Technical Communication, Fourth Canadian Edition by William S. PfeifferTechnical Communication, Fourth Canadian Edition by William S. Pfeiffer

Technical Communication, Fourth Canadian Edition

byWilliam S. Pfeiffer, J. Boogerd

Paperback | April 17, 2006

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Appropriate for technical writing courses.


This unique introduction to technical writing teaches students the practical and valuable ABC model-Abstract, Body, Conclusion. The text immerses students in various case studies and projects featuring a fictitious Canadian company, much like a potential employer of college or university graduates. The new edition of Technical Communication continues to offer clear guidelines for all documents, annotated writing models, realistic assignments, and a writing and grammar handbook, allowing students to place themselves in professional roles and to respond to realistic technical writing challenges.  Additionally, updated Instructor Supplements and Text Enrichment Site allow for a more comprehensive study of the Technical Communications field.

Title:Technical Communication, Fourth Canadian EditionFormat:PaperbackDimensions:528 pages, 10 × 8 × 1.15 inPublished:April 17, 2006Publisher:Pearson EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0131962930

ISBN - 13:9780131962934

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Read from the Book

There exists an invariant set of physical principles founded in the field of mechanics that can be used by designers as aids to understanding the behavior of existing structural forms and in devising new approaches. The development of these principles has flowered during the past three centuries to the extent that they are amazingly well established and documented. Some new understandings, of course, are continuing to occur and will hopefully always do so. Still, the analytical tools already available to the designer are extensive and enormously powerful. Thus, the real challenge in the field of structures lies not so much in developing new analytical tools, but in bringing those currently in existence to bear in the designing and formulation of creative structural solutions with the intent of making better buildings. In this book, we discuss, in an introductory way, the nature of the invariant physical principles that underlie the behavior of structures under load. The primary goal of the book, however, is not simply to teach analytical techniques, but, more generally, to explore their role in the design of structures in a building context. Because of this larger goal, the book covers material not only discussed in specialized engineering curricula, but also, to some extent, covered in architecture curricula as well. The traditional hard boundaries between subdisciplines in engineering (e.g., statics and strength of materials) have also been deliberately softened and a more integrative approach taken. The book is divided into three major parts. Part I is an introduction to the subject and to fundamental concepts of analysis and design. Part II introduces the reader to most of the primary structural elements used in buildings and discusses their analysis and design. Each of the chapters in this part is divided into sections that (1) introduce the element considered and explain its role in building, (2) discuss its behavior under load in qualitative terms (an "intuitive" approach), (3) examine its behavior under load in quantitative terms, and (4) discuss methods for designing (rather than just analyzing) the element. Part III contains a unique examination of the principles of structural design, as it is a part of the larger building design process. The appendices generally discuss more advanced principles of structural analysis. The book is intended largely as a resource for students and instructors wishing to design their own curriculum. For those wanting to adopt a strictly qualitative approach to the subject, it is possible, for example, to read only Chapter 1 in Part 1, the sections entitled "Introduction" and "General Principles" in each of the chapters in Part II, and all of Part 111. This coverage will provide a brief qualitative overview of the field, with a special emphasis on design rather than analysis. For those students who already have a background in the analytical aspects of structures, Part III contains summary information that is useful in a design context. Part III can be read independently by such students. Within Parts I, II, and III, there is a certain redundancy in the way analytical topics are covered, so that students or instructors can integrate the material in the order they see fit. Shear and moment diagrams, for example, are first introduced in an abstract way in Chapter 2. They are reintroduced in connection with the analysis of a specific structural element: the truss. Where the different presentations are introduced, if at all, may be varied by the instructor. Depending on the reader's needs or the curriculum followed, a reasonable sequence might be an overview (Chapter 1), basic statics (Chapter 2, Sections 2.1 to 2.3), loads and load modeling (Chapter 3), truss analysis and design (Chapter 4), cables and arches (Chapter 5), shear and moment diagrams (Chapter 2, Section 2.4), material properties (Chapter 2, Section 2.6), columns (Chapter 7), continuous beams (Chapter 8), frames (Chapter 9), plate and grid structures (Chapter 10), membranes and nets (Chapter 11), and shells (Chapter 12). The chapters in Part III on grids, lateral load resistance approaches, and construction types are often best covered either in parallel or in conjunction with a studio exercise. Other instructors may choose to approach the subject material differently. The book is designed to have sufficient flexibility to support different approaches. The material is presented in such a way that a direct cover-to-cover reading is also appropriate. The author is, of course, indebted to a vast number of people in either a direct or an indirect way for the approach taken in this book. Professors Spiro Pollalis and Martin Bechthold contributed their time and help revising the manuscript and in preparing the accompanying student CD, which contains examples and case studies. The endless patience and contributions of several years of students in the Graduate School of Design at Harvard who have taken courses involving the material contained herein are also greatly appreciated. Especially important are Kay, Ned, and Ben Schodek, who provided their own special form of support. In addition, particular thanks are due to Kirk Martini, University of Virginia; Kuppaswamy Iyengar, University of New Mexico; Harry Giles, University of Michigan; and Michele Chiuini, Ball State University, for their assistance with the fifth edition text review. Daniel L. Schodek Cambridge, Massachusetts

Table of Contents




Chapter 1                     Process in Technical Writing  

Chapter 2                     Corporate Culture Today

Chapter 3                     Organizing Information

Chapter 4                     Page Design and Web Design

Chapter 5                     Graphics (formerly Chapter 12)

Chapter 6                     Patterns of Organization        

Chapter 7                     Process Descriptions and Instructions

Chapter 8                     Email and Memos

Chapter 9                     Letters

Chapter 10                   Informal Reports

Chapter 11                   Formal Reports           

Chapter 12                   Proposals and Feasibility Studies       

Chapter 13                   Oral Communication  

Chapter 14                   Technical Research

Chapter 15                   The Job Search

Chapter 16                   Style in Technical Writing




Editorial Reviews

The information in the Pfeiffer [text] is outstanding.  The content of the examples are superb in the Pfeiffer. The examples in the text are suitable for our courses, absolutely.  The grammar handbook in the text can prove useful to the students. It also means the students won't have to buy another separate grammar book. The writing style, or language of the text is absolutely effective for our students.  The supplementary materials for this text would be absolutely useful for teaching. It has materials that can be effectively used on its own, or adapted/modified for use with class assignments that are loosely based, or not at all based on the text material. Erick Desjardins, Fanshawe College   There are plenty of examples in this text.  I particularly like the full length examples of letters, memos and reports. Students learn by example so these provide guidelines for the beginner.  I find this book to be very current. I find the Sample Documents especially great. Students can use these as a guide when preparing their own documents. The assignments are useful and I have used many in my class. The level of this text is just right for my students. This book covers the topic, but then allows the student to hone these skills by actually writing, instead of reading about it.  I especially like the first chapter. It is one of the best introductions to Technical Communications that I have seen in a text. The author's writing style is clear and to the point. The use of examples is one of the best I have seen in a Technical Communications text. This text meets all the criteria and I plan on using it next year.    Carole Clark, Nova Scotia Community College    I find the level of writing appropriate for technical communication students, especially those with no previous college or university education.  This text would be very relevant for technical professionals wanting a comprehensive overview of technical writing.  Overall, I was impressed with the text. The text has the potential to serve multiple duty as the recommended text for more than one course within a program.  Technical Writing also has the potential to be a good resource for technical professionals and technical communicators who are seeking a good reference text.   Nirdosh Ganske, Red River College    The examples are excellent.  I find the students learn more from the examples than they do from the words in the text.  The summaries are [a] good tool to help the student navigate through the content.  Weblinks [are] excellent tools for the instructor to get ideas about assignments, or find new ways to deliver content.    Algonquin College