British Columbia Institute of


PPGS 1230 - Report Writing for Mechanical Insulation Inspectors

Piping, Plumbing, Gas Part-time Studies Course

School of Construction and the Environment

Course Details

Good communication and report writing skills are essential to the success of the professional insulation inspector. In this course students will learn how plain English is used to express a range of ideas from simple to complex. Topics include writing memos, emails, technical descriptions and inspection reports in BCICA Quality Assurance Certificate (QAC) format. Throughout the course students will focus on three key elements of technical communications: style, organization and layout.. Note: This course is one of four courses related to mechanical insulation, heat and frost, training for mechanical insulation inspectors:,ppgs1220,ppgs1230,ppgs1240 .


PPGS 1210 and PPGS 1220



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Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

Unit 1: Writing in Plain English

  • Define the term technical writing.
  • List the main characteristics of technical writing.
  • Describe the three primary components of plain English.
  • List two advantages of using plain English.
  • Discuss four strategies to develop a simple, readable style of plain English.
  • Describe three strategies for overcoming writer’s block.

Unit 2: Style – Active Voice, Clarity and Punctuation

  • Write sentences that illustrate the use of active voice.
  • List three instances where it is preferable to use passive voice rather than active voice.
  • Explain the reasons for using passive voice rather than active voice when writing technical reports.
  • Write sentences that show the correct use of colons, dashes, and semicolons.
  • Write clear, concise, complete sentences that adhere to the standard conventions of grammar, punctuation, and style.

Unit 3: Organization and Blueprints

  • Explain the importance of developing a blueprint for technical writing.
  • List three strategies for developing a good writing blueprint.
  • Discuss three instances where a blueprint for writing may not be appropriate.
  • Develop a blueprint for a short informal report.
  • Write well developed, coherent, unified paragraphs that illustrate a variety of sentence arrangements, conciseness, and clarity.
  • Unit 4: Layout – Headings, Bullets and Graphics
  • List two advantages of using good layout techniques when writing technical documents.
  • Describe three layout techniques that are commonly in technical writing.
  • Layout documents that demonstrate the use of headings, subheadings, lists, and white space.
  • Describe the characteristics of parallelism in technical writing.
  • Write lists and sentences that demonstrate the use of parallel structure.
  • Edit lists and sentences to correct faulty parallel structure.
  • Use bulleted and numbered lists to present technical information.

Unit 5: Technical Description

  • Describe the key points to consider when writing a technical description.
  • Analyze the subject, audience, and purpose when writing a technical description.
  • Write a 300 – 400 word technical description of an object.

Unit 6: Informal and QAC Reports

  • Describe the four parts of an informal report.
  • Analyze the subject, audience, and purpose when writing an informal report.
  • Write a short informal report that contains well-constructed paragraphs, organized topics, and visual elements.
  • Explain the importance of revising and proof reading documents.
  • Write an informal report based on the QAC reporting requirements.

Unit 7: E-Mail and Memos

  • Write memos that follow the generally accepted conventions of format and style.
  • Write e-mail messages that follow the generally accepted conventions of format and style

Effective as of Spring/Summer 2012


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