Reporting Technical Information / Edition 11

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The leading text in technical writing, Reporting Technical Information introduces students to all aspects of technical communication, including letters, proposals and progress reports, recommendation reports, research reports, instructions, and oral reports. Continuing the esteemed tradition of its predecessors, the tenth edition provides students with a solid foundation in technical communication and adds material on the most recent developments in the field.
Through accessible language, challenging exercises, and realistic examples, Reporting Technical Information, 10/e, begins with the basic strategies of composing and writing, progresses to techniques of technical communication, and closes by applying those techniques to document creation and design. Documentation instructions include Chicago and APA styles, as well as a guide for citing the Internet as a source. The book also offers detailed coverage of the latest technology in electronic communication, including material on writing collaboratively via e-mail, synchronous discussions, and FTP sites.

The tenth edition features four new chapters:

• Chapter 6, Writing Ethically, provides realistic exercises dealing with ethical dilemmas, guides students to relevant Web sites, and includes illustrative material from the codes of various professional groups.

• Chapter 7, Writing for International Readers, offers a concise yet comprehensive introduction to the differences among world cultures and the effects of these differences on communication. It covers such issues as the importance of personal relationships, individualism versus collectivism, various views of truth, and the power and value of time.

• Chapter 8, Gathering, Evaluating, and Documenting Information, helps students formulate research questions and points them to several sources of information including interviewing, the electronic library catalog, indexes, and the Internet.

• Information on empirical research reports is now broken out into a separate chapter (Chapter 17).

Keeping pace with the latest technology and research, this new edition provides information on such topics as when to use e-mail (rather than conventional letters and memos), writing for a specific audience, using illustrations, and searching the Internet for information on jobs and potential employers. Each chapter opens with a real-world scenario that shows students how the information in the chapter applies to an on-the-job situation. Comprehensive and up-to-date, the tenth edition of Reporting Technical Information maintains the reputation of an exceptional text for courses in technical and professional writing and communication. Visit the companion website at

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195178791
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/28/2005
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 11
  • Pages: 640
  • Sales rank: 449,330
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

|n Appendix B |c Selected Bibliography, Chapter Notes

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Table of Contents

A New Direction
Our Approach and Organization
What's New in the Eleventh Edition
A Final Note
1. An Overview of Technical Writing
The Matter of Definition
Writing at Work versus Writing at School
Eight Basic Differences
Writing and Communicating at Work
The Foundations of Effective Technical Writings
The Qualities of Good Technical Writing
2. Composing
The Basic Parts of the Composing Process
Analyzing the Writing Situation: Audience and Purpose
Choosing/Discovering Content
Arranging Content
Drafting and Revising
Document Design
Using the Composing Process in a Workplace Environment
Understanding the Composing Process: Why Bother?
3. Writing for Your Readers
Goals of Communication
The Planning Process
Determining Your Readers
Asking Questions to Analyze Your Readers
Determining Your Purpose
Understanding Your Role as a Writer
Planning the Content
Anticipating the Context in Which Your Writing Will Be Received
Thinking about Your Readers: A Summary of Considerations
4. Achieving a Readable Style
The Paragraph
Basic Principles of Effective Style
Determine Readers' Knowledge of the Subject
Determine Whether a Particular Style Will Be Expected
Anticipate Readers' Comprehension Level in a Given Context
Know Your Relationship to the Readers and How You Want to Sound
Adjust the Style to the Reader, the Purpose, and the Context
Select Your Level of Language; Adjust the Density of Information
The Sentence
Watch Sentence Length
Keep Subjects and Verbs Close Together
Omit Verbiage; Use Concrete Verbs
Write "Clean" Prose
Avoid Ponderous Language
Avoid Excessive Use of Is/Are Verb Forms
Use Active Voice for Clarity
Define When Necessary
Avoid Impersonal Language
5. Writing Ethically
Ethical Perspectives
Your Professional Obligations
Codes of Conduct
Recognizing Unethical Communication
Plagiarism and Theft of Intellectual Property
Deliberately Imprecise or Ambiguous Language
Manipulation of Numerical Information
Use of Misleading Illustrations
Promotion of Prejudice
Anticipating Consequences
Applying Principles
Handling Unethical Situations
6. Writing for International Readers
Establishing a Perspective on International Communication
Understanding Readers from Various Cultures
Individualism versus Collectivism: Valuing Either Individuals or Groups
Separation of Business and Private Relationships
Power Distance between Social Ranks
Universal or Relative View of Truth
Whether the Entire Message Is Contained in the Text
Whether Uncertainty Is to Be Avoided or Accepted
The Power and Value of Time
Masculine versus Feminine
Considering Culture in the Planning Process
Example International Documents
Writing Business Communications to Readers in Other Cultures
Culture and Graphics
Format Strategies in Other Cultures
A Final Word
Guides to Doing Business in Cultures around the World
7. Gathering, Evaluating, and Documenting Information
Asking Productive Questions
Looking for Answers
World Wide Web
Evaluating Answers
Web Sites
Books and Articles
Citing Sources
8. Designing and Formatting Documents
Understanding the Basics of Document Design
Know What Decisions Are Yours to Make
Choose a Design That Fits Your Situation
Plan the Design from the Beginning
Reveal the Design to the Readers
Keep the Design Consistent
Designing Effective Pages and Screens
Use Blank Space to Frame and Group Information
Space the Lines of Text for Easy Reading
Set the Line Length for Easy Reading
Use a Ragged Right Margin
Choosing Readable Type
Choose a Legible Type Size
Choose a Font That Suits Your Document
Use Special Typefaces Sparingly
Use Highlighting Effectively
Use a Mixture of Cases, Not All Capitals
Use Color Cautiously and Consistently
Helping Readers Locate Information
Write Descriptive Headings
Design Distinctive Headings
Use Page Numbers and Headers or Footers
Designing Web Sites
Creating the Site
Designing the Pages of the Site
Maintaining the Site
Testing Your Design
Planning the Usability Test
Conducting the Test
Interpreting and Revising
9. Creating and Managing Text
Collecting and Grouping Information
Planning Content Development
Reports with Standard Arrangement Patterns
Reports Designed for Specific Reader Needs
Persuasive Arrangement and Development
Strategies for Developing Content
Organization and Content Development
Other Types of Development
10. Developing the Main Elements of Reports
Prefatory Elements
Letter of Transmittal
Title Page
Submission Page
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations
Glossary and List of Symbols
Abstracts and Summaries
Informative Abstract
Descriptive Abstract
Discussion or Body of the Report
Parts of the Discussion
Strategy for Presenting the Discussion
Online Reports
11. Creating Tables and Figures
Choosing Illustrations
Consider Your Purpose
Consider Your Audience
Consider Your Audience Again
Consider Your Purpose Again
Creating Illustrations
Designing Tables
Designing Bar and Column Graphs
Designing Circle Graphs (Pie Charts)
Designing Line Graphs
Designing Flowcharts
Designing Diagrams
Editing Photographs
Designing Illustrations Ethically
12. Planning Correspondence and E-mail
Determining Your Purpose
Analyzing the Audience
Composing Letters, Memos, and E-mail
Finding the Appropriate Style
Direct versus Indirect Style
Conversational Style
Special Considerations for E-mail
Special Considerations for International Correspondence
Keeping Copies of Correspondence
13. Creating Reports for Any Occasion
The Variable Nature of Reports
Liability and Report Writing
General Report Requirements
Determining Report Structure
Determining Internal Report Development
Importance of the Introduction and Summary
The Online Report
The Slide/Visual Presentation Report
14. Developing Analytical Reports: Recommendation Reports and Feasibility Studies
Analytical Reports
Recommendation Reports
Feasibility Studies
Environmental Impact Systems
15. Developing Empirical Research Reports
Major Sections of Empirical Research Reports
Introduction and Literature Review
Materials and Methods
Acknowledgments and References
Other Examples for Analysis and Comparison
Example 1
Example 2
Example 3
16. Writing Proposals and Progress Reports
The Relationship between Proposals and Progress Reports
The Context of Proposal Development
Effective Argument in Proposal Development
Standard Sections of Proposals
Progress Reports
Structure by Work Performed
Structure by Chronological Order
Structure by Main Project Goals
Physical Appearance of Proposals and Progress Reports
Style and Tone of Proposals and Progress Reports
Other Forms of Proposals and Progress Reports
17. Formulating Instructions, Procedures, and Policies
Planning Instructions and Procedures
Structure and Organization
Theory Governing the Procedure or Instruction
Warnings, Cautions, Hazards, and Notes Regarding Safety or Quality
Conditions under which the Task Is to Be Performed
Steps in Performing the Task
Name of Each Step
Format Considerations for Instructions and Procedures
Procedures and Policy Manuals
18. Writing Collaboratively
Issues in Collaboration
Value of Collaboration
Techniques for Developing Collaborative Documents
The On-site Collaborative Group
The Distributed Collaborative Work Group
The Lead Author Work Group
Making Collaborative Projects Work
Collaborative Projects in Action
19. Preparing Oral Reports: The Basics
Understanding the Speaking/Writing Relationship
Analyzing the Audience
Analyzing the Context
Determining the Goal of Your Presentation
Choosing and Shaping Content
Deciding How to Arrange and Organize Content
Designing Each Segment: Guidelines
Choose an Interesting Title
Develop Your Presentation about Three Main Divisions
Plan the Introduction Carefully
Design the Body to Help People Comprehend Your Ideas
Design the Conclusion to Reinforce Your Main Ideas
Choosing an Appropriate Speaking Style
Speaking to Multicultural Audiences
Using Techniques to Enhance Audience Comprehension
Planning Visuals to Enhance Your Purpose and Your Meaning
Designing and Presenting the Written Paper
Structuring the Written Speech
Writing the Speech
Practicing the Presentation
Speaking Effectively: Practice, Practice, Practice
20. Understanding the Strategies and Communications of the Job Search
Information Gathering
The Correspondence of the Job Search
Letter of Application
The Résumé
Follow-up Letters
The Interview
Before and after the Interview
Appendix A. Handbook

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