Introduction to Technical Writing

Words, Sentences, and Basic Grammar

Words are the building blocks of language – they have rules. Phrases are small combinations of words that combine to form sentences. These too have rules. Sentences for technical communication need to be direct and short.

  • Clear

    There is no place for ambiguity in technical communication..

  • Concise

    The writing and presentation supports the technical content – never getting in its way.

  • Concrete

    Technology is specific and detailed - technical communication must always match technical rigor – there’s no place for “etc.”

Introductory Technical Writing Course Goals

CO1Explain effective technical communication for delivery in different formats.
CO2Analyze technical communications for problems and provide solutions.
CO3Develop different types of technical communications.
CO4Use a process approach for writing technical communications.
CO5Produce technical communications that meet academic and professional expectations.
CO6Demonstrate ability to train yourself on targeted writing skills.

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Course Description & Teaching Methods

The course addresses the fundamentals of communicating technical information that is clear, concise, and concrete to a wide variety of stakeholder types.

This course addresses the mechanics of the English language - the stuff you should have been taught or learned in middle and high school.  Some parts may be familiar, others will refresh, and perhaps others will give you quite a fresh look.

The course is based on two key assumptions. First, communication is rhetorical: effective communicators plan, draft, and revise formal documents and presentations with respect to their specific audiences and purposes. Second, communication practices are guided by convention and so change over time and differ between disciplines. Becoming an effective technical communicator requires an ability to do more than memorize rules: you must also learn to recognize principles and the variables that condition a given communication event against an ever-evolving cultural landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

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