The Elements of Technical Writing

Paperback | June 19, 2009

byThomas E. Pearsall, Kelli Cargile Cook

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One-quarter the length and price of conventional textbooks, this popular introduction to technical writing teaches the essentials with remarkable economy, clarity, and authority. The Elements of Technical Writing provides students with precisely the information needed to produce effective technical documents and no more.

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From the Publisher

One-quarter the length and price of conventional textbooks, this popular introduction to technical writing teaches the essentials with remarkable economy, clarity, and authority. The Elements of Technical Writing provides students with precisely the information needed to produce effective technical documents and no more.

From the Jacket

One-quarter the length and price of conventional textbooks, this popular introduction to technical writing teaches the essentials with remarkable economy, clarity, and authority. The book is divided into two parts. Part One focuses on the seven fundamental principles of good technical writing, such as knowing one's purpose and audience...

Format:PaperbackDimensions:192 pages, 8.4 × 5.5 × 0.5 inPublished:June 19, 2009Publisher:Pearson EducationLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0205583814

ISBN - 13:9780205583812

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Preface    

 

Part One

 The Seven Principles of Technical Writing   

 

1          Know Your Purpose and Your Writing Situation    

Your Purpose    

Your Situation    

Activities    

Chapter Assignments    

 

2          Know Your Audience and Their Situation    

Concerns and Characteristics    

Education, Experience, and Location    

Attitudes Toward Purpose and Information    

Activities   

Chapter Assignments    

 

3          Choose and Organize Your Content Around Your

Purpose and Audience    

Researching Content    

Choosing Content    

Organizing Your Content    

Chronological    

Classification and Division    

Mechanism Descriptions    

Outlines    

Activities    

Chapter Assignments    

 

4          Write Clearly and Precisely    

Paragraph for Readers    

Revise Sentences and Words for Readers    

Use Language Appropriate for Your Readers    

Prefer the Active Voice    

Use Personal Pronouns    

Use Action Verbs    

Don’t Introduce Unnecessary Complication    

Writing and Revising with Others    

Activities   

Chapter Assignments    

 

5          Use Good Page Design    

Use Default Layout Templates Cautiously    

Provide Headings    

Phrasing Headings    

Making Headings Noticeable and Distinctive    

Use Headers and Footers    

Choose an Appropriate Type Size and Typeface    

Type Size    

Typeface    

Use Lists and Informal Tables    

Use Emphasis Carefully    

Leave Ample White Space    

Margins    

Medium-Length Lines    

Proper Spacing    

Activities    

Chapter Assignments    

 

6          Think Visually    

Getting and Showing Objects    

Photographs    

Drawings    

Showing Processes    

Showing Data    

Tables    

Graphs    

Principles of Tables and Graphs    

Considering Cultural Differences    

Activities    

Chapter Assignments    

 

7          Write Ethically    

Don’t Hide or Suppress Unfavorable Data    

Don’t Exaggerate Favorable Data    

Don’t Make False Implications    

Don’t Plagiarize    

Credit Your Sources    

Internet Documentation    

Construct Ethical Graphs    

Don’t Lie    

Activities    

Chapter Assignments    

 

Part Two

 

The Formats of Technical Writing   

8          Elements of Reports    

Title Page    

Letter of Transmittal    

Preface    

Table of Contents    

List of Illustrations    

Glossary    

List of Symbols    

Abstracts and Summaries    

Introduction    

Discussion    

Conclusions and Recommendations    

Appendixes    

Documentation    

Copyright    

Activities    

Chapter Assignments    

 

9          Formats of Reports    

Instructions    

Introduction    

List of Equipment and Materials    

How-To Instructions    

Warnings    

Theory    

Glossary   

Analytical Reports    

Format    

Discussion Sections    

Proposals    

Unsolicited Proposals    

Student Proposals    

Progress Reports    

Empirical Research Reports    

Abstract    

Introduction    

Literature Review    

Materials and Methods    

Results    

Discussion    

Conclusions    

Activities    

Chapter Assignments    

 

10        Formats of Correspondence    

Formal Elements of Letters    

Letterhead    

Date Line    

Inside Address    

Re Line    

Subject Line    

Salutation    

Body    

Complimentary Close    

Signature Block    

End Notations    

Continuation Page    

Simplified Letters    

Memorandums    

E-mail    

Correspondence of the Job Search    

Résumés    

Letters of Application    

Other Correspondence    

Further Information    

Activities    

Chapter Assignments    

Chapter Notes    

 

Index