- Course type: Self-paced
- Available Lessons: 117
- Average Lesson Length: 8 min
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Watch a preview:chapter 1 / lesson 1Technical Communication: Definition & Purpose
Course SummaryThis Technical Writing Syllabus Resource & Lesson Plans course is a fully developed resource to help you organize lessons and teach technical writing. You can easily adapt the video lessons, transcripts, and quizzes to take full advantage of the comprehensive and engaging material we offer. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.
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Course Practice TestCheck your knowledge of this course with a 50-question practice test.
- Comprehensive test covering all topics
- Detailed video explanations for wrong answers
How It Works
You can use this technical writing course as a template for designing and implementing your course. Here are the key components of the course and how you can use them:
- Chapters - Each chapter covers a unit of technical writing, from the characteristics of technical communication and the types of technical documents to the structure of manuals and proposals. Use these chapters as mile markers as you map out your course. We recommend planning to spend a week on each chapter, but you can always allocate the chapters according to the length of your specific technical writing course.
- Lessons - Within each chapter are video lessons that further break down topics into bite-sized chunks. These lessons cover single topics like technical specifications or standard operating procedures. Each one is often appropriate for a single class.
- Key Terms - Within each lesson are key terms. These are emphasized on screen and in the transcript. As you develop your syllabus, these key terms help you focus on the most important learning objectives. For example, the lesson on analyzing and drawing conclusions from research includes key terms like quantitative and qualitative data.
As you work on your technical writing lesson plans, save time by incorporating video lessons from this resource. Here's how:
- Introduce Topics - Your students will be in the right mindset for understanding topics like the elements of technical documents if you begin class with a short video. It can be a jumping-off point for a lecture, group activity, or class discussion.
- Break Up Lectures - The video format, which often includes animation, helps students visualize topics like usability testing and unity in technical documents.
- Assign For Homework - Each lesson in the course, from the purposes of technical writing to the persuasive elements of proposals, can be assigned to your students as homework.
Each video lesson includes a complete transcript. You can utilize these transcripts in several ways:
- Lecture Notes - Do you need a guide as you plan a lecture, such as one on informal technical reports or technical editing and reviewing? The transcripts cover each topic in depth, with key terms highlighted for quick reference.
- Student Reading - Perhaps you'd like your students to learn guidelines for using text messaging, but you don't have class time available. Assign the transcript as extra reading.
- Study Tools - When it's time for a unit exam on technical correspondence, you can point your students to the transcripts on letter components, memo structure, and related topics to help them study.
Each video lesson has a corresponding quiz. Here's how to use the quizzes:
- Homework - Assign a quiz to your students as homework. You'll receive an email with the results, which enables you to verify they've completed the assignment and that they've understood the material. Questions cover everything from strategies for tailoring a message to your audience to best practices, like methods for avoiding plagiarism.
- Tests - You can meld the material in the quizzes into your own student assessments, saving you valuable time. Need a few questions on technical editing and reviewing? There are plenty!
- Discussions - Jump-start a discussion with questions like: What are the components of a feasibility report?
Below is a sketch of the technical writing syllabus modeled on a 14-week course. This sample can be adapted based on your course schedule. Navigate the chapters and lessons for more detail.
|Week||Unit||Sample of Topics Covered|
|Week 1||Introduction to Technical Writing||Audience-centered communication, rhetorical awareness, types of technical documents, communication ethics, steps in the technical writing process|
|Week 2||Prewriting for Technical Documents||Audience analysis, channels of communication, primary and secondary research, surveys and interviews, research methods|
|Week 3||Writing Technical Documents||Tone and voice, word choice, nondiscriminatory language, paragraph structure, effective visual design, parallelism|
|Week 4||Technical Editing & Rewriting||Tips for achieving clarity, methods for improving contextual correctness and unity, proofreading and revision techniques|
|Week 5||Elements of Technical Documents||Titles and headings, summaries, abstracts, definitions, technical descriptions, introductions and conclusions, glossaries|
|Week 6||Usability Testing & Technical Writing||Participant recruiting, roles of usability testers, usability test planning|
|Week 7||Informal Technical Reports||Informal report formats, progress and research reports, incidence reports, report writing ethics|
|Week 8||Formal Technical Reports||Formal report components, feasibility reports, evaluation reports, ethics of formal report writing|
|Week 9||Business Reports and Proposals||Analytical and informational reports, executive summaries, uses of Wikis in collaborative reports|
|Week 10||Technical Writing in Business Correspondence||Letter components, forms of electronic communication, effective emails, memo types, instant and text messaging guidelines|
|Week 11||Technical Resumes & Cover Letters||Parts of a resume, letters of employment, resume format and distribution, cover letter writing, the curriculum vitae|
|Week 12||Technical Instructions||Technical instruction content, ethical considerations for technical instruction design, visuals in technical instruction|
|Week 13||Writing Technical Manuals||Structure and purpose of manuals, print manuals and e-manuals, manual usability, standard operating procedures|
|Week 14||How to Write Proposals||Types of proposals, proposals' persuasive elements, requests for proposals|
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