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A Guide to Writing as an Engineer, 4th Edition by David A. McMurrey, David F. Beer

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11

ETHICS AND DOCUMENTATION IN ENGINEERING WRITING

Technology has a pervasive and profound effect on the contemporary world, and engineers play a central role in all aspects of technological developments. In order to hold paramount the safety, health, and welfare of the public, engineers must be morally committed and equipped to grapple with ethical dilemmas they confront.

Mike W. Martin and Roland Schinzinger, Ethics in Engineering,4th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004), p. xv.

If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.

Marcus Aurelius, 121–180 CE.

ENGINEERING ETHICS

It's hard to live very long without making numerous decisions affecting both our own well-being and that of others. Engineers are no different from anyone else: During your career you will have to make countless choices among various courses of action. Thus, you should be familiar with some of the factors involved in making ethical choices. You should also have an idea of the kinds of situations that will require you to make responsible decisions as an engineering writer. After reading this section, you will be aware of pitfalls to avoid as a writer and resources to help you avoid them.

Note   The material on engineering ethics contained in this section is only a general introduction. Much more could be said on the topic, and many books and websites go far more extensively into what we touch on here. Workshops, courses, and distant learning are also available from many sources. An excellent ...

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