Technical writing involves the creation of useful documents that can be clearly understood by readers. Good technical writing clarifies jargon, presenting useful information that is clear and easy to understand for the intended audience; poor technical writing may increase confusion by creating unnecessary jargon or failing to explain it. While grammar, spelling and punctuation are of the utmost importance to technical writing, style is not; it can be sacrificed if doing so increases clarity, which is considered more important to the genre. Technical writing involves analysis of a document’s intended audience in order to translate complex technical concepts and instructions into a series of comprehensible steps that enable users to perform a specific task in a specific way. To present appropriate information, writers must understand the audience and their goals. For example, an audience of highly trained scientists will require less explanation of technical terms than a help guide intended for general audiences.
Course Outline – Full Day Agenda
- Aspects of Technical Writing
- Essential Technical Writing Skills
II. Understanding Readers’ Needs
- The Description
- Explaining a Process
III. Organizing Technical Information
- Organization Revision
IV. Writing the First Draft
- Clarity: Avoid Jargon
- Clarity: Define the Unfamiliar
- Brevity: Use Words Efficiently
- Brevity: Less Is More
- Brevity: Remove Redundancy
- Simplicity: Use Details Wisely
- Language: Needless Complexity
- Language: Needless Words
- Language: Weak vs. Strong
- Active Voice: Strong Verbs
- Active Voice: Natural Sound
- Technical Writing Abstracts
- Using Illustrations
V. Editing and Proofreading
VI. Topical Writing Practice
TMG considers the optimal number of participants to be 14-20 for facilitation of this workshop. A maximum of 24 is allowed.
A comprehensive workbook accompanies this course that serves as a reference guide for course content.
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