PD11: Processes for Technical Report Writing

PD11: Processes for Technical Report Writing gives students the tools they need to write compelling, thorough technical reports. Great reports aren’t just thrown together with abandon: they take focused research, careful consideration of the intended audience, and a thorough review process to reach their potential. Students who take PD11 begin developing the analytical, critical thinking, and report writing skills necessary for clear, compelling reports.

What do PD11 students do?

  • Identify problems in their workplace that can serve as suitable topics for a technical report
  • Conduct thorough research to inform and support their findings
  • Provide and receive constructive feedback from their peers
  • Write, edit, and polish a report that draws meaningful connections between academic study and their time in the workplace

If you've completed PD11 and want to feature the course on your résumé, you're welcome to use and adapt the following bullet points in a "Professional Development" or "Relevant Courses" section:

  • Determined audience characteristics and adapted writing style to their needs in order to craft purposeful workplace writing
  • Identified and analyzed workplace gaps/challenges/problems/needs by examining scope, scenarios, stakes, and sources in the workplace and beyond
  • Conducted both primary and secondary research to support problem-solving process; synthesized solutions and recommendations for #-page report
  • Implemented lessons learned from receiving peer and instructor feedback in order to write a polished report; gave constructive and actionable peer feedback

How are PD11 students graded?

The bulk of PD11 students’ grades come from the submission of a technical work term report. Students submit drafts and reviews of their reports throughout the term before submitting a finished report as their final assignment. Students also complete a series of smaller writing assignments throughout the term. To pass the course, students need to earn an overall grade of 50% or higher. Students must also earn a grade of 50% or higher on their report to earn their credit.

If you have a question about grading in PD11, contact the course team using the information in the sidebar.


PD11’s instructor is Dr. Jay Dolmage, an associate professor in the department of English at the University of Waterloo. Jay is also the department’s associate chair of undergraduate studies.


PD11 is offered every term.

Enrolment information

PD11 is the second compulsory PD course taken by co-op students in Mathematics and Science. Students are enrolled automatically and complete the course during their first work term.

PD11 is also an elective PD course for co-op students in Applied Health Sciences, Arts, Engineering, and Environment. Students taking PD11 as an elective enrol themselves in the course using Quest.

Co-op students in Mathematics and Science complete their first elective PD course next. Co-op students in Applied Health Sciences, Arts, Engineering, and Environment continue completing their elective PD courses next.

Contact information

Course team: pd11@uwaterloo.ca

ISC: Andrew Brunet  andrew.brunet@uwaterloo.ca