The Elements of Technical Writing / Edition 3

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One-quarter the length and price of conventional textbooks, this popular introduction to technical writing teaches the essentials with remarkable economy, clarity, and authority. The Elements of Technical Writing provides students with precisely the information needed to produce effective technical documents and no more.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205583812
  • Publisher: Longman
  • Publication date: 7/3/2009
  • Series: Pearson English Value Textbook Series Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 351,257
  • Product dimensions: 8.68 (w) x 5.70 (h) x 0.39 (d)

Table of Contents


Part One

The Seven Principles of Technical Writing

1 Know Your Purpose and Your Writing Situation

Your Purpose

Your Situation


Chapter Assignments

2 Know Your Audience and Their Situation

Concerns and Characteristics

Education, Experience, and Location

Attitudes Toward Purpose and Information


Chapter Assignments

3 Choose and Organize Your Content Around Your

Purpose and Audience

Researching Content

Choosing Content

Organizing Your Content


Classification and Division

Mechanism Descriptions



Chapter Assignments

4 Write Clearly and Precisely

Paragraph for Readers

Revise Sentences and Words for Readers

Use Language Appropriate for Your Readers

Prefer the Active Voice

Use Personal Pronouns

Use Action Verbs

Don’t Introduce Unnecessary Complication

Writing and Revising with Others


Chapter Assignments

5 Use Good Page Design

Use Default Layout Templates Cautiously

Provide Headings

Phrasing Headings

Making Headings Noticeable and Distinctive

Use Headers and Footers

Choose an Appropriate Type Size and Typeface

Type Size


Use Lists and Informal Tables

Use Emphasis Carefully

Leave Ample White Space


Medium-Length Lines

Proper Spacing


Chapter Assignments

6 Think Visually

Getting and Showing Objects



Showing Processes

Showing Data



Principles of Tables and Graphs

Considering Cultural Differences


Chapter Assignments

7 Write Ethically

Don’t Hide or Suppress Unfavorable Data

Don’t Exaggerate Favorable Data

Don’t Make False Implications

Don’t Plagiarize

Credit Your Sources

Internet Documentation

Construct Ethical Graphs

Don’t Lie


Chapter Assignments

Part Two

The Formats of Technical Writing

8 Elements of Reports

Title Page

Letter of Transmittal


Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


List of Symbols

Abstracts and Summaries



Conclusions and Recommendations





Chapter Assignments

9 Formats of Reports



List of Equipment and Materials

How-To Instructions




Analytical Reports


Discussion Sections


Unsolicited Proposals

Student Proposals

Progress Reports

Empirical Research Reports



Literature Review

Materials and Methods





Chapter Assignments

10 Formats of Correspondence

Formal Elements of Letters


Date Line

Inside Address

Re Line

Subject Line



Complimentary Close

Signature Block

End Notations

Continuation Page

Simplified Letters



Correspondence of the Job Search


Letters of Application

Other Correspondence

Further Information


Chapter Assignments

Chapter Notes


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