The Essentials of Technical Communication

Paperback | November 28, 2014

byElizabeth Tebeaux, Sam Dragga

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Practical, concise, and reasonably priced, The Essentials of Technical Communication, Third Edition, gives students the tools they need to get their message across in today's workplace.

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From the Publisher

Practical, concise, and reasonably priced, The Essentials of Technical Communication, Third Edition, gives students the tools they need to get their message across in today's workplace.

Elizabeth Tebeaux is Professor of English at Texas AandM University. Sam Dragga is Professor of Technical Communication at Texas Tech University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:464 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:November 28, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199379998

ISBN - 13:9780199379996

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Table of Contents

* Each chapter ends with exercisesChecklistsPrefacePart 1. Principles1. Characteristics of Writing at WorkWriting at Work versus Writing at SchoolRequires acute awareness of security and legal liabilityRequires awareness that documents may be read by unknown readersAchieves job goalsAddresses a variety of readers who have different perspectivesCreates excessive paperwork and e-mailsUses a variety of documentsThe Foundations of Effective Writing at WorkThe Qualities of Good Technical Writing2. Writing for Your ReadersUnderstand Your Readers-The Heart of the Planning ProcessKeep in mind that business readers want answers nowDetermine your readers and their perspectivesDetermine your purposeUnderstand your role as a writerPlan the contentCase 2-1Anticipate the context in which your writing will be receivedThe Basic Parts of the Composing ProcessAnalyzing the writing situation-purpose, readers, and contextChoosing/discovering contentCase 2-2Arranging contentDraftingRevisingEditingCase 2-3Planning and Revision Checklist3. Writing EthicallyYour Professional ObligationsCodes of ConductRecognizing Unethical CommunicationPlagiarism and theft of intellectual propertyDeliberately imprecise or ambiguous languageManipulation of numerical informationUse of misleading illustrationsPromotion of prejudiceUncritical use of informationManaging Unethical SituationsEthics Decision Checklist4. Achieving a Readable StyleThe ParagraphExamples for studyBasic Principles of Effective StyleDetermine your readers' knowledge of the subjectDetermine whether a particular style will be expectedAdjust the style to the readers, the purpose, and the contextKeys to Building Effective SentencesWatch sentence lengthKeep subjects and verbs close togetherWrite squeaky-clean proseAvoid pompous language; write to express, not to impressAvoid excessive use of is/are verb formsUse active voice for clarityWord ChoiceStyle Checklist5. Designing DocumentsUnderstanding the Basics of Document DesignKnow what decisions are yours to makeChoose a design that fits your situationPlan your design from the beginningReveal your design to your readersKeep your design consistentDesigning Effective Pages and ScreensUse blank space to frame and group informationSpace the lines of text for easy readingAdjust the line length to the size of the page or screenUse a ragged right marginHelping Readers Locate InformationUse frequent headingsWrite descriptive headingsDesign distinctive headingsUse page numbers and headers or footersDocument Design Checklist6. Designing IllustrationsCreating IllustrationsTablesBar and column graphsCircle graphsLine graphsOrganization chartsFlow chartsDiagramsPhotographsAnimation clipsFilm clipsDesigning Illustrations EthicallyIllustration ChecklistPart 2. Applications7. E-mails, Texts, Memos, and LettersE-mail and Text MessagesMemos and LettersGuidelines for Ensuring QualityAppropriate Tone in E-mails, Texts, Memos, and LettersGuidelines for Dealing with TonePlanning and Writing CorrespondenceCase 7-1: Informational e-mail messageCase 7-2: Instructional memoCase 7-3: Letter requesting informationCase 7-4: Unfavorable news letterCase 7-5: Letter of replyCorrespondence Checklist8. Technical ReportsKinds of ReportsReport Categories-Informal and FormalInformal Report Heading 154Subject lineReferenceAction requiredDistribution listParts of an Informal Technical ReportIntroductionSummaryDiscussionConclusionRecommendationsAttachmentsDeveloping ReportsCase 8-1Elements of Formal ReportsPrefatory elementsAbstracts and summariesDiscussion, or body of the reportCollecting and grouping informationConclusion(s)RecommendationsAppendicesCase 8-2Letter ReportsExample Report for StudyWriting CollaborativelyThe team leaderRequirements of team leadersRequirements of team membersReport Checklist9. Proposals and Progress ReportsProposalsExample RFPThe context of proposal developmentEffective argument in proposal developmentStandard sections of proposalsCase 9-1: Research proposalCase 9-2: Project proposalProgress ReportsStructure of progress reportsCase 9-3Case 9-4Style and Tone of Proposals and Progress ReportsChecklist for Developing Proposals and Progress Reports10. Instructions, Procedures, and PoliciesInstructions versus ProceduresCritical Role of Instructions and Procedures in the WorkplacePlanning Instructions and ProceduresStructure and OrganizationIntroductionTheory governing the procedure or instructionWarnings, cautions, hazards, and notes regarding safety or qualityConditions under which the task should be performedName of each stepCase 10-1: Process instructionsCase 10-2: Job instructionsCase 10-3: Instructional letterOnline InstructionsCase 10-4Checklist for Developing Instructions/Procedures11. Oral ReportsUnderstanding the Speaking-Writing RelationshipAnalyzing the AudienceDetermining the Goal of Your PresentationChoosing and Shaping ContentAnalyzing the ContextChoosing the OrganizationChoosing an Appropriate Speaking StyleChoosing Visuals to Enhance Your Purpose and Your MeaningPlanning Your Presentation-Questions You Need to AskAudiencePurposeContextContentGraphicsStyleSpeaking to Multicultural AudiencesDesigning Each SegmentChoose an interesting titleDevelop your presentation around three main divisionsPlan the introduction carefullyDesign the bodyDesign the conclusionChoosing an Effective Delivery StyleTechniques to Enhance Audience ComprehensionDesigning and Presenting the Written PaperStructuring the written speechWriting the speechPracticing the presentationChecklist for Preparing Oral Reports12. Resumes and Job ApplicationsThe Correspondence of the Job SearchLetter of applicationThe resumeFollow-up lettersInterviewingThe interviewNegotiationBefore and after the interviewJob Search ChecklistAppendix A. Brief Guide to Grammar, Punctuation, and UsageAppendix B. Using Sources of InformationAppendix C. Report for StudyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This text includes everything that I see as essential in a technical writing book. It's small in size but comprehensive in scope, concise but with sufficient details and examples." --Peter Dorman, Central Virginia Community College