Ch 5: Parts of a Technical Document Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Parts of a Technical Document chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach the different elements of technical documents in your classroom. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Parts of a Technical Document chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

Day Topics Key Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday Titles and headings, front, body and end matter, summaries and abstracts in technical documents The process of creating effective headings, titles, summaries and abstracts and the importance of these elements
Tuesday Definitions in technical writing Reasons for describing, classifying and making comparisons in technical writing; contrasts between dictionary definitions and work-related definitions ; common dilemmas that one may be faced with when writing workplace definitions; mistakes that occur most often when writing definitions
Wednesday Writing technical descriptions, specifications, introductions and conclusions The importance of these elements and strategies for composing them
Thursday The use of visuals in technical communication Discussing the importance of recommendations; textual and visual graphics and how to employ them
Friday Glossary, footnotes and appendix in technical documents; layout and design The importance of these elements in technical documents; designing the layout of technical documents to help readers navigate the sections and absorb the information

19 Lessons in Chapter 5: Parts of a Technical Document Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Titles & Headings in Technical Documents

1. Titles & Headings in Technical Documents

Titles and headings in technical documents are important to accurately structure the document so that the reader understands the breaks in the writing, which helps with comprehension. Learn more about the two main types of titles and headings in technical writing and how to use them effectively.

Front Matter, Body & End Matter in Technical Documents

2. Front Matter, Body & End Matter in Technical Documents

Many documents in technical writing include title pages and abstracts, which are considered material called front matter as they appear at the beginning. Learn more about front matter, as well as the material included in the body and end matter of a technical document.

Summaries & Abstracts in Technical Documents

3. Summaries & Abstracts in Technical Documents

A summary or abstract is a convenient tool for people who want to know the overall theme or contents of a document without reading the whole thing. Learn more about the purpose and three main types of summaries and abstracts in technical documents.

What Are Definitions in Technical Writing?

4. What Are Definitions in Technical Writing?

In technical writing, definitions support the audience's understanding of challenging topics. Learn how, why, and when to use definitions in technical writing. Explore which types of definitions to include, and discover where they should be incorporated in a piece of writing.

Types of Definitions Used in Technical Writing

5. Types of Definitions Used in Technical Writing

In technical writing, definitions support the audience's understanding of challenging topics or material. Explore the three main types of definitions used in technical writing, including parenthetical, sentence, and extended definitions.

How to Use Definitions in Technical Writing

6. How to Use Definitions in Technical Writing

In technical writing, definitions help the audience understand challenging or complex topics. Explore how to define technical words in technical writing and learn three ways to do it using in-text definitions, quick reference sheets, and glossaries.

Ethical Dilemmas in Technical Writing

7. Ethical Dilemmas in Technical Writing

Technical writing, in an effort to achieve consistency and accuracy, can result in plagiarism, and other times misrepresent truth with costly results. See examples of the importance of truthfulness, word choice, and how to avoid plagiarism amongst ethical dilemmas.

Mistakes of Composing Definitions in Technical Writing

8. Mistakes of Composing Definitions in Technical Writing

In technical writing, it is vital that the audience understand unfamiliar terms. Learn to avoid mistakes in composing definitions by learning what makes a problematic definition, how to simplify them, and the specific language to use, aided by some relatable examples.

Writing Technical Descriptions

9. Writing Technical Descriptions

Technical descriptions give consumers an overview of a product's function, characteristics, features, and more. Explore how to write technical descriptions that work, including how to tailor short and long descriptions to your audience's needs.

Writing Technical Specifications

10. Writing Technical Specifications

Technical specifications are documents that outline the design for a project, system, or product. Discover the need for specifications, explore the difference between open and closed specifications, and learn how to write both types of specifications clearly and informatively.

Introductions of Technical Documents

11. Introductions of Technical Documents

Introductions are critical parts of technical documents. Learn the purpose of introductions, and how to write them to include background information, a purpose statement, and a conclusion sentence. Then examine some potential problems in introductions and how to mitigate them.

Conclusions of Technical Documents

12. Conclusions of Technical Documents

Conclusions in technical documents will capture the quintessential key points or final outcomes based on research or data which helps the audiences to understand the data-based outcome. Learn more about it's purpose, structure and the strategies to maintain clarity and conciseness.

Recommendations in Technical Documents

13. Recommendations in Technical Documents

Not all technical documents will include recommendations, but there are certain steps to follow for writing them when needed. Learn more about the definition of recommendations in technical documents, the four main steps for writing them, and how to prevent confusion when writing.

The Role of Visuals in Communication

14. The Role of Visuals in Communication

In most organizations, presentations are used to provide training, keep organizational members and stakeholders informed, and pitch ideas to potential clients. Learn about the role of visuals in communication, including data presentation. Explore ways that visuals can make communication stronger and help ensure that the audience receives the intended message(s).

Using Visuals to Present Data: Textual Graphics vs. Visual Graphics

15. Using Visuals to Present Data: Textual Graphics vs. Visual Graphics

When presenting, textual and visual graphics can help presenters make their point effectively. Learn when to use visuals to present data, explore the difference between textual and visual graphics, and review the types of graphs available.

Ethical Considerations When Using Visuals in Workplace Communication

16. Ethical Considerations When Using Visuals in Workplace Communication

Using visuals in workplace communication requires reviewing ethical considerations to ensure the message is appropriate. Learn the guidelines to ensure the visual message is appropriate, including reviewing and using accurate visuals, not downplaying negative data, communicating results accurately, and more.

Glossary, Footnotes & Appendix in Technical Documents

17. Glossary, Footnotes & Appendix in Technical Documents

Technical documents often include a glossary of terms used, footnotes, and an appendix to provide additional information for readers that might otherwise distract from the text. Learn more about the purposes of a glossary, footnotes, and appendix included in the end matter of technical documents.

Layout & Design of Technical Documents

18. Layout & Design of Technical Documents

When writing technical documents, the layout and design should be clear to make navigation user friendly. Discover the importance of visual layout, conforming to expectations, and readability when presenting a piece of technical writing.

Comparing Informal & Formal Technical Reports

19. Comparing Informal & Formal Technical Reports

Informal and formal technical reports are not only different in structure or format, but also in their content and type of language used. Compare informal and formal reports, and learn about their characteristics.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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More Exams
There are even more practice exams available in Parts of a Technical Document Lesson Plans.

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