Effective Technical Writing

COURSE OUTLINE:

Description

If writing technical information and effective memos, letters, reports,manuals, instructions, documentation, specifications, or proposals is a toughproposition, this technical writing course is for you. In this intensivethree-day seminar, you will learn proven technical writing approaches andtechniques that you can apply back on the job to achieve successful writtentechnical communications. Bring a current project and get one-on-one feedback.

Your technical writing will improve as you learn to:

  • Organize your material by purpose and audience
  • Write with greater clarity and precision in less time
  • Present complex technical information simply
  • Know the purpose of your writing before you begin
  • Recognize the needs of your audience
  • Use illustrations
  • Produce final drafts to make the right impression with your superiors

Audience

Engineers, scientists, IT/computer personnel, R&D and other technical personnel, as well as business professionals at all levels

Learning Objectives

  • Basics of good technical writing
  • Understanding the needs of your audience
  • Planning and organizing the project
  • Overcoming writer's block
  • Selecting the appropriate format for your audience
  • Preparing manuals, proposals, and documentation
  • Sentence structure and powerful word usage
  • Essentials of electronic writing
  • Simplifying complex information/edit and revision techniques
  • Incorporating graphs, charts, and tables

1. Aspects of Technical Writing

  • Pitfalls, style, and characteristics of technical writing
  • Samples of technical writing
  • Prepare a writing sample in technical style

2. Understanding the Readers' Needs

  • Determine various readers' needs
  • Convey technical information clearly to nontechnical readers

3. Patterns of Technical Writing

  • Various patterns of technical writing
  • Learn to write:
    • Definitions
    • Narration
    • Process description
    • Physical description
    • Instructions

4. Organizing Technical Information

  • How to organize and evaluate technical data
  • Structure the physical format to enhance presentations of ideas
  • Use linking words and phrases in sentences and paragraphs

5. Writing the First Draft

  • The writing process
  • Importance of determining and focusing on your purpose and goals
  • Techniques for overcoming writer's block

6. Achieving Sentence Clarity and Precision

  • Proven techniques for ensuring clarity and precision
  • Avoid wordiness and confusing sentence constructions

7. Technical Report Elements

  • Informal vs. formal reports
  • Elements of technical reports

8. Technical Report Formats

  • Nature of technical report formats
  • Elements of technical reports
  • Organizational formats for different reports

9. Writing Abstracts

  • Function and characteristics of abstracts
  • Guidelines for preparing abstracts
  • Descriptive vs. informative abstracts

10. Using Illustrations

  • Know when to use illustrations in technical writing
  • Characteristics and uses of illustrations
  • Illustrations useful in technical writing

11. Preparing Technical Manuals and Proposals

  • Characteristics of technical manuals
  • Components that comprise technical manuals
  • Principles of technical manual writing style
  • Elements of proposals

12. Editing and Proofreading Techniques

  • Guidelines for editing and polishing technical writing
  • How to write for another person's review and critical commentary