Technical Writing Style (Part of the Allyn & Bacon Series in Technical Communication) / Edition 1by Dan Jones, Sam Dragga
Pub. Date: 09/25/1997
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/b>
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.
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.
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.
Sentence Elegance in Technical Prose.
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.
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.
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.
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