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Tech Comms Text Nf

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Technical Communications: Text

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Tech Comms Text Nf

  1. 1. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Overall Editing Concerns </li></ul><ul><li>NOTE: Not Just ‘Prettying Up’ the Document </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Text, Style, Format, Graphics, Tone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Labeling and Terminology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Referencing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information Architecture </li></ul></ul>
  2. 2. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Overall Editing Concerns </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Navigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pacing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Method of Development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media Delivery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Human Factors Engineering (Audience Profiling, Task/Environmental Analysis) </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Editing Techniques </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Proper Editing Requires Team of Reviewers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> (Editorial, Technical, Marketing, and Others) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Spell Checkers and Grammar Checkers: Aids to Editing—Not Solutions </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Maintain Coherence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Smooth Thought Flow </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transitional Words and Phrases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Link Pronouns to Preceding Sentences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Repeat Key Words or Phrases </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Weed Out Abstractions - Excerpt from Actual Data Sheet (used ‘XYZ’ to protect company name): </li></ul><ul><li>“ XYZ company is a change mindset. A frame of mind that generates progress, a structure that opens new horizons, freed from assumptions and stereotyped answers. A zero-based thinking framework that enables organizational reconfiguration through integration, beyond reorganization or rationalization ….” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Minimize Sentence Complexity – Sample Sentence: </li></ul><ul><li>“ Systems for digitizing and storing analog data, sorting and averaging multiple analog signals, and sequencing processing events are all examples of laboratory problems where ABC company has knowledge independent of scientific disciplines.” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Minimize Sentence Complexity – Improved Sample Sentence: </li></ul><ul><li>“ ABC company has systems which can digitize and store analog data, sort and average multiple analog signals, and sequence processing events. All these capabilities exemplify ABC’s knowledge, which is independent of scientific disciplines.” </li></ul>
  8. 8. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Eliminate Nonessential Preliminaries - Samples of Nonessential Prel iminari es with Improvements: </li></ul><ul><li>Nonessential Preliminary Improved </li></ul><ul><li>In an effort to improve To improve </li></ul><ul><li>For the purpose of For </li></ul><ul><li>In order to To </li></ul><ul><li>In the event that If </li></ul><ul><li>In view of the fact that ‘Because’, or ‘Since’ </li></ul><ul><li>It is evident that Evidently </li></ul><ul><li>In a manner similar to Like </li></ul>
  9. 9. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Eliminate Nonessential Preliminaries - Sample Sentence with ‘Deadwood’ (37 words): </li></ul><ul><li>“ The programming office will perform an evaluation or system study, as discussed in previous paragraphs, on each requirement or recommendation to provide the headquarters’ staff directorate information to render managerial decisions on the validity of each requirement.” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Eliminate Nonessential Preliminaries – Improved Sample Sentence (23 words): </li></ul><ul><li>“ The programming office will evaluate each requirement, as previously mentioned, to allow the headquarters’ staff directorate to make decisions regarding the requirement’s validity.” </li></ul>
  11. 11. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Break Up Dense Writing – Sample Sentence: </li></ul><ul><li>“ The IRWO is the smallest of the five systems. The typical configuration of this system has a KR10 central processor, 32 to 64K high-speed MT core memories, the TY026 disk system with up to two disk packs, the TD106 magnetic tape system with up to two drives, and low-speed peripheral equipment including a BR10F card reader, a PG12A line printer, and local DQ10 lines.” </li></ul>
  12. 12. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Break Up Dense Writing – Improved Sample Sentence: </li></ul><ul><li>The 1122 is the smallest of the five systems. Its typical configuration includes the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One KR10 central processor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One 32 to 64 high-speed MT10 core memory </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One TY026 disk system with up to two disk packs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One TD106 magnetic tape system with up to two drives </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It also includes the following low-speed peripheral equipment: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One BR10F card reader </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>One PG12A line printer </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Local DQ10 lines </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Watch Out for Jargon and Abbreviations – </li></ul><ul><li>Abbreviations and Acronyms: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Spell Out Term the First Time It’s Used </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide Index and Glossary </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge Not Easy to Acquire </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Many Rules and Exceptions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fine-Tune Edit Late in Draft Cycle </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No Foolproof Grammar Checkers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Grammar/Usage/Punctuation: Context Sensitive </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Literacy Versus Competency </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Literacy: Mechanics of Message </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Competency: Conveyance of Message </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use Concrete, Short, and Simple Words </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use Short, Variable Sentences </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Right Attitude </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Technical’ Doesn’t Mean Stiff and Formal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get Your Point Across—in Context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Put ‘Voice’ in Your Writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have a Clear Purpose and Direction </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Factors that Increase Comprehension </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Logical, Systematic Presentation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide Overview/Abstract </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Break Up Paragraphs (Short Paragraphs) </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Factors that Increase Comprehension </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide Plenty of Realistic Examples </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Linking’ Words to Support Logic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use Lists, Tables, Screen Shots, Flowcharts, Illustrations </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Overusing the Passive Voice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>More Difficult to Understand and Retain </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Emphasis More on Object than Subject </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lacks Emphasis, Vitality, and Motion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conceals the ‘Doer’ </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Verb Nominalizations and the Passive Voice </li></ul><ul><li>Nominalization Active Verb </li></ul><ul><li>Operation Operate </li></ul><ul><li>Construction Construct </li></ul><ul><li>Creation Create </li></ul><ul><li>Nominalization (Passive Voice): “The construction of the new tree house will be completed by Jim.” </li></ul><ul><li>Active Verb (Active Voice): “Jim will construct a new tree house.” </li></ul>
  21. 21. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Fast Pacing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Terse, Compressed, Compact Writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Excludes Information </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assumes Reader Knowledge Level </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Example: “Feed the blank tape into the punch machine.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assumption: Reader knows how to start feeding the tape, and how to verify that it has been fed correctly. </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Indexing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Topic References </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Main Entries and Subentries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Words Relevant to Reader Profile </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Useful and Meaningful Words/Phrases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Select Informative/Contextual Instances </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cross References (See/See Also) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create Index at the End of Project </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Style Guide </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference Tool for Style and Usage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reference Books for Types of Writing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>English Language is Continually Evolving </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t Be a Purist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be Aware of Changes in Style and Usage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Always Think of Your Reader, Your Viewer, and Your Listener </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Technical Communications: Text <ul><li>Summary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Words Are the Basic Building Blocks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Choose Words that Are Understood </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use Informative Words </li></ul></ul>

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