerPoint program. These notes include transitions into and out of each slide, background information about the included examples, answers to common questions that students ask about these slides, successful ways to present these slides, and page numbers in The Craft of Scientific Writing with corresponding information. Note that if you decide to use The Craft of Scientific Writing in your classes, you may request both more slides and classroom exercises. The text is being used at a number of universities including Cal-Tech, the University of Illinois, the University of Texas, and Virginia Tech.

Last updated 1/2004
You are more than welcome to use these materials in your classroom as long as you acknowledge the source.