Technical writing lecture

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Technical writing lecture

  1. 1. Technical / Business Writing
  2. 2. <ul><li>‘ Technical’ or ‘Business’ writing is very different from ‘Academic’ writing. Each has its unique purpose and format to follow. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Technical writing is done in the workplace and centers around technical topics. Technical writing has unique characteristics and has specific audience.
  4. 4. Why the Differences ? <ul><li>Time management </li></ul><ul><li>Variety of Readers </li></ul><ul><li>Reading for different reasons </li></ul>
  5. 5. Differences <ul><li>Business leaders don’t have time in their day to sift through many pages and searching for the information they need to know. </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Differences </li></ul><ul><li>Technical writing will have many different readers, reading different parts of the work. - a project manager, financial officer, CEO, and supervisor might all read parts that pertain to their jobs, then discuss as a team the merits of the proposal. </li></ul>
  7. 7. This lecture will: <ul><li>Explore the differences between academic and technical writing </li></ul><ul><li>Explain the components and style of technical writing </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Technical </li></ul><ul><li>Writing </li></ul><ul><li>vs. Academic Writing </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Technical Writing </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>You are the expert </li></ul><ul><li>Academic Writing </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>You are still a learner </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Technical back-ground, profession-als in the field </li></ul><ul><li>Audience </li></ul><ul><li>Wide range of academics and general audience </li></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>Criteria for Evaluation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Clear and simple organization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visually appealing and easy to follow </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Criteria for Evaluation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Depth, logic, clarity, unity and grammar </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Graphics, charts, and numbers are used very frequently to support conclusions </li></ul><ul><li>Graphics, charts, and numbers are sometimes used to help explain and demonstrate knowledge </li></ul>
  13. 13. Characteristics of Technical Writing <ul><li>Clear, Concise and simply organized </li></ul><ul><li>Repetitive in nature. </li></ul><ul><li>Highly defined structure/format </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Examples: Lab reports, memos, business letters, technical reports, and proposals </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Compare these statements: <ul><li>Looking into </li></ul><ul><li>the azure blue sky </li></ul><ul><li>one could see the </li></ul><ul><li>golden orb of sun </li></ul><ul><li>slip gently </li></ul><ul><li>beneath </li></ul><ul><li>the western sky. </li></ul><ul><li>The sun sets in the west. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>The left-side description of the sun setting is an example of academic writing and the right-side description is an example of technical writing. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Notice that the technical description is clear , concise , and coherent. These three C’s are trademarks of technical writing.
  17. 17. Style
  18. 18. Style in Technical Writing <ul><li>Style is personal choice, there is no right or wrong here </li></ul><ul><li>Writers have unique characteristics. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Sentence structure, word length, word choice, and word order; these are choices we make without being conscious of it. These decisions shape the way we express ourselves </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Tone- Expression of an underlying attitude that can be: <ul><ul><li>Casual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Objective </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Persuasive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enthusiastic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Serious </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Authoritative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Friendly </li></ul></ul><ul><li>**Always present your material in a positive light. Never let the negative be presented. </li></ul>
  20. 20. <ul><li>Tips </li></ul><ul><li>for writing </li></ul><ul><li>technically </li></ul>
  21. 21. Sentence Tips <ul><li>Place the main point at the beginning of the sentence </li></ul><ul><li>**Don’t make </li></ul><ul><li>the reader work </li></ul><ul><li>to find it. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Sentence Tips <ul><li>Use one main clause in each sentence </li></ul><ul><li>**more becomes Confusing </li></ul>
  23. 23. Sentence Tips <ul><li>Examine your copy to make sure you vary the sentence length –but aim for 15-20 words per sentence. If you use the same length sentences, the text becomes tedious to read. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Language Use Tips <ul><li>Distinguish facts from pinions </li></ul><ul><li>Include supportive statements when necessary </li></ul><ul><li>Choose your words carefully </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid using words like “always” and “never”—these box the writer in and create finality </li></ul>
  25. 25. Language Use Tips <ul><li>Almost all technical writing </li></ul><ul><li>should be done in the active </li></ul><ul><li>voice, except lab report. </li></ul><ul><li>Create less wordy sentences </li></ul><ul><li>and Place emphasis on the </li></ul><ul><li>subject—e.g company or </li></ul><ul><li>person’s name. </li></ul>
  26. 26. To premise it can be said that technical writing: <ul><li>Provides clear communication in the workplace </li></ul><ul><li>Has unique formats and a specific style of writing </li></ul><ul><li>Creates clarity, conciseness and coherency in writing </li></ul>
  27. 27. Assignment <ul><li>Find an article out of a Popular Mechanics magazine. Compare the first two or three paragraphs of that article with a passage from one of your favorite novels using the following categories: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Content, Organization, Layout, Intended Audience, Purpose, Tone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You should notice a distinct difference in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>each of the categories, leading to how each </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>is distinct in its clarity, coherence, and conciseness. </li></ul></ul>

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