Unit 1 Definition of technical writing
- Technical writing: a form of written document providing technical information that help readers to solve complex problems
- Main features
- Clear organization and page design
- Readable style and effective visuals
How to meet the needs of specific audiences
- Who will use your document?
- Why they will use it?
- How they will use it?
|Who will use the documents?||At what level of technicality?||How much do these readers need?|
|Experts||Highly technical||Just the facts & figures|
|Informed persons||Semitechnical||Facts & figures explained|
|Laypersons（外行）||Nontechnical||Facts & figures explained in simplest terms|
Ethics（伦理学）: Moral beliefs and values
- Rules or principles
How is ethics related to technical writing
- Reporting and analyzing data honestly
- Balancing between production and safety
- Avoiding burying bad news in paragraphs
Process for writing technical documents
The five steps are not linear
- Analyze your audience
- Analyzing your purpose
- Generate ideas about your subject
- Research additional information
- Organize and outline your document
- Select a design or a delivery method
- page layout
- use of color
- Devise a schedule and a budget
Writing style and tone
- Use active voice whenever possible（主动句）
- Avoid overstuffed sentences（避免长难句）
- Clear writing
- Compressed writing
- Appropriate tone
Unit 2 Technical document design
- To make a good impression on readers.
- To help readers understand the structure and hierarchy of the information.
- To help readers find the information they need.
- To help readers understand the information.
- To help readers remember the information.
Designing Visual Information
Types of visuals
- Numerical tables
- Prose tables（文字表格）
- Bar graphs
- Line graphs
- Graphic illustration
How to choose the right visuals
- What is the purpose for using this visual?
- Convey facts and figures -> Table
- Draw conclusions -> Graph
- Who is my audience for these visuals?
- Expert audiences
- General audiences
- Shaping the page
- Provide page numbers, headers and footers
- Use a grid
- Use white space to create areas of emphasis
- Make lists for easy reading
- Styling the words and letters
- Select an appropriate typeface: Serif（衬线）, Sans serif（无衬线，Sans 是 without 的法语）
- Use full caps sparingly
- Adding emphasis
- small or large type sizes
- Using headings for access and orientation
Unit 3 Correspondence
Presenting yourself effectively in correspondence
Steps of the writing process:
- Prewriting / Planning
- tone and content
- communication channel
- Writing / Drafting
- organize content logically
- choose a method of organization
Principles of effective communication:
- Use the appropriate level of formality
- Communicate correctly
- Project the "You Attitude" = looking at the situation from the reader's point of view
- Communicate honestly
- Seeking the goodwill of readers
- the delivery of exchange of brief written messages via mobile phones or networks.
- simple messages
- people on the move,
- near-instant, brief written exchanges
Benefits of text messages:
- Increased speed of communication
- Improved communication efficiency
- Less intrusive communication channel
- Low cost
- Decreased intimidation（恐吓）
- Easy documentation
- Reduced professionalism
- Security issues
- Employee misuse and distraction
- Lost productivity
How to avoid:
- Decide whether text messages are suitable for the writing situation.
- Consider the length and formality of the text messages.
- Clearly and briefly explain the context of your message
- Summarize decisions.
- Document important information.
- Plan for handling emotions effectively.
How to write text messages effectively：
- the appropriate software or tool to use
- the contact list
- messaging policies of the employer
Ready to write
- no format
- informal tone
- a limit on the number of characters
- abbreviations and shortened spellings
- short, informal
- longer, formal
- quick and efficient
- useful when people are in different time zones or have different working schedules
- convenient attaching
- paper-free and cost effective
- easy documentation
Parts and Format of Email
- Heading section
- Introductory paragraph
- Body text
- Complimentary closing
- Signature block: contact information of the writer
Tips of writing emails
- Find out your organization's email policies first.
- Recognize your audience.
- Identify yourself by name, affiliation, or title.
- Provide an effective Subject line.
- Keep your email messages brief and each paragraph short.
- Organize your e-mail message.
- Proofread your email message
- Be careful when sending attachment
- Be courteous and professional.
Memos are used within organizations for
- routine correspondence
- short reports
- other internal documents
Key points included:
- identification lines: TO, FROM, DATE, SUBJECT
- introduction: one or two clear introductory sentences about the topic and the purpose
- discussion: developing the content specifically making the text reader-friendly
- conclusion: concluding the memo with "thanks" and/or directive action.
- audience recognition: in-house audience（内部受众） -> acronyms and internal abbreviations（首字母缩写和缩写）
- appropriate memo style and tone: one page long with simple words, short sentences, specific detail, and highlighting techniques, informal and friendly tone
A template for memos:
- Introduction: A lead-in or overview stating why you are writing and what you writing about.
- Discussion: Detailed development, made accessible through highlighting techniques, explaining exactly what you want to say.
- Conclusion: State what is next, when this will occur, and why the date is important.
Unit 5 Instuctions
Designing and writing instructions
- audience recognition: level of readers' knowledge
- Don't assume anything
- spell it out clearly and thoroughtly
- language style
- imperative mood + active voice + present tense
- short, simple steps in proper sequence
- use first, next, finally
- use numbers
- planning ahead
design instructions based on