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Has corporate downsizing added technical writing to your job description? Learn how technical writing is different from ordinary writing, using interesting, hands-on exercises. The correct use of grammar, format, and style in technical writing is emphasized. Find out how to use your company’s style manual, or find one of your own. Discover how to gather material from existing documents and subject matter experts to incorporate into new documents. Find out how to understand your editor. Discover how documents are translated into other languages and how to ensure that your document is translated correctly. Finally, be able to pick the right technical writing software for your project and determine if you want technical writing to be part of your career path.
Length of Course:
Introduction (0.25 hour)
Learn what technical writing is by discussing examples of technical and non-technical writing.
Examples of non-technical writing:
Learn that curiosity and the ability to understand and explain how things work are critical skills for a technical writer.
Class Exercise (1.25 hour)
The class is divided up into two- or three-member teams. Each team is supplied with enough LEGO® pieces to build some kind of vehicle. Each team must write instructions on how to construct their vehicle. Then the team disassembles their vehicle and gives the pieces to another team to assemble, using the written instructions.
Style and Grammar (1.25 hour)
Grammar and writing style are somewhat different for technical writing compared to other types of writing. Learn English grammar as it applies to technical writing, including punctuation, capitalization, use of numbered and bulleted lists, use of "you," use of the active and passive voice, and use of the future tense, among other things.
Style Sheet/Style Guide (0.25 hour)
Most companies have a Style Sheet or Style Guide that specifies the structure and style of their documents. Look at examples of company Style Guides and what they contain. Learn what to use when a company doesn’t have a Style Guide.
Instructions for Next Session
Gathering Information for Technical Documents (0.5 hour)
Learn the sources of information for technical documents, from specification sheets and marketing materials to interviewing Subject Matter Experts.
Class Exercise (1.25 hours)
One or two team members interview the Subject Matter Expert chosen in the previous session and generate a document based on the interview. The Subject Matter Expert then checks the document for accuracy.
Editing and Editorial Marks (0.5 hour)
The editor is the best friend a technical writer can have. Learn how he or she communicates through editorial marks. Learn how to use editorial marks on your own writing to speed the correction process.
Translation of Technical Documents/Word Processing Software/Careers (0.75 hour)
It is becoming more common for technical documents to be translated into one or more foreign languages. Discover how documents are translated and how to ensure that your document is translated correctly.
Several word processing programs are commonly available. Learn which one is right for the job you are doing.
Discover what your chances are for a successful career in technical writing.
Learn to take advantage of online resources to answer your grammar questions.
I am available to teach the course in Technical Writing at your site for $49 per student. The minimum class size is four, unless special arrangements are made. Payment is due at the time the class is taught.
The class schedule is one six-hour session on one day or two three-hour sessions on different days. The second session does not usually last the full three hours. I am available to teach the class after regular business hours, unless special arrangements have been made.
In the classroom, I will need a white board and either an overhead projector or a projector that attaches to a laptop.
HOW TO CONTACT ME
You can contact me using any of the means listed in the Contact Information section.
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