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A Concise Guide to Technical Communication

by ;
Edition:
3rd
ISBN13:

9780321391681

ISBN10:
0321391683
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
7/20/2006
Publisher(s):
Longman
List Price: $91.00

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Summary

A Concise Guide to Technical Communicationtakes a situational approach, emphasizing issues of audience and purpose for any technical communication task. The first text of its kind to acknowledge that most technical communication today takes place electronically, thisConcise Guideoffers a seamless connection between the new and old worlds of technical communication.

Table of Contents

Preface xix
Part One Technical Comunnication Techniques and Considerations
CHAPTER 1 An Introduction to Technical Communication
3(13)
Communicating About Technology
4(1)
Main Characteristics of Technical Communication
4(3)
Accessibility
4(1)
Usability
5(1)
Relevance
5(2)
Types of Communication
7(2)
Technical Communication in the Workplace
9(1)
Teamwork, Virtual Teams, and Project management
9(3)
Teamwork: How to Manage a Collaborative Project
10(1)
Tools: How to Use Digital Technology to the Best Advantage of the Team
11(1)
Societal Dimensions of Technical Communication
12(1)
Ethical Dimensions of Technical Communication
12(1)
CHECKLIST FOR QUALITY IN TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION
13(1)
EXERCISES
13(1)
THE COLLABORATION WINDOW
14(1)
THE GLOBAL WINDOW
14(2)
CHAPTER 2 A World of People and Purposes
16(18)
People, Purposes, and Communities
17(4)
Identify Discourse Communities
17(2)
Provide Information Your Audience Needs
19(1)
Define Your Primary and Secondary Purposes
19(2)
Analyzing Your Audience
21(3)
Analyzing the Communication Purpose
24(1)
Analyzing the Communication Context
25(1)
Conducting an Audience-Purpose Interview
26(1)
More Tools for Understanding Audience
27(1)
Using Information from Your Analysis
28(1)
Recognizing That Audiences Are Not Passive
29(1)
Typical Audiences and Purposes for Technical Communication
29(2)
CHECKLIST FOR ANALYZING AUDIENCE, PURPOSE, AND CONTEXT
30(1)
EXERCISES
31(1)
THE COLLABORATION WINDOW
32(1)
THE GLOBAL WINDOW
33(1)
CHAPTER 3 Designing Usable Information
34(21)
Usability and Technical Information
35(1)
Usability During the Planning Stages
35(2)
Perform an Audience and Purpose Analysis
35(1)
Perform a Task Analysis
35(2)
Develop an Information Plan
37(1)
Do the Research
37(1)
Usability During the Writing and Design Process
37(3)
Test Early Versions of Your Communication Product
37(2)
Revise Your Plan and Your Product
39(1)
Create Documentation That Is Context-Sensitive
39(1)
Usability After the Information Is Released
40(1)
Provide Mechanisms for User Feedback
40(1)
Plan for the Next Version or Release
41(1)
Writing and Organizing Information for Usability
41(8)
Using Appropriate Grammar and Style
41(5)
Creating an Overview
46(1)
Chunking Information
47(1)
Creating Headings
47(2)
Using the Margins for Commentary
49(1)
Proofreading Your Final Draft
49(3)
CHECKLIST FOR DESIGNING USABLE INFORMATION
51(1)
EXERCISES
52(1)
THE COLLABORATION WINDOW
53(1)
THE GLOBAL WINDOW
53(2)
CHAPTER 4 Conducting Research for Technical Communication
55(21)
Thinking Critically About Research
56(1)
Primary Research
56(3)
Informative Interviews
56(1)
Surveys and Questionnaires
57(1)
Public Records and Organizational Publications
58(1)
Personal Observation and Experiments
59(1)
Internet and Digital Research
59(7)
Online News Sites and Magazines
60(1)
Government Research Sites and Other Government Documents
60(1)
Community Discussion Groups and Bulletin Boards
60(1)
Blogs and Wikis
61(1)
Email Lists
61(1)
Library Databases That Are Searchable via the Internet
61(1)
Other Web Sites
62(1)
Evaluating Sources from the Web
62(3)
Managing Your Information
65(1)
Other Electronic Research Tools
66(1)
Compact Discs
66(1)
Online Retrieval Services
66(1)
Card Catalog
67(1)
Hard Copy Research
67(6)
Bibliographies
67(1)
Encyclopedias
68(1)
Dictionaries
68(1)
Handbooks
68(1)
Almanacs
68(1)
Directories
68(1)
Guides to Literature
68(1)
Indexes
69(1)
Abstracts
70(1)
Access Tools for U.S. Government Publications
70(1)
Microforms
71(6)
CHECKLIST FOR RESEARCH
72(1)
EXERCISES
73(1)
THE COLLABORATION WINDOW
74(1)
THE GLOBAL WINDOW
74(2)
CHAPTER 5 Technical Communication in a Digital World
76(19)
Communicating in Digital Space
77(1)
Designing Information for the New Media
77(4)
Writing Issues
77(2)
Design Issues
79(2)
Technical Issues
81(1)
Online Documentation and Interface Design
81(4)
Online Documentation
82(2)
Interface Design
84(1)
Corresponding Over the Wires: Email, Blogs, and Instant Messaging
85(7)
Email
86(3)
Blogs
89(1)
Instant Messaging
90(6)
CHECKLIST FOR DIGITAL COMMUNICATION
91(1)
EXERCISES
92(1)
THE COLLABORATION WINDOW
93(1)
THE GLOBAL WINDOW
94(1)
CHAPTER 6 Ethical Issues in Technical Communication
95(18)
Ethics, Technology, and Communication
96(1)
Examples of Ethical Issues in Technical Communication
96(3)
Three Mile Island
96(1)
The Space Shuttle Challenger
97(1)
The Pentium III Chip
98(1)
Types of Ethical Choices
99(1)
Legal Versus Ethical
100(3)
Copyright
101(1)
Plagiarism
102(1)
Privacy
102(1)
Additional Ways in Which Actions Can Be Unethical
103(2)
Yielding to Social Pressure
103(1)
Mistaking Groupthink for Teamwork
104(1)
Suppressing Knowledge the Public Needs
104(1)
Exaggerating Claims About Technology
105(1)
Exploiting Cultural Differences
105(1)
Types of Technical Communication Affected by Ethical Issues
105(3)
Graphics
105(2)
Web Pages and the Internet
107(1)
Memos
107(1)
Instructions
107(1)
Reports
107(1)
Proposals
108(1)
Oral Presentations
108(1)
Responding to Ethical Situations
108(2)
CHECKLIST FOR ETHICAL COMMUNICATION
110(1)
EXERCISES
110(1)
THE COLLABORATION WINDOW
111(1)
THE GLOBAL WINDOW
112(1)
CHAPTER 7 Copyright and Privacy
113(17)
Why Technical Communicators Need to Understand Copyright and Privacy
114(1)
Section One: Copyright
114(8)
Copyright-An Overview
114(5)
How Copyright Infringement Differs from Plagiarism
115(1)
How Copyright Law Differs from Patent or Trademark Law
115(1)
How Individuals and Companies Establish Copyright
116(1)
What Rights a Copyright Holder Can Claim
116(1)
When You Can and Cannot Use Copyrighted Material
116(3)
When Your Company Owns the Material
119(1)
Documenting Your Sources
119(1)
Electronic Technologies and Copyright
120(2)
Photocopiers and Scanners
120(1)
The Web as a Marketplace of Ideas and Information
120(1)
Using Material from the Internet
121(1)
Locating Copyright-Free Clip Art
121(1)
Email and Electronic Messages
122(1)
CD-ROMs and Multimedia
122(1)
Section Two: Privacy
122(6)
Privacy—An Overview
122(1)
Computer Technologies, Privacy, and Technical Communication
123(8)
Privacy in Cyberspace
123(1)
Shopping Online
123(4)
Privacy and Documentation
127(1)
Privacy and Videotapes
127(1)
CHECKLIST FOR COPYRIGHT AND PRIVACY
127(1)
EXERCISES
128(1)
THE COLLABORATION WINDOW
129(1)
THE GLOBAL WINDOW
129(1)
CHAPTER 8 Page Layout and Document Design
130(24)
Creating Visually Effective Documents
131(3)
How Page Design Transforms a Document
131(1)
How Readers View a Page
131(3)
Electronic Pages
134(1)
Formatting the Page Effectively
134(7)
Using a Grid Structure
135(1)
Creating Areas of Emphasis Using White Space
135(2)
Using Lists
137(1)
Using Headings
138(3)
Using Typography Effectively
141(2)
Selecting Fonts
141(1)
Combining Fonts
142(1)
Choosing Fonts for Readability
143(1)
Providing Effective Search Options
143(3)
Table of Contents, Index
143(1)
Running Heads and Feet
144(1)
Electronic Searching
144(2)
Designing Electronic Documents
146(3)
Web Pages
146(1)
Online Help
147(1)
Adobe Acrobat and PDF Files
148(1)
CDs and Other Media
148(1)
Creating and Using Style Sheets and Tools
149(3)
Organizational Style Guides and Style Sheets
150(1)
Style Tools Using Word-Processing and Page Layout Software
150(1)
Style Tools Using CSS and HTML for Web Pages
150(9)
CHECKLIST FOR PAGE LAYOUT AND DOCUMENT DESIGN
151(1)
EXERCISES
152(1)
THE COLLABORATION WINDOW
152(1)
THE GLOBAL WINDOW
153(1)
CHAPTER 9 Graphics and Visual Information
154(29)
The Power of the Picture
155(1)
When to Use Visuals
155(1)
Different Visuals for Different Audiences
156(3)
Numbers into Images
159(8)
Graphs
159(4)
Charts
163(4)
Illustrations
167(2)
Diagrams
169(2)
Exploded Diagrams
169(1)
Cutaway Diagrams
170(1)
Symbols and Icons
171(1)
Wordless Instruction
172(1)
Photographs
172(1)
Maps
172(3)
Visualization and Medical Imaging
175(1)
Software and Web-Based Images
175(1)
Using Color
176(2)
Avoiding Visual Noise
178(1)
Visuals and Ethics
178(1)
Cultural Considerations
179(1)
CHECKLIST FOR VISUAL COMMUNICATION
180(1)
EXERCISES
180(1)
THE COLLABORATION WINDOW
181(1)
THE GLOBAL WINDOW
181(2)
Part Two Technical Communication Situations and Applications 183(112)
CHAPTER 10 Everyday Communication Situations
185(40)
Email
186(3)
Audience and Purpose Analysis
186(1)
Types of Email
186(1)
Typical Components of Email
187(1)
Usability Considerations
188(1)
CHECKLIST FOR EMAIL
189(1)
Memos
189(4)
Audience and Purpose Analysis
190(1)
Types of Memos
190(1)
Typical Components of a Memo
190(2)
Usability Considerations
192(1)
Letters
193(9)
Audience and Purpose Analysis
193(1)
Types of Letters
194(2)
Typical Components of a Letter
196(2)
Specialized Components of a Letter
198(2)
Usability Considerations
200(2)
CHECKLIST FOR LETTERS
202(1)
Résumés
202(5)
Audience and Purpose Analysis
203(1)
Typical Components of a Résumé
203(1)
Organization of a Résumé
204(1)
Online Resume Services
204(1)
New Types of Résumés
204(3)
CHECKLIST FOR RÉSUMÉS
207(1)
Short Reports
207(8)
Audience and Purpose Analysis
208(1)
Types of Short Reports
208(3)
Typical Components of Short Reports
211(1)
Usability Considerations
211(4)
CHECKLIST FOR MEMOS AND SHORT REPORTS
214(1)
Oral Communication
215(8)
Audience and Purpose Analysis
215(1)
Types of Oral Presentations
216(1)
Typical Components of Oral Presentations
217(3)
Usability Considerations
220(6)
CHECKLIST FOR ORAL PRESENTATIONS
222(1)
EXERCISES
223(1)
THE COLLABORATION WINDOW
224(1)
THE GLOBAL WINDOW
224(1)
CHAPTER 11 Product-Oriented Communication Situations
225(31)
Specifications
226(6)
Audience and Purpose Analysis
226(3)
Types of Specifications
229(1)
Typical Components of Specifications
229(2)
Usability Considerations
231(1)
CHECKLIST FOR SPECIFICATIONS
232(1)
Brief Instructions
232(4)
Audience and Purpose Analysis
232(1)
Types of Brief Instructions
232(3)
Typical Components of Instructions
235(1)
Usability Considerations
235(1)
Audience and Purpose Analysis
236(1)
Procedures
236(5)
Types of Procedures
237(1)
Typical Components of Procedures
237(3)
Usability Considerations
240(1)
Documentation and Manuals
241(7)
Audience and Purpose Analysis
242(1)
Types of Manuals
243(1)
Typical Components of Manuals
243(2)
Usability Considerations
245(3)
CHECKLIST FOR INSTRUCTIONS, PROCEDURES, AND MANUALS
247(1)
Technical Marketing Material
248(5)
Audience and Purpose Analysis
248(1)
Types of Technical Marketing Material
248(2)
Typical Components of Technical Marketing Material
250(1)
Usability Considerations
250(7)
CHECKLIST FOR TECHNICAL MARKETING MATERIAL
253(1)
EXERCISES
253(1)
THE COLLABORATION WINDOW
254(1)
THE GLOBAL WINDOW
254(2)
CHAPTER 12 Complex Communication Situations
256(39)
Definitions and Descriptions
257(10)
Audience and Purpose Analysis
257(1)
Types of Definitions and Descriptions
257(7)
Typical Components of Definitions and Descriptions
264(1)
Usability Considerations
265(2)
CHECKLIST FOR DEFINITIONS AND DESCRIPTIONS
267(1)
Long Reports
267(15)
Audience and Purpose Analysis
268(1)
Types of Long Reports
268(1)
A General Model for Long Reports
269(2)
Front Matter and End Matter in Long Reports
271(2)
Usability Considerations
273(9)
CHECKLIST FOR LONG REPORTS
282(1)
Proposals
282(9)
Audience and Purpose Analysis
282(1)
Types of Proposals
283(4)
Typical Components of Proposals
287(2)
Usability Considerations
289(2)
CHECKLIST FOR PROPOSALS
290(1)
EXERCISES
291(3)
THE COLLABORATION WINDOW
294(1)
THE GLOBAL WINDOW
294(1)
APPENDIX A Grammar 295(16)
Punctuation
296(2)
Lists
298(2)
Embedded Lists
298(1)
Vertical Lists
298(2)
Avoiding Sentence Fragments and Run-On Sentences
300(2)
Avoiding Sentence Fragments
300(1)
Avoiding Run-On Sentences
301(1)
Usage (Commonly Misused Words)
302(2)
Subject-Verb and Pronoun-Antecedent Agreement
304(1)
Faulty Modification
305(3)
Parallel Structure
306(1)
Transitions Within and Between Paragraphs
307(1)
Mechanics
308(3)
Abbreviations
308(1)
Hyphenation
309(1)
Capitalization
309(1)
Use of Numbers
310(1)
Spelling
310(1)
APPENDIX B Documenting Sources 311(28)
Quoting the Words of Others
312(1)
Paraphrasing the Words of Others
312(1)
What You Should Document
312(1)
How You Should Document
313(1)
MLA Documentation Style
313(12)
MLA Parenthetical References
314(1)
MLA Works Cited Entries
315(10)
MLA Works Cited Page
325(1)
APA Documentation Style
325(10)
APA Parenthetical References
326(1)
APA References Entries
327(8)
APA References List
335(1)
CSE and Other Numbered Documentation Styles
335(4)
CSE Numbered Citations
336(1)
CSE References Entries
336(3)
References 339(4)
Credits 343(2)
Index 345


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