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Ch 1: Basics of Technical Writing

About This Chapter

Make use of informative video lessons to become familiar with the process of technical writing, including the different types, purposes and requirements.

Basics of Technical Writing - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Technical writers often produce a variety of manuals, business reports and proposals. This chapter's instructors can introduce you to the basic features of technical communications and help you understand some of the rules governing this mode of writing. When you reach the end of this chapter, you should understand the following concepts:

  • How technical language and lay language differ
  • Ethical and legal communication in the workplace
  • Various types of technical documents
  • The writing process involved in technical writing

Video Objective
Technical Communication: Definition & Purpose Explain who technical and professional writers are and how they relay their messages.
Characteristics of Technical Communication Discuss the requirements of technical writing, including the need to be correct, concise and professional, in addition to exhibiting an awareness of the audience.
Audience-Centered Communication: Description & Effectiveness Explore the importance of listener-centered communications.
Rhetorical Awareness in Technical Communication Address awareness of document goals, audience, stakeholders and context.
Legal and Ethical Communication: Description & Importance Explain ethical and legal communications in the workplace.
Implicit and Explicit Rules of Communication: Definitions & Examples Give examples of usual communication rules in the workplace.
Types of Technical Documents Outline the various types of technical documents.
Establishing Goals in Technical Writing Explain why a clear objective is necessary and how that affects which type of technical document will be needed.
The Technical Writing Process: Prewriting, Writing, & Rewriting Describe the various parts of the technical writing process, and tell why each phase is necessary in this type of writing.

9 Lessons in Chapter 1: Basics of Technical Writing
Technical Communication: Definition & Purpose

1. Technical Communication: Definition & Purpose

Technical communication is a part of almost every job. This video provides the definition and purpose of technical communication, and explains why technical communication is important for businesses and consumers.

Characteristics of Technical Communication

2. Characteristics of Technical Communication

It is important to understand the characteristics of technical communication in order to write documents that meet the needs of your audience. This video provides the characteristics of the subject, audience, purpose and style of technical communications.

Audience-Centered Communication: Description & Effectiveness

3. Audience-Centered Communication: Description & Effectiveness

Audience-centered communication is a type of communication where a speaker analyzes the audience to determine the content, language usage and listener expectations. It allows effective communication because the speaker can tailor messages to the needs of the listener.

Rhetorical Awareness in Technical Communication

4. Rhetorical Awareness in Technical Communication

When writing technical communications, it is important to take into account the goal, audience, and context of the document you are creating. This video explains how having rhetorical awareness will help improve your communication.

Legal and Ethical Communication: Description & Importance

5. Legal and Ethical Communication: Description & Importance

Legal and ethical communication is essential to companies to ensure truthful, accurate and morally-correct decision making. Companies need to give consideration to how they communicate and remain lawful in their day-to-day business activities.

Implicit and Explicit Rules of Communication: Definitions & Examples

6. Implicit and Explicit Rules of Communication: Definitions & Examples

There are two different rules of communication within a business environment. Implicit communication focuses on the ambiguous areas of gestures, vocal tones and actions, while explicit communication deals with what a person writes or says directly.

Types of Technical Documents

7. Types of Technical Documents

There are many different types of technical documents. Which technical document you choose to create depends on your audience and your purpose. This video will explain the three main categories of technical documents and provide examples for each.

Establishing Goals in Technical Writing

8. Establishing Goals in Technical Writing

It's important to establish goals before you begin writing so that you know who you're writing for and what you're writing about. This video provides suggestions for how to establish goals in technical writing.

The Technical Writing Process: Prewriting, Writing & Rewriting

9. The Technical Writing Process: Prewriting, Writing & Rewriting

Having a plan for your writing will help ensure that you effectively communicate your message. This video provides definitions and strategies for the three steps of the writing process: prewriting, writing, and rewriting.

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