Reporting Technical Information by Kenneth W. HoupReporting Technical Information by Kenneth W. Houp

Reporting Technical Information

byKenneth W. Houp, Thomas E. Pearsall, Elizabeth Tebeaux

Paperback | July 22, 2005

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 460 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


Ships within 1-3 weeks

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


BETTER WRITING AND SUCCESS AT WORK BEGIN IN YOUR CLASSROOM WITH REPORTING TECHNICAL INFORMATION, ELEVENTH EDITION, A CLASSIC TEXT WITH THOROUGHLY CONTEMPORARY CONTENT. One of the leading texts in technical writing, Reporting Technical Information introduces students to all aspects of effective professional communication, including letters, proposals, progress reports, recommendation reports, research reports, instructions, and oral reports. FEATURES OF THE ELEVENTH EDITION: * A fully integrated companion offers: Additional practical resources for students: chapter overviews, sample writings, self-tests, "current topic" annotated links and additional resources, interactive tutorials, key terms and concepts, downloadable versions of important question checklists from the book, and a collaborative network(message board links and helpful WebCT and Blackboard content outlines) Resources for instructors: an Instructor's Manual and downloadable PowerPoint files for use as lecture aids (also available on CD), links to online resources including an outline of--and links to--available WebCT and Blackboard content, and writing assignments instructors have shared for "BetterWriting--Success at Work" Three different types of icons throughout the book that direct students to the website for additional resources: sample documents, exercises, and further reading * New, broader approach that prepares students in a variety of science, health, business, engineering, and technical majors to develop the types of documents they will need to write in their prospective work environments * Strong focus on the rhetorical nature of writing, helping writers to understand their readers and the contexts in which their documents will be read and used, define their purpose in writing, and design documents using these issues as critical guidelines * Updated and additional coverage of current technology, including thoroughly revised chapters on document design and usability that take into account web-based documents and platforms * New opening scenarios for each chapter that demonstrate the impact of technical communication in the real world * New chapters on content management, versatility and creativity for reports, and using design and format to achieve clarity in documents * Increased coverage of ethics and international and global workplace issues * Many new example documents--more than half of the sample documents in the text are new--and more illustrative figures * More end-of-chapter exercises, including projects that encourage student interaction and collaboration, several of which are linked to an online component on the companion website
Thomas E. Pearsall is at University of Minnesota (Emeritus).
Title:Reporting Technical InformationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:640 pages, 7.4 × 9.21 × 0.91 inPublished:July 22, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195178793

ISBN - 13:9780195178791


Table of Contents

PrefaceA New DirectionOur Approach and OrganizationWhat's New in the Eleventh EditionAncillariesA Final NoteAcknowledgments1. An Overview of Technical WritingThe Matter of DefinitionWriting at Work versus Writing at SchoolEight Basic Differences: Writing and Communicating at WorkThe Foundations of Effective Technical WritingsThe Qualities of Good Technical WritingExercises: PART ONE. FOUNDATIONS2. ComposingThe Basic Parts of the Composing ProcessAnalyzing the Writing Situation: Audience and Purpose: Choosing/Discovering Content: Arranging Content: Drafting and Revising: Revision: Document Design: Editing: Using the Composing Process in a Workplace EnvironmentUnderstanding the Composing Process: Why Bother?Exercises: 3. Writing for Your ReadersGoals of CommunicationThe Planning ProcessDetermining Your Readers: Asking Questions to Analyze Your Readers: Determining Your Purpose: Understanding Your Role as a Writer: Planning the Content: Anticipating the Context in Which Your Writing Will Be Received: Thinking about Your Readers: A Summary of ConsiderationsExercises: 4. Achieving a Readable StyleThe ParagraphBasic Principles of Effective Style Determine Readers' Knowledge of the Subject: Determine Whether a Particular Style Will Be Expected: Anticipate Readers' Comprehension Level in a Given Context: Know Your Relationship to the Readers and How You Want to Sound: Adjust the Style to the Reader, the Purpose, and the Context: Select Your Level of Language; Adjust the Density of Information: The SentenceWatch Sentence Length: Keep Subjects and Verbs Close Together: Omit Verbiage; Use Concrete Verbs: Write "Clean" Prose: Avoid Ponderous Language: Avoid Excessive Use of Is/Are Verb Forms: Use Active Voice for Clarity: Define When Necessary: Avoid Impersonal Language: Exercises: 5. Writing EthicallyEthical PerspectivesYour Professional ObligationsCodes of ConductRecognizing Unethical CommunicationPlagiarism and Theft of Intellectual Property: Deliberately Imprecise or Ambiguous Language: Manipulation of Numerical Information: Use of Misleading Illustrations: Promotion of Prejudice: Anticipating ConsequencesApplying PrinciplesHandling Unethical SituationsExercises: PART TWO. TECHNIQUES6. Writing for International ReadersEstablishing a Perspective on International CommunicationUnderstanding Readers from Various CulturesIndividualism versus Collectivism: Valuing Either Individuals or Groups: Separation of Business and Private Relationships: Power Distance between Social Ranks: Universal or Relative View of Truth: Whether the Entire Message Is Contained in the Text: Whether Uncertainty Is to Be Avoided or Accepted: The Power and Value of Time: Masculine versus Feminine: Considering Culture in the Planning ProcessExample International DocumentsWriting Business Communications to Readers in Other CulturesCulture and GraphicsFormat Strategies in Other CulturesA Final WordGuides to Doing Business in Cultures around the WorldExercises: 7. Gathering, Evaluating, and Documenting InformationAsking Productive QuestionsLooking for AnswersInterviews: Newsgroups: World Wide Web: Libraries: Evaluating AnswersInterviews: Newsgroups: Web Sites: Books and Articles: Citing SourcesExercises: 8. Designing and Formatting DocumentsUnderstanding the Basics of Document DesignKnow What Decisions Are Yours to Make: Choose a Design That Fits Your Situation: Plan the Design from the Beginning: Reveal the Design to the Readers: Keep the Design Consistent: Designing Effective Pages and ScreensUse Blank Space to Frame and Group Information: Space the Lines of Text for Easy Reading: Set the Line Length for Easy Reading: Use a Ragged Right Margin: Choosing Readable TypeChoose a Legible Type Size: Choose a Font That Suits Your Document: Use Special Typefaces Sparingly: Use Highlighting Effectively: Use a Mixture of Cases, Not All Capitals: Use Color Cautiously and Consistently: Helping Readers Locate InformationWrite Descriptive Headings: Design Distinctive Headings: Use Page Numbers and Headers or Footers: Designing Web SitesCreating the Site: Designing the Pages of the Site: Maintaining the Site: Testing Your DesignPlanning the Usability Test: Conducting the Test: Interpreting and Revising: Exercises: 9. Creating and Managing TextCollecting and Grouping InformationPlanning Content DevelopmentReports with Standard Arrangement Patterns: Reports Designed for Specific Reader Needs: Persuasive Arrangement and Development: Strategies for Developing ContentOrganization and Content DevelopmentOther Types of DevelopmentExercises: 10. Developing the Main Elements of ReportsPrefatory ElementsLetter of Transmittal: Title Page: Submission Page: Table of Contents: List of Illustrations: Glossary and List of Symbols: Abstracts and SummariesInformative Abstract: Descriptive Abstract: SummaryDiscussion or Body of the ReportParts of the Discussion: Strategy for Presenting the Discussion: Conclusion: Recommendations: Appendixes: Online ReportsExercises: 11. Creating Tables and FiguresChoosing IllustrationsConsider Your Purpose: Consider Your Audience: Consider Your Audience Again: Consider Your Purpose Again: Creating IllustrationsDesigning Tables: Designing Bar and Column Graphs: Designing Circle Graphs (Pie Charts): Designing Line Graphs: Designing Flowcharts: Designing Diagrams: Editing Photographs: Designing Illustrations EthicallyExercises: PART THREE. APPLICATIONS12. Planning Correspondence and E-mailDetermining Your PurposeAnalyzing the AudienceComposing Letters, Memos, and E-mailFinding the Appropriate StyleDirect versus Indirect Style: Conversational Style: Special Considerations for E-mailSpecial Considerations for International CorrespondenceKeeping Copies of CorrespondenceExercises: 13. Creating Reports for Any OccasionThe Variable Nature of ReportsLiability and Report WritingGeneral Report RequirementsDetermining Report StructureDetermining Internal Report DevelopmentImportance of the Introduction and SummaryThe Online ReportThe Slide/Visual Presentation ReportExercises: 14. Developing Analytical Reports: Recommendation Reports and Feasibility StudiesAnalytical ReportsRecommendation ReportsFeasibility StudiesPurpose: Environmental Impact SystemsExercises: 15. Developing Empirical Research ReportsMajor Sections of Empirical Research ReportsAbstract: Introduction and Literature Review: Summary: Materials and Methods: Results: Conclusion: Acknowledgments and References: Other Examples for Analysis and ComparisonExample 1: Example 2: Example 3: Exercises: 16. Writing Proposals and Progress ReportsThe Relationship between Proposals and Progress ReportsProposalsThe Context of Proposal Development: Effective Argument in Proposal Development: Standard Sections of Proposals: Progress ReportsStructure by Work Performed: Structure by Chronological Order: Structure by Main Project Goals: Physical Appearance of Proposals and Progress ReportsStyle and Tone of Proposals and Progress ReportsOther Forms of Proposals and Progress ReportsExercises: 17. Formulating Instructions, Procedures, and PoliciesPlanning Instructions and ProceduresStructure and OrganizationIntroduction: Theory Governing the Procedure or InstructionWarnings, Cautions, Hazards, and Notes Regarding Safety or Quality: Conditions under which the Task Is to Be PerformedSteps in Performing the TaskName of Each Step: ProceduresFormat Considerations for Instructions and Procedures: PoliciesProcedures and Policy Manuals: Exercises: 18. Writing CollaborativelyIssues in CollaborationValue of CollaborationTechniques for Developing Collaborative DocumentsThe On-site Collaborative Group: The Distributed Collaborative Work Group: The Lead Author Work Group: Making Collaborative Projects WorkCollaborative Projects in ActionExercises: 19. Preparing Oral Reports: The BasicsUnderstanding the Speaking/Writing RelationshipAnalyzing the AudienceAnalyzing the ContextDetermining the Goal of Your PresentationChoosing and Shaping ContentDeciding How to Arrange and Organize ContentDesigning Each Segment: GuidelinesChoose an Interesting Title: Develop Your Presentation about Three Main Divisions: Plan the Introduction Carefully: Design the Body to Help People Comprehend Your Ideas: Design the Conclusion to Reinforce Your Main Ideas: Choosing an Appropriate Speaking StyleSpeaking to Multicultural AudiencesUsing Techniques to Enhance Audience ComprehensionPlanning Visuals to Enhance Your Purpose and Your MeaningDesigning and Presenting the Written PaperStructuring the Written Speech: Writing the Speech: Practicing the Presentation: Speaking Effectively: Practice, Practice, PracticeExercises: 20. Understanding the Strategies and Communications of the Job SearchPreparationSelf-Assessment: Information Gathering: Networking: The Correspondence of the Job SearchLetter of Application: The Resume: Follow-up Letters: InterviewingThe Interview: Negotiation: Before and after the Interview: Exercises: Appendix A. HandbookIndex