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Introduction to technical writing


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Published in: Business, Education

Introduction to technical writing

  1. 1. (Technically) IT’S TECHNICAL WRITING
  2. 2. <ul><li>Let’s say, you are given 1 minute to scribble your thoughts, whatever it is, how many different ideas would that be…it wouldn’t matter. JUST WRITE (without a pause) </li></ul>
  3. 3. READY <ul><li>begin </li></ul>
  4. 4. Free writing <ul><li>Start: The best of both worlds is nowhere. Could you ever imagine something terrible and best all at the same time. I’m talking about the guest speaker in the recent seminar I attended. Was it a seminar? Hmmmm I mean lecture. (sigh) Whatevah! Going back... The thing is, nothing can ever tell me </li></ul>
  5. 5. Can the sample written work be changed into technical writing format? <ul><li>Answer is? </li></ul><ul><li>_______________ </li></ul>
  6. 6. Yes, we can! <ul><li>We have to single out terms used in the paragraph. </li></ul><ul><li>Lecture and seminar </li></ul><ul><li>Sample of technical writing: </li></ul><ul><li>A lecture is an oral presentation intended to present information or teach people about a particular subject, for example by a university or college teacher. On the other hand, a seminar is, generally, a form of academic instruction, either at a university or offered by a commercial or professional organization. It has the function of bringing together small groups for recurring meetings, focusing each time on some particular subject, in which everyone present is requested to actively participate. </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Distinguish technical from creative writing </li></ul>
  8. 9. Creative vs. Technical Goal To communicate facts, explain procedures, critically evaluate evidence. To evoke images and emotion
  9. 10. Today’s a day for hearts and cards, For chocolates, flowers, too, But most of all, today’s a day To celebrate me and you. Don’t get me wrong, for every day With you is a celebration Of our love, our hopes and dreams, Our solid, strong foundation. This research may provide an alternative solution to the problem of monotonous and labor-intensive meter reading of electric company personnel; and tedious payment of bill, to the part of consumers. It may also be recommended to commercial and leasing establishments where tenants are held accountable for their own electric bill.
  10. 12. Creative vs. Technical words Many descriptive words used to create setting/ image Conciseness encouraged and valued
  11. 14. Creative vs. Technical Emphasis Character and character development Facts, accuracy, precision
  12. 15. What is technical writing? <ul><li>It is a technical communication (in any field) that primarily aims to convey a particular piece of information for a particular purpose to a particular reader or group of readers. </li></ul>
  13. 16. Define: <ul><li>Technical writing is the presentation and communication of accurate and objective, scientific and technologic information, ideas, or procedures. </li></ul>
  14. 17. Technical writing… <ul><li>is exposition </li></ul><ul><li>is using scientific and technical vocabulary </li></ul><ul><li>Accounting terms.ppt </li></ul><ul><li>Computer Terms.ppt </li></ul><ul><li>Legal terms.ppt </li></ul><ul><li>Financial terms.ppt </li></ul><ul><li>is highly specific and detailed </li></ul><ul><li>uses tables, graphs, and figures to clarify and support textual discussion </li></ul>
  15. 18. Cont… <ul><li>uses conventional report forms </li></ul><ul><li>can be analyzed logically and evaluated scientifically </li></ul><ul><li>leaves no room for conflicting interpretations </li></ul>
  16. 19. What is the purpose of technical writing? <ul><li>Give information that leads to the accomplishment of scientific tasks and in the making of the needed decisions. </li></ul>
  17. 20. (Purpose) <ul><li>Analyze events and their implications </li></ul>
  18. 21. (Purpose) <ul><li>Persuade and influence decisions </li></ul>
  19. 22. What about its subject matter? <ul><li>Objective information that is accurately and clearly presented </li></ul><ul><li>Data in business, science, engineering, industry, and in all formal aspects of professional areas </li></ul><ul><li>Factual data statistics </li></ul>
  20. 23. Examples of Technical Materials <ul><li>Various kinds of written reports </li></ul><ul><li>Oral reports </li></ul><ul><li>Business letters </li></ul><ul><li>Articles for technical journals or books </li></ul><ul><li>Abstracts </li></ul><ul><li>Graphic aids </li></ul><ul><li>Handbooks </li></ul><ul><li>Brochures </li></ul><ul><li>Specifications </li></ul><ul><li>Memoranda </li></ul><ul><li>Proposals </li></ul>
  21. 24. What are the Basic Principles of Good Technical Writing? <ul><li>The writer of a report must have a specific reader or group of readers in mind. </li></ul><ul><li>He must decide what the specific purpose of his report is and make sure that every part of his report contributes to that purpose </li></ul>
  22. 25. (Basic Principles…) <ul><li>He must use specific, single, concrete words, and familiar language that cannot be misinterpreted. </li></ul>
  23. 26. General rules for word choice or Ten Tips for Technical Writers <ul><li>1. Break long sentences up into shorter sentences . </li></ul><ul><li>• “ A complete pharmacokinetic study prevented the investigators from missing any important perturbations, which could have been due to any of the following: poor absorption of oral doses or lack of conversion of prednisone to prednisolone.” </li></ul>
  24. 27. <ul><li>“ A complete pharmacokinetic study allowed the investigators to rule out confounding factors. They tested the rate and extent of prednisone absorption. They also examined prednisone to prednisolone conversion. Differences in absorption or conversion could otherwise have accounted for the differences in clearance between the groups.” </li></ul>(shorter sentences)
  25. 28. long word shorter word etiology cause administer give comprise are dosages doses employ use (verb) utilize use (verb) usage use (noun) efficacious effective encountered seen methodology method pathology disease virtually almost 2. Use short words instead of long words
  26. 29. 3. Avoid colloquialism. Avoid emotion-evoking word. <ul><li>Avoid: Instead, use: </li></ul><ul><li>“ on,” as in “of” or “in,” as in </li></ul><ul><li>“ study on 100 patients” study of 100 patients </li></ul><ul><li>looked at examined </li></ul><ul><li>turned to tried </li></ul><ul><li>more and more increasingly </li></ul><ul><li>levels concentrations </li></ul><ul><li>suffer from experience or have </li></ul><ul><li>sufferers patients or people or individuals </li></ul>
  27. 30. Colloquial/emotion-evoking “ Even though the authors claim no conflict of interest, this study seems to be reeking of manipulated data.” Professional “ The authors claimed that their prior association with the manufacturer did not lead to conflict of interest. Several inconsistencies in data interpretation challenge this assertion. The first inconsistency was…”
  28. 31. <ul><li>Colloquial/emotion-evoking </li></ul><ul><li>“ Severe hypoglycemia is scary and leaves the patient feeling totally wiped out for awhile.” </li></ul><ul><li>Professional </li></ul><ul><li>“ Severe hypoglycemia can be a frightening experience for patients, and often leaves them feeling fatigued </li></ul><ul><li>afterward.” </li></ul>
  29. 32. 4. Avoid metaphors . <ul><li>Metaphors are names or descriptive terms applied to an action or </li></ul><ul><li>object that is imaginative but not literally applicable </li></ul><ul><li>for example </li></ul><ul><li>“the pot filibustered on the stove” </li></ul>
  30. 34. (Basic Principles…) <ul><li>The writer must check every part of his report to see whether he has followed the principles of first, “Telling the reader what he is going to tell them; second, telling them; and third, telling them what he told them.” </li></ul>
  31. 35. (Basic Principles…) <ul><li>He must make his report very presentable in format. The layout must conform with standard forms of writing. </li></ul>
  32. 36. ACTIVITIES IN THE WRITING PROCESS More proofreading More peer evaluating Starting a rough draft Studying lecture notes Determining the purpose Locating sources Proofreading Writing another draft Clustering related ideas Reading related materials Talking to professors Spell checking Peer reading and evaluating Listing ideas Searching the internet Talking to peers Editing Revising Drafting Gathering information Planning