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Technical Writing
Definition
Goals
Writing Process
What is Technical Writing?


Technical writing introduces you to some of
the most important aspects of writing in the
wor...
What is Technical Writing?


The term “technical” refers to knowledge
that is not widespread, that is more the
territory ...
What is Technical Writing?
 Technical

communication can be written, oral,

or visual.
 Technical writing is composed in...
Importance of Teamwork


Business and industry have expectations about the
results of teamwork.



Business management p...
What is the purpose of technical
writing?
 Technical

writing is the delivery of
technical information to readers in a
ma...
The Audience
 The

audience element is so important that it is
one of the cornerstones of technical writing.

 You

are ...
Translating Technical Information


In a world of rapid technological
development, people are constantly falling
behind a...
Goals of Effective Technical Writing
 Clarity
 Conciseness
 Accuracy
 Organization
 Ethics
Effective Technical Writing: Clarity
Methods for developing ideas precisely
–

An expressive essay can clarify the writer’...
Effective Technical Writing: Clarity


The ultimate goal of effective technical writing is to say
the same thing to every...
Effective Technical Writing: Clarity
 One

person may place the heater 6 feet from
the window.
 Another reader will plac...
Effective Technical Writing: Clarity
 Specify
–

Provide specific detail

–

Avoid vague words (some,
recently)

–

Answe...
Effective Technical Writing: Clarity
 Avoid
–
–
–
–

obscure words

Use easily understood words
Write to express, not to ...
Effective Technical Writing: Clarity
 Limit

and/or define your use of
abbreviations , acronyms, and jargon.


Define yo...
Effective Technical Writing: Clarity
 Use


the active versus the passive voice.

Passive voice:

It was decided all emp...
Effective Technical Writing:
Conciseness


Limit paragraph, word, and sentence length.
–

A paragraph in a memo, letter, ...
Effective Technical Writing:
Conciseness
Fog Index


Count up to 100 words in successive sentences
– Divide words by numb...
Effective Technical Writing:
Conciseness
–

Use the meat cleaver theory of revision
Cut

–

the sentence in half or third...
Effective Technical Writing:
Conciseness
 Avoid
–
–
–
–

There is, are, was, were, will be
It is, was
There are three peo...
Effective Technical Writing:
Conciseness
 Avoid
–

wordy phrases

In order to purchase

 Proofread
 Consider

for accur...
Effective Technical Writing:
Accuracy
 The

importance of correct
grammar and mechanics
–

Grammatical or mechanical
erro...
Effective Technical Writing:
Accuracy
 Grammar

is so important in technical
writing that in a one page assignment
–
–
–
...
Effective Technical Writing:
Organization
 Methods

for organizing

–

Spatial

–

General to Specific

–

Chronological
...
Effective Technical Writing:
Organization
 Methods

for organizing

–

Definition

–

Comparison/Contrast

–

More Import...
Effective Technical Writing: Ethics
 Ethics

– methods encouraging moral
standards in technical writing
–

Practical

–

...
Effective Technical Writing: Ethics


General categories of ethics in communication
–

Behavior towards colleagues, subor...
Effective Technical Writing:
Process
 The

writing process is effective . . . and
easy.

 All

that you need to do is th...
Effective Technical Writing:
Prewriting Techniques


Reporter’s questions



Mind mapping



Brainstorming/listing



...
Technical Writing
 Is

important to success in business
 Lets you conduct business
 Takes time
 Costs the company
 Re...
Sources
 Society

for Technical Communication

 Technical

Writing - A Dalton: Organizing

 Online

Technical Writing: ...
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Transcript of "Tech writdefgoalsprocess"

  1. 1. Technical Writing Definition Goals Writing Process
  2. 2. What is Technical Writing?  Technical writing introduces you to some of the most important aspects of writing in the world of science, technology, and business – the kind of writing that scientists, nurses, doctors, computer specialists, government officials, engineers, and other people do as a part of their regular work.
  3. 3. What is Technical Writing?  The term “technical” refers to knowledge that is not widespread, that is more the territory of experts and specialists.  Whatever your major is, you are developing an expertise, and whenever you try to write anything about your field, you are engaged in technical writing.
  4. 4. What is Technical Writing?  Technical communication can be written, oral, or visual.  Technical writing is composed in and for the workplace.  Technical writing is a significant factor in work experience for a variety of reasons.  Technical writing serves valuable purposes in the workplace and often involves teamwork.
  5. 5. Importance of Teamwork  Business and industry have expectations about the results of teamwork.  Business management philosophies depend upon teamwork.  Total Quality Management (TQM) and Six Sigma (continuous improvement) programs encourage efficient teamwork.  Strategies for successful collaboration can improve outcomes.
  6. 6. What is the purpose of technical writing?  Technical writing is the delivery of technical information to readers in a manner that is adapted to their needs, level of understanding, and background.  Technical writing is intended to communicate to a specific audience, for a specific purpose.
  7. 7. The Audience  The audience element is so important that it is one of the cornerstones of technical writing.  You are challenged to write about highly technical subjects but in a way that a beginner —a non-specialist—could understand.
  8. 8. Translating Technical Information  In a world of rapid technological development, people are constantly falling behind and becoming technological illiterates.  As a technical writer, you need to write about the area of specialization you know and plan to write about in such a way that even Granddad can understand.
  9. 9. Goals of Effective Technical Writing  Clarity  Conciseness  Accuracy  Organization  Ethics
  10. 10. Effective Technical Writing: Clarity Methods for developing ideas precisely – An expressive essay can clarify the writer’s intent through emotional, impressionistic, connotative words (soon, many, several, etc.). – An impressionistic word such as “near” will mean different things to different people which is okay in in an essay where the goal may be to convey a feeling.
  11. 11. Effective Technical Writing: Clarity  The ultimate goal of effective technical writing is to say the same thing to every reader.  Let’s say I write instructional manuals for company manufacturing space heaters. If I write, “Place the space heater near an open window,” what will this mean to thousands of customers who purchase the machine?
  12. 12. Effective Technical Writing: Clarity  One person may place the heater 6 feet from the window.  Another reader will place the heater 6 inches from the window.  As the writer, I have failed to communicate clearly.
  13. 13. Effective Technical Writing: Clarity  Specify – Provide specific detail – Avoid vague words (some, recently) – Answer reporters’ questions (who, what, where, when, why, how)
  14. 14. Effective Technical Writing: Clarity  Avoid – – – – obscure words Use easily understood words Write to express, not to impress Write to communicate, not to confuse Write the way you speak aforementioned in lieu of already discussed instead of
  15. 15. Effective Technical Writing: Clarity  Limit and/or define your use of abbreviations , acronyms, and jargon.  Define your terms parenthetically  CIA (Cash in Advance) or  Supply a separate glossary  Alphabetized definitions list of terms, followed by their
  16. 16. Effective Technical Writing: Clarity  Use  the active versus the passive voice. Passive voice: It was decided all employees will take a ten percent cut in pay.   Unclear: Who decided? Active: The Board of Directors decided that all employees . . . Overtime is favored by hourly workers.   Wordy Active: Hourly workers favor overtime.
  17. 17. Effective Technical Writing: Conciseness  Limit paragraph, word, and sentence length. – A paragraph in a memo, letter, or short report should consist of  No  No – more than four to six typed lines or more than fifty words. Fog index (sixth to eighth grade level)  Strive  No for an average of 15 words per sentence more than 5 multisyllabic words per 100 words
  18. 18. Effective Technical Writing: Conciseness Fog Index  Count up to 100 words in successive sentences – Divide words by number of sentences = average number of words per sentence  Count number of long words (three or more syllables) within sentences – Don’t count proper names (Christopher Columbus), long words created by combining shorter words (chairperson), or three syllable words created by ed or es endings (united).
  19. 19. Effective Technical Writing: Conciseness – Use the meat cleaver theory of revision Cut – the sentence in half or thirds Avoid shun words Avoid Came – words ending in –tion or –sion to the conclusion concluded Avoid camouflaged words Make an amendment to amend
  20. 20. Effective Technical Writing: Conciseness  Avoid – – – – There is, are, was, were, will be It is, was There are three people who will work for Acme. Three people will work for Acme.  Omit – – the expletive pattern redundancies During the year of 1996 During 1996
  21. 21. Effective Technical Writing: Conciseness  Avoid – wordy phrases In order to purchase  Proofread  Consider for accuracy ethics to purchase
  22. 22. Effective Technical Writing: Accuracy  The importance of correct grammar and mechanics – Grammatical or mechanical errors make writers look unprofessional and incompetent.
  23. 23. Effective Technical Writing: Accuracy  Grammar is so important in technical writing that in a one page assignment – – – – 4 major grammatical errors = F 3 major grammatical errors = D 2 major grammatical errors = C 1 major grammatical error = B  “A” means “excellent” which is defined as “without flaw”
  24. 24. Effective Technical Writing: Organization  Methods for organizing – Spatial – General to Specific – Chronological – Mechanism Description – Process Description – Classification
  25. 25. Effective Technical Writing: Organization  Methods for organizing – Definition – Comparison/Contrast – More Important to Less Important – Situation-Problem-SolutionEvaluation – Cause-Effect
  26. 26. Effective Technical Writing: Ethics  Ethics – methods encouraging moral standards in technical writing – Practical – Legal – Moral
  27. 27. Effective Technical Writing: Ethics  General categories of ethics in communication – Behavior towards colleagues, subordinates and others (plagiarism, harassment, malicious actions) – Dealing with experimental subjects, interviewees, etc. (informed consent) – Telling the “truth” (falsify data, misrepresent facts) – Rhetoric—choosing your words (loaded words, discriminatory language, logical fallacies)
  28. 28. Effective Technical Writing: Process  The writing process is effective . . . and easy.  All that you need to do is three things: – Prewrite (about 25 percent of your time) – Write (about 25 percent of your time) – Rewrite (about 50 percent of your time)
  29. 29. Effective Technical Writing: Prewriting Techniques  Reporter’s questions  Mind mapping  Brainstorming/listing  Flowcharting  Outlining  Storyboarding
  30. 30. Technical Writing  Is important to success in business  Lets you conduct business  Takes time  Costs the company  Reflects your interpersonal communication skills  Often involves teamwork
  31. 31. Sources  Society for Technical Communication  Technical Writing - A Dalton: Organizing  Online Technical Writing: Information Infrastructures – Comparison  Online Technical Writing
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