Writing for the Technical Professions

Writing for the Technical Professions

by Kristin R. Woolever

Other Format(Spiral Bound - Older Edition)

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Overview

Writing for the Technical Professions by Kristin R. Woolever

Writing for the Technical Professions provides practical advice for composing a wide variety of professional documents.
This easy to read, easy to reference book will help any one in a technical profession communicate their ideas.   A focus on
the electronic workplace, legal and ethical issues, and an emphasis on collaboration and international communication make this book one
of the most up-to-date books on the market today. Any technical writer or professional interested in improving their writing
skills.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780321202116
Publisher: Longman
Publication date: 03/26/2004
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 528
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Table of Contents


Preface     xxi
Introduction     1
What Are the Technical Professions?     1
What Is Technical Communication?     2
Who Is the Typical Technical Communicator?     3
What Skills Do Technical Communicators Need?     4
How Can This Book Help You?     4
Why Choose to Do a Community Action Project?     7
Basic Tools
Planing     9
Developing a Rhetorical Strategy     9
Problem-Solving Strategies for Technical Communicators     11
Steps to...: Problem Solving     12
Analyzing Your Audience     13
Creating an Audience Analysis Grid     14
Finding Information About Your Audience     16
Specific Planning Techniques     16
Outlining     17
Process of Outlining     17
Storyboarding: Making Planning Concrete     19
Writing a Document Specification     21
Checklist: Document Specification Components     22
Considering the Ethical Dimensions of a Project     23
Tips for International Communication     24
Creating an International User Analysis     25
Steps to...: A User Analysis Grid     25
When to Provide aTranslation Glossary     27
Quick Review     28
Exercises     28
Community Action Project     29
Researching     30
Researching to Solve a Problem     30
Researching to Understand a Product     31
A Systematic Approach to Research     31
Steps to...: Completing Research     32
Finding and Evaluating Sources     32
Major Sources of Technical Information     32
Checklist: Evaluating Sources     36
Guidelines: Evaluating Internet Resources     37
Planning and Conducting Interviews     41
Preparing for an Interview     41
Designing Questionnaires     42
Guidelines: Designing Effective Questionnaires     43
Using Research to Support Your Document     43
Steps to...: Creating a Well-Supported Document     44
Avoiding Plagiarism     45
Using Copyrighted Materials     45
Summarizing, Paraphrasing, and Quoting     46
When Acknowledging Sources Is Unnecessary     48
Documenting Sources     48
APA Documentation Style     49
CSE Documentation Style     50
Chicago Manual Documentation Style      51
Columbia Documentation Style for Online Sources     51
Researching Is a Technical Skill     51
Tips for International Communication     52
Quick Review     52
Exercises     52
Community Action Projects     53
Organizing for Readers     54
Setting Reader Expectations (Frontloading)     54
Considering Your Audience     55
Stating the Main Idea Up Front     56
Providing a Road Map     59
Reader Cues     60
Dividing Information into Units (Chunking)     64
Checklist: Subdividing     64
Organizing Sections     64
Paragraphing Effectively     66
Tips for International Communication     68
Four Questions for Establishing Cultural Schemata     69
Quick Review     71
Exercises     71
Community Action Project     72
Sample Document
Sample of Effective Organization Techniques     73
Designing the Document: Format and Graphics     76
Understanding Visual Design Principles     77
Conventions of Visual Perception     77
Strategies in Visual Communication      78
Guidelines: Designing Documents     78
Designing Readable Hardcopy Pages     79
Creating Visual Hierarchies of Information     79
Using a Page Layout Grid     81
Formatting Text     81
Deciding When to Use Graphic Illustrations     85
Purposes of Graphic Illustrations     86
Guidelines: Balancing Graphics and Text     86
Choosing Appropriate Graphics     87
Figures     87
Tables     96
The Ethics of Graphics     99
Placing Graphics in the Text     99
Guidelines: Integrating Graphics     102
Checklist: Numbering and Labeling Graphics     103
Using Graphics on the World Wide Web     102
Using Graphics in Fliers, Brochures, and Newsletters     103
Using Graphics in Presentations     104
Designing Effective Posters     104
Presenting Your Poster     106
Tips for International Communication     107
Quick Review     109
Exercises     109
Community Action Projects     110
Technology Challenge     110
Editing for Style     111
Creating a Readable Style      112
Emphasizing Important Points     112
Avoiding Agentless Prose     117
Using an Appropriate Tone     119
Guidelines: Avoiding Inappropriate Labels     120
Guidelines: Avoiding Sexist Language     121
Controlling Wordiness     123
Unnecessary Large Words     123
Unnecessary Phrases     125
Meaningless Qualifiers     126
Writing Smooth Transitions     126
Explicit Transitions     126
Implicit Transitions     127
The Given/New Principle     128
Pacing     128
Varying Sentence Lengths     129
Varying Sentence Beginnings     131
Considering the Ethics of Style     131
Guidelines: Making Ethical Choices     132
Tips for International Communication     132
Simplified Languages     133
Guidelines: Writing for International Audiences     133
Quick Review     134
Exercises     134
Community Action Project     135
Technology Challenge     135
Collaborating on Writing Projects     136
The Collaborative Process     136
Types of Collaborative Roles      136
The Individual Contributor     137
Guidelines: Collaborating Effectively     138
The Project Manager     138
Phases of the Project     139
Steps to...: Planning a Project     140
Writing, Usability Testing, and Editing Phase     139
Production Phase     141
Guidelines: Peer Editing     142
Postmortem Phase     142
Tracking the Project     143
Scheduling     143
Progress Reports     143
Meetings     143
Electronic Collaboration     146
Using a Tracking Spreadsheet     146
The Project Notebook (Project Central)     147
Establishing Effective Communication     147
Vertical and Horizontal Communication Networks     147
Conducting Productive Meetings     149
Steps to...: Scheduling a Successful Meeting     150
Fostering Team Dynamics     151
Conflict and Mediation     151
How to Manage Conflict     151
Steps to...: Effective Conflict Management     153
Tips for International Communication     153
Quick Review     154
Exercises      156
Community Action Project     156
Technology Challenge     156
Communicating with Other Cultures     157
Technical Communication Tasks in the Global Workplace     157
Developing Content for a Global Audience     158
Editing and Proofreading     158
Collaborating on Global Teams     158
Relocating to Another Country     158
Culture as More than Stereotype     158
Key Focus Areas of Cultural Difference     160
Eastern and Western Thinking Patterns     161
Collaborating on Multicultural Teams     163
The Decision-making Process     163
The Review Process     163
Guidelines: Collaborating with E-mail     164
The Evaluation Process     164
Quick Review     165
Exercises     165
Community Action Project     166
Considering Ethical and Liability Issues     167
Ethics Defined     168
Social Responsibility     168
Economic Responsibility     168
Legal Responsibility     169
Voluntary Responsibility     169
Ethical Responsibility     169
Types of Ethical Issues      170
Conflict of Interest     170
Trustworthiness     170
Communications     171
Organizational Relationships     171
Guidelines for Ethical Choices     172
Ethical Relativism Versus Absolutism     172
Information Liability     173
Understanding Product Liability Law     173
Negligence     174
Breach of Warranty     174
Strict Liability in Tort     174
Liability in Writing Marketing Material     175
Marketing Goods     175
Checklist: Communicating Ethically     176
Marketing Services     176
Liability in Writing Safety Information     178
Degrees of Danger     178
Hazard Messages     179
Guidelines: Writing Effective Hazard Messages     180
Liability in Writing Employee Information     180
Employee Handbooks     180
Employment Letters     181
Performance Evaluations     181
Understanding Intellectual Property Law     182
Tips for International Communication     183
Quick Review     184
Exercises     185
Community Action Project      186
Professional Applications
Memos, Letters, and E-Mail Correspondence     187
Comparing Correspondence Modes     187
Planning and Researching     188
Developing a Rhetorical Strategy     188
Steps to...: Creating a Rhetorically Effective Letter     189
Determining Your Purpose     189
Analyzing Your Audience     190
Organizing     194
Informative Messages     195
Requests for Action     197
Inquiries     198
Appreciation Messages     198
Designing     199
Memos     200
Letters     200
Editing     203
Creating the Right Tone     203
Guidelines: Creating the Right Tone     204
Achieving Clarity     205
Guidelines: Achieving Clarity     206
E-Mail     206
Advantages     206
Disadvantages     207
Tone in E-Mail     208
E-mail and Conflict Management     208
Issues of Privacy     208
Guidelines: Writing E-Mail     209
E-Mail Format     210
E-Mail Attachments     211
Tips for International Communication     212
Guidelines: International Correspondence     213
Quick Review     213
Exercises     214
Community Action Project     214
Sample Documents
Good-News Letter: Direct Approach     215
Bad-News Letter: Indirect Approach     216
Bad-News Letter     217
Appreciation Letter     218
Inquiry Letter     219
Request for Action Memo     220
E-Mails     221
Instructions, Procedures, and Policies     223
The Difference Between Instructions, Procedures, and Policies     223
Planning and Researching     224
Determining Your Purpose     224
Analyzing Your Audience     227
Steps to...: Analyzing Your Audience     227
Document Specifications     228
Organizing     228
Guidelines: Organizing Instructions and Procedures     229
Designing     230
Clearly Labeled Figures     230
Consistent Formats     231
Decision Tables     231
Modular Design     231
Information Mapping     232
Editing     234
Collaborating      235
Achieving the Right Tone and Style     235
Steps to...: Scheduling Your Project     236
Guidelines: Editing Instructions and Procedures     236
Testing for Usability     237
Types of Usability Tests     238
Tips for International Communication     239
Considerations and Cautions     239
Quick Review     240
Exercises     241
Community Action Project     242
Sample Documents
User Guide Instructions, Step by Step     243
Sample Brief Instructions     244
Sample Policy     245
Policy and Procedure on Same Page     246
Describing and Summarizing Technical Information     247
Planning and Researching     247
Determining Your Purpose     247
Analyzing Your Audience     250
Organizing     250
Organizing Technical Descriptions     250
Guidelines: Planning Descriptions and Summaries     251
Organizing Technical Summaries     253
Designing     255
Guidelines: Designing Descriptions and Summaries     256
Editing     256
Too Much Information     256
The List Syndrome     258
Inconsistent Terminology     258
Tips for International Communication     259
Quick Review     259
Exercises     260
Community Action Project     260
Sample Documents
Object/Product Description     261
Technical Object and Process Description     262
Technical Object Description     264
Abstracts and Executive Summaries     267
Planning and Researching     267
Determining Your Purpose     267
Steps to...: Creating an Abstract and Executive Summary     270
Analyzing Your Audience     271
Organizing     271
Methods of Organizing Executive Summaries     271
Guidelines: Organizing Abstracts     272
Designing     274
Specific Strategies for Abstracts     274
Specific Strategies for Executive Summaries     275
Editing     276
Avoiding Cut and Paste Style     277
Avoiding Overly Technical Language     278
Tips for International Communication     278
Quick Review     278
Exercises     279
Community Action Project     279
Sample Documents
Portions of a Contemporary Executive Summary     280
Traditional Executive Summary     282
Informative Abstract     283
Informative Abstract for Funding Proposal     284
Descriptive Abstract     284
Reports     285
Communicating Factual Information     285
Planning and Researching     286
Determining Your Purpose     287
Analyzing Your Audience     289
Defining the Central Problem     289
Developing a Schedule and Document Specification     290
Organizing     290
Components of a Formal Report     291
Guidelines: Writing an Effective Transmittal Letter     293
Components of a Progress Report     298
Using Direct and Indirect Approaches     298
Creating an Argument     299
Designing     303
Formatting     303
Figures and Tables     304
Mathematical Equations     304
Checklist: Using Graphics in Reports     305
Presenting Statistics and Visual Information Ethically     306
Editing     306
Tone     306
Consistency     307
Completeness      307
Passive Voice     307
Checklist: Style Consistency     308
Sentence Variety     309
Acronyms and Abbreviations     310
Tips for International Communication     310
Quick Review     311
Exercises     312
Community Action Project     312
Sample Documents
Letter of Transmittal     314
Sample Brief Report     315
Sample Progress Report     317
Sample Medical Report     319
Sample Final Summary Report     321
Letter of Transmittal     327
Sample Report     328
Proposals     347
An Overview of Proposal Writing     347
Planning and Researching     347
Determining Your Purpose     348
Analyzing Your Audience     349
Developing Themes     350
Considering Ethical Issues     352
Outlining     352
Organizing     353
The Executive Summary     353
The Proposal     357
Designing     359
Deciding on an Effective Format     359
Using Graphics Appropriately     359
Guidelines: Using Graphics in Proposals     361
Writing Interpretive Captions     361
Editing     362
Stating Your Themes Persuasively     362
Establishing Equivalence Chains     363
Writing Sidebars That Work     363
Steps to...: Creating an Equivalence Chain     364
Guidelines: Writing Effective Sidebars     365
Following Up the Proposal Submission     365
Tips for International Communication     366
Quick Review     366
Exercises     367
Community Action Project     367
Sample Documents
Request for Proposal (RFP) Sample     368
Sample Student Proposal     371
Sample Short Proposal     372
Sample Grant Proposal     376
Electronic Media: Online Help, Web Site Design, and Blogs     385
Understanding the Differences Between Online and Print Media     385
Planning and Researching     388
Determining Your Purpose     390
Analyzing Your Audience     390
Organizing     390
Guidelines: Organizing Hypermedia     391
Designing     393
Designing Online Content     393
Designing Online Graphical User Interfaces      394
Checklist: Electronic Design Best Practices     394
Steps to...: Developing GUI Standards     397
Designing Online Graphics     398
Guidelines: Using Graphics in Electronic Design     398
Developing and Designing a Marketing Web site     399
Guidelines: Creating a Marketing Web Site     399
Developing and Designing a "Blog"     400
Editing     405
Guidelines: Editing Online Documents     405
Tips for International Communication     406
Quick Review     407
Exercises     408
Community Action Project     408
Fliers, Brochures, and Newsletters     409
Understanding Marketing Writing     409
Planning and Researching     409
Determining Your Purpose and Audience     410
Organizing and Designing     412
Principles of Marketing Design     412
Fliers     413
Brochures     413
Newsletters     415
Electronic Delivery: HTML or PDF?     417
Editing     419
Tips for International Communication     419
Guidelines: Writing Marketing Copy     420
Quick Review      421
Exercises     421
Community Action Projects     422
Technology Challenge     422
Professional Presentations     423
Planning and Researching     423
Analyzing Your Audience     424
Planning Grid     425
Visual Media     426
Length     426
Organizing     427
Introduction Strategy     427
Presenting the Body     428
Closing Techniques     429
Designing     430
Types of Visual Aids     430
Selecting the Right Medium     431
Guidelines: Presenting Visuals     431
Guidelines: Presenting with PowerPoint     435
Editing     435
Using Outlines     436
Using Note Cards     436
Practicing Your Delivery     436
Elements of Delivery     437
Handling the Question and Answer Period     439
Tips for International Communication     440
Quick Review     441
Exercises     442
Community Action Project     442
Technology Challenge     442
Sample Document
Presentation Outline      443
Finding a Job     449
Understanding Job Application Protocol     449
Start Early     450
Steps to...: Finding a Job     450
Organizing the Search     451
Types of Technical Jobs     451
What Job Is Best for You?     451
Where Do You Want to Work?     452
Where to Find Leads     454
Choosing References     455
Writing Job Application Letters     456
Steps to...: Creating an Effective Application Letter     457
Writing Resumes     458
Guidelines: Writing Effective Resumes     459
Types of Resumes     460
Electronic Resumes     460
Guidelines: Formatting a Scannable Resume     461
Preparing Professional Portfolios     462
Components of the Portfolio     462
Guidelines: Using Keywords in Your Resume     463
Electronic Portfolios     464
Interviewing     464
Guidelines: Interviewing Successfully     465
Common Interview Questions     466
Following Up     466
Tips for International Communication     467
Quick Review     469
Exercises      469
Community Action Project     470
Technology Challenge     470
Sample Documents
Job Application Letter     471
Table of Contents for Technical Writing Portfolio     472
Thank You Letter     473
Chronological Resume     474
Targeted Resume     475
Function-Oriented Resume     477
A Quick Guide to Language Issues
ESL (English as a Second Language) Considerations     477
Abbreviations and Acronyms     477
Capitalization     478
Commonly Misspelled Words     479
Placement of Adverbs and Adjectives     479
Articles     480
Pronoun Reference     480
Gerunds and Infinitives     481
Idioms     483
Prepositions     483
Two-Word Verbs     483
Present Perfect Verb Tense     484
Glossary of Usage     484
Index     487

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