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English in (Mechanical)

Engineering

Basically, there is no primary difference


between english in general and english in
engineering, except its purposes (the
vocabulary)

Tense Considerations in scientific /


engineering writing
When you write an experimental
report, or draft a thesis chapter, you
need to choose which tense or
tenses to use
What do tenses do ?
Tenses manage time by placing them
within particular relationship or time
frameworks

Tense considerations in scientific /


engineering writing

Abstract
This usually refers to your results and uses the past tense
Ex : The experiment results shown the good agreement between
mechanical results and NDT thermography
Introduction
Your Introduction needs to include background information which is
generally accepted as fact in a discipline. You also need to explain
why the research you are reporting is important. It is usually
presented in present tense and present perfect tense
Ex :
This thesis concentrates on the application of NDT method
of thermography as an observation tool on damage behaviour
GFRP specimen. To the knowledge of the author, all the results are
significant contribution on damage characteristics of GFRP
composite material.
Ex :
Several studies have been performed on composite
material to understand the damage behaviour by means of

Tense considerations in scientific /


engineering writing
Methods
Past tense to describe what was done. In your method
section it is customary to use a form of the simple past
tense to describe what you did in your study
Ex : Test was carried out with a servo-hydraulic testing
machine of INSTRON Machine 8501 with a capacity of
100 kN ( Past passive )
Ex : A strain gage took place on specimen surface to
record the strain propagation
( Past active )
Present tense for diagrams and figures
Ex : Fig.3.1 below shows the dimension and the size of
the GFRP specimen.

Tense considerations in scientific /


engineering writing

Results
Past tense for results obtained
In the results section, use past tense to detailed the results you
obtained.
Ex : It found that there is no significant different of energy
dissipation during the period of Tstable under fatigue loading.
Present tense to refer to figures, tables and graphs
Discussion
Present tense to explain significance of results
Ex : The presence of early delta-T spots possibly brings out lower
mechanical properties coming from manufacturing defects or from
the non-homogeneous chips nature.
Past tense to summarise findings, with present tense to
interpret results
Ex : The presence of early delta-T spots did not grow, indicating

Tense considerations in scientific /


engineering writing
Conclusion
A combination of tenses to highlight past research
and future directions
In the final section of your thesis or report you
summarise the main findings and the major
implications of the study, point out any limitations, and
offer suggestions for future research. To do these things
you may use a combination of tenses.
Ex : Although the study found early damage
appearance and propagation during the test, from the
observation it was not possible to predict the final
failure location caused heterogenous of sub structure
material. Further studies are therefore necessary to

Intro
Complete a questionnaire :
1. Explain briefly what mechanical engineering is
2. What are some of the things that mechanical
engineers do
3. What are your particular interests in this field
of engineering
4. After graduation, what do you expect to do in
this field of engineering
5. In what ways is English important to this field
of engineering