Communicating Technical Information
A good technical document isn’t necessarily one that’s well written or highly polished: it’s one that works. Often, the task of writing technical documents falls to those whose main job is not writing, yet nowhere are clarity, precision, and absolute accuracy more important than when conveying technical information. This two-day workshop will teach you how to apply an effective process of planning, drafting, and editing to create excellent technical documents of any length, from memo to extended report. It will show you how to avoid common pitfalls and to learn to think from the point of view of your readers, whether they are clients, technicians, managers, support staff, or users of software or networks. It will help you feel more confident about communicating technical information and reduce the number of readers who misinterpret information or come back to you for clarification.
Writing purpose-driven documents
Delivering what your readers need, not what you know
Developing an effective document architecture
Leveraging the power of headings
Breaking information into “right-sized” chunks
Choosing appropriate writing units: lists, tables, and visual aids
Writing with clarity, precision, and accuracy
Using jargon and technical terms appropriately
Getting rid of fuzz, ambiguity, and deadwood
Applying a highly effective three-stage editing process
Using custom checklists that improve clarity and consistency and save time
- Anyone who writes technical reports instructions procedures user guides or proposals
- Anyone whose writing includes technical content or who must convey any information with accuracy and precision
- Anyone whose writing must achieve some definite result
Melanie Sexton, Ph.D., is an editor, technical writer, and instructor, with more than 20 years experience teaching University courses and workshops in grammar and writing skills. As technical writer and editor, she has designed on-line help systems for software applications, edited technical documentation suites, written style guides and standards, and managed a variety of writing projects. She also happens to be profoundly deaf and has designed and delivered workshops on deafness and disability issues for both government and private-sector clients.
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