Technical Writing Style (Part of the Allyn & Bacon Series in Technical Communication) / Edition 1

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Overview

Advanced technical communication books are becoming more and more available. However, each book is solely devoted to a specialized topic such as technical editing, design, illustration, usability testing, and online documentation. Despite all of these introductory and advanced books, not one is available specifically devoted to the challenges of style in technical communication. KEY TOPICS: This 12-point approach offers the most current and comprehensive instruction available in achieving an effective style in technical documents. It shows that technical prose style varies from the highly formal to the colloquial, from the pretentious to the plain, and it demonstrates the many stylistic strategies writers should consider for every technical document they write. Anyone who has to write professional and technical documents, specifically, engineers, software developers/consultants, medical writers, professional technical writers. Part of the Allyn & Bacon Series in Technical communication.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Focuses in depth on elements of technical writing style and demonstrates stylistic strategies for different types of technical documents. Material is organized according to 12 strategies for achieving an effective technical writing style. Includes chapter overviews and summaries, discussion questions, case studies, a glossary, and exercises. For students and professionals with basic knowledge about technical communication and some experience with technical writing. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205197224
  • Publisher: Longman
  • Publication date: 9/25/1997
  • Series: Technical Communication Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 6.77 (w) x 8.89 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Dan Jones is the Coordinator for the B.A. and M.A. Programs in technical communication in the English Department at the University of Central Florida. He has taught a variety of technical communication courses for the past 21 years and has done consulting for more than 20 companies including AT&T, IBM, Westinghouse, and Lockheed Martin. Dan is the editor of an anthology of essays, Defining Technical Communication, published in 1996 by the Society for Technical Communication, and the author of two other textbooks published by Longman: The Technical Communicator¿s Handbook and Technical Writing Style, an advanced technical communication textbook in the Allyn & Bacon Series in Technical Communication.

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Table of Contents

1.Understanding Technical Writing Style.

The Problem with Defining Style.

A Definition of Style.

Style in Technical Writing.

The Domain of Technical Writing Style.

Why Technical Writing Is Often Ineffective.

Technical Writing as a Craft.

Case Study 1 — Three Mile Island and Ineffective Communication.

2.Reflecting the Style of a Discourse Community.

What Is a Discourse Community?

How Does a Discourse Community Affect Style?

Questions to Consider Before Writing to a Discourse Community.

Case Study 2 — The Space Shuttle Challenger and Different Discourse Communities.

How Does Style Relate to Subject, Purpose, Scope, Audience, and Other Elements of Writing?

3.Choosing an Appropriate Style.

On Style and Grammar.

Prescriptive and Descriptive Approaches to Style.

Good and Bad Writing.

Good and Bad Style.

Appropriate and Inappropriate Style.

Kinds of Styles.

4.Persuading through Style.

Technical Prose as Persuasion.

The Rhetoric of Science.

Some Practical Consequences of the New Rhetoric of Science.

Persuasive Strategies and Stylistic Choices.

Case Study 3 — The Exxon Valdez and Persuasion.

5.Choosing Appropriate Words — Diction.

On Diction.

Levels of Diction.

Denotation and Connotation.

Challenges Presented by Specialized Diction.

Major Diction Strategies in Technical Prose.

Common Diction Faults.

Technical Prose and a Literary Style.

On Euphemisms and Dysphemisms.

Case Study 4 — The Ruby Ridge Incident and Diction.

6.Handling Technical Terms and Jargon.

Using Technical Language.

Words, Terms, and Terminology.

Technical Terms as Jargon.

The Challenges of Using Technical Terms.

The Challenges of Using Jargon.

Other Specialized Languages.

Abbreviations, Acronyms, Initialisms.

Tips for a Using Clear Technical Language.

Case Study 5 — Apollo 13 and Jargon.

7.Creating Sentences with Style.

Sentences in Technical Prose.

A Brief Review of Sentence Basics.

Sentence Combining Techniques.

Emphasis.

Rhythm.

Sentence Variety.

Sentence Elegance in Technical Prose.

Sentence Faults.

8.Structuring Style in Paragraphs and Other Segments.

Writing Technical Paragraphs.

Writing on One Topic.

Developing the Paragraph Topic.

Achieving an Effective Flow.

Providing Adequate Details.

Larger Sections in Technical Prose.

Common Paragraph Faults.

9.Establishing an Appropriate Tone.

Tone in Technical Prose.

The Key Elements of Tone.

Strategies for Developing an Appropriate Tone.

Humor in Technical Writing.

Case Study 6 — Computer Viruses and Tone.

10.Considering Style and Bias.

Bias in Technical Prose.

Kinds of Bias.

Political Correctness.

Case Study 7 — Gender-Neutral Language.

11.Determining the Ethics of Style.

What is Ethics?

Ethics and Technical Prose.

Ethics and the Professions.

Criteria for Judging Ethical Actions.

Unethical Language.

The Ethics of Style.

Case Study 8 — Deception and the Exxon Valdez.

12.Editing for Style.

Misconceptions about Editing.

Approaches to Editing.

The Challenges of Editing for Style.

Strategies to Help You Edit for Style.

Copyediting for Style.

Glossary.

Bibliography.

Index.

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