9780134586373

Strategies for Technical Communication in the Workplace, MLA Update Edition

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780134586373

  • ISBN10:

    0134586379

  • Edition: 3rd
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 6/14/2016
  • Publisher: Pearson

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Summary

For introductory courses in Technical Communication.

This version of Strategies for Technical Communication in the Workplace has been updated to reflect the 8th Edition of the MLA Handbook (April 2016)*

 

Complete but streamlined coverage, with a focus on audience and purpose

Based on the acclaimed Technical Communication by Lannon and Gurak, Strategies for Technical Communication in the Workplace prepares individuals for workplace writing through a clear and concise writing style, useful checklists, practical applications, numerous sample documents, and coverage of technology and global issues. The 3rd Edition addresses changing technology in the workplace with a complete chapter on social media, updated examples, and sample documents. This brief and affordable text is accessible to individuals of all writing levels.

 

* The 8th Edition introduces sweeping changes to the philosophy and details of MLA works cited entries. Responding to the “increasing mobility of texts,” MLA now encourages writers to focus on the process of crafting the citation, beginning with the same questions for any source. These changes, then, align with current best practices in the teaching of writing which privilege inquiry and critical thinking over rote recall and rule-following.

Table of Contents

&>Part 1. FOUNDATIONS


1. Technical Communication: Global, Collaborative, and Digital

What Is Technical Communication?

Main Features of Technical

Communication 4

Focus Is on the Reader, Not the Writer

Document Design Is Efficient and Accessible

Writing Style Is Clear and Relevant

Information Is Persuasive, Truthful, and Based on Research

Three Primary Purposes of Technical Communication

Informational Purpose

Instructional Purpose

Persuasive Purpose

Common Types of Technical Documents

Technical Communication Is Global, Collaborative, and Digital

Technical Communication Is Global

Strategies for Global Technical Communication

Technical Communication Is Collaborative

Strategies for Organizing a Team Project

Running Successful Meetings

Identifying and Managing Group Conflicts

Strategies for Running a Meeting

Strategies for Managing Team Conflicts

Reviewing and Editing the Work of Others

Strategies for Peer Review and Editing

Technical Communication Is Digital

Checklist for Effective Technical Communication

Applications

2. The Research Process in Technical Communication

Thinking Critically about Research

Strategies for Thinking Critically about Research

Primary versus Secondary Sources

Exploring Secondary Sources

Online Secondary Sources

Strategies for Researching Online

Hard-Copy Secondary Sources

Exploring Primary Sources

Unsolicited Inquiries

Informational Interviews

Strategies for Informational Interviews

Surveys

Strategies for Surveys 40

Observations and Experiments

Checklist for Doing Research

Applications

3. Providing Audiences with Usable Information

Analyze the Document’s Audience

Primary and Secondary Audiences

Relationship with Audience

Audience’s Technical Background

Audience’s Cultural Background

Strategies for Analyzing Your Audience

Determine the Document’s Purpose

Primary and Secondary Purposes

Intended Use of the Document

Know How to Be Persuasive

Using Claims as a Basis for Persuasion

Connecting with Your Audience

Strategies for Persuasion

Create a Task Analysis for the Document

Consider Other Related Usability Factors

Setting

Potential Problems

Length

Format

Timing

Budget

Develop an Information Plan for the Document

Write, Test, Revise, and Proofread the Document

Strategies for Proofreading

Checklist for Usability

Applications

4. Recognizing Ethical Issues in Technical Communication

Ethics, Technology, and Communication

Types of Ethical Choices

How Workplace Pressures Affect Ethical

Values

Recognizing and Avoiding Ethical Abuses

Strategies for Avoiding Ethical Abuses

Checklist for Ethical Communication

Applications


Part 2. BLUEPRINTS

 

5. Structuring Information for Your Readers

The Importance of an Understandable Structure

Outlining

Strategies for Outlining

Chunking

Sequencing

Paragraphing

The Topic Sentence

Paragraph Unity

Paragraph Coherence

Clarifying Headings

Providing an Overview

Checklist for Structuring Information

Applications

6. Writing with a Readable Style

The Importance of a Readable Style

Writing Clearly

Avoiding Ambiguous Pronoun References

Avoiding Ambiguous Modifiers

Using Active Voice Whenever Possible

Using Passive Voice Selectively

Avoiding Nominalizations

Unstack Modifying Nouns

Avoiding Unnecessary Jargon

Writing Concisely

Avoiding Wordiness

Eliminating Redundancy and Repetition

Writing Fluently

Combining Related Ideas

Varying Sentence Construction and Length

Using Parallel Structure

Writing Personably

Adjusting Your Tone

Strategies for Deciding about Tone

Avoiding Sexist and Biased Language

Strategies for Nonsexist Usage

Strategies for Unbiased Usage

Checklist for Style

Applications

7. Using Audience-Centered Visuals

The Importance of Using Audience-Centered Visuals

When to Use Visuals

Using Visuals to Support Text

Using Visuals on Their Own

Types of Visuals

Tables

Strategies for Creating Tables

Graphs

Strategies for Creating Graphs

Charts

Strategies for Creating Charts

Illustrations and Diagrams

Photographs

Videos

Icons and Symbols

Strategies for Illustrations, Diagrams, Photographs, Videos, Icons, and Symbols

Special Considerations When Using Visuals

Selecting Appropriate Visuals

Placing, Cross-Referencing, and Presenting Visuals

Using Color in Visuals

Using Visuals Ethically

Checklist for Using Audience-Centered Visuals

Applications

8. Designing User-Friendly Documents

The Importance of User-Friendly Document Design

Characteristics of Well-Designed Documents

Specific Design Elements

Designing for Consistency and Cohesiveness

Strategies for Designing: Consistency and Cohesiveness

Designing for Navigation and Emphasis

Strategies for Designing: Navigation and Emphasis

Checklist for Document Design

Applications

 

Part 3. DOCUMENTS

 

9. Résumés and Other Employment Materials

Let’s Get Started Résumés and Application Letters

Assessing Your Skills and Aptitudes

Researching the Job Market

Résumés

Parts of a Résumé

Organizing Your Résumé

Strategies for Creating a Résumé

Application Letters

Solicited Application Letters

Unsolicited Application Letters

Strategies for Application Letters

Digital versus Print Job Application Materials

Strategies for Digital Job Application Materials

Dossiers, Portfolios, and E-portfolios

Dossiers

Portfolios and E-portfolios

Strategies for Dossiers, Portfolios, and E-portfolios

Interviews and Follow-up Letters

Interviews

Follow-up Letters

Strategies for Interviews and Follow-up Letters

Checklist for Résumés

Checklist for Job Application Letters

Checklist for Supporting Materials

Applications

10. Memos and Letters

Let’s Get Started Memos

Let’s Get Started Letters

Memo Basics

Memo Parts and Format

Memo Tone

Types of Memos

Transmittal Memo

Summary or Follow-up Memo

Informational Memo

Strategies for Memos

Letter Basics

Letter Parts and Formats

Parts of a Letter

Formats for Letters

Letter Tone

Establishing and Maintaining a “You” Perspective

Being Polite and Tactful

Using Plain English

Considering the Needs of International Readers

Being Direct or Indirect

Strategies for Letters in General

Types of Letters

Inquiry Letters

Strategies for Inquiry Letters

Claim Letters

Strategies for Claim Letters

Sales Letters

Strategies for Sales Letters

Adjustment Letters

Strategies for Adjustment Letters

Checklist for Memos and Letters

Applications

11. Definitions

Let’s Get Started Definitions

Audience and Purpose of Definitions

Legal, Ethical, and Societal Implications of Definitions

Types of Definitions

Parenthetical Definitions

Sentence Definitions

Expanded Definitions

Methods for Expanding Definitions

Etymology

History

Negation

Operating Principle

Analysis of Parts

Visuals

Comparison and Contrast

Required Conditions

Examples

Using Multiple Expansion Methods

Placement of Definitions

Strategies for Definitions

Checklist for Definitions

Applications

12. Descriptions

Let’s Get Started Descriptions

Audience and Purpose of Descriptions

Objectivity in Descriptions

Elements of Descriptions

Title

Introduction

Sequence of Topics

Visuals

Conclusion

Product and Process Descriptions

A Complex Product Description

A Complex Process Description

Strategies for Descriptions

Specifications

Strategies for Specifications

Checklist for Descriptions and Specifications

Applications

13. Instructions and Procedures

Let’s Get Started Instructions

Audience and Purpose of Instructions

Types of Instructional Formats

Instructional Brochures

User Manuals

Quick Reference Materials

Web-based Instructions

Online Instructions

Ethical and Legal Implications

Elements of Effective Instructions

Title

Overview or Introduction

Body

Conclusion

Visuals

Notes, Cautions, Warnings, and Danger Notices

Content, Style, and Design Considerations

Detail and Technicality

Style

Strategies for Achieving Readability

Design

Strategies for Creating an Accessible Design

Procedures

Audience and Purpose Considerations

Types of Procedures

Usability Testing

Strategies for Instructions and Procedures

Checklist for Instructions and Procedures

Applications

14. Summaries

Let’s Get Started Summaries

Audience and Purpose of Summaries

Elements of Effective Summaries

Accuracy

Completeness

Conciseness

Nontechnical Style

Writing Summaries Step by Step

Step 1: Read the Original Document

Step 2: Reread and Mark Essential Material

Step 3: Cut and Paste the Key Information

Step 4: Redraft the Information into Your Own Organizational Pattern and Words

Step 5: Edit Your Draft

Step 6: Compare Your Version with the Original Document

Special Types of Summaries

Closing Summaries

Informative Abstracts

Descriptive Abstracts

Executive Summaries

Ethical Considerations in Summarizing Information

Strategies for Summaries

Checklist for Summaries

Applications

15. Informal Reports

Let’s Get Started Informal Reports

Two Categories of Reports: Informational and Analytical

Progress Reports (Informational)

Strategies for Progress Reports

Periodic Activity Reports (Informational)

Strategies for Periodic Activity Reports

Trip Reports (Informational)

Strategies for Trip Reports

Meeting Minutes (Informational)

Strategies for Meeting Minutes

Feasibility Reports (Analytical)

Strategies for Feasibility Reports

Recommendation Reports (Analytical)

Strategies for Recommendation Reports

Peer Review Reports (Analytical)

Strategies for Peer Review Reports

Checklist for Informal Reports

Applications

16. Formal Reports

Let’s Get Started Formal Reports

Audience and Purpose of Formal Reports

Comparative Analysis

Causal Analysis

Feasibility Analysis

Elements of Effective Formal Reports

Accurate, Appropriate, and Clearly Interpreted Data

Clearly Identified Purpose Statement

Understandable Structure

Readable Style

Audience-centered Visuals

User-friendly Design

Parts of Formal Reports

Letter of Transmittal

Front Matter

Text of the Report

End Matter

Strategies for Formal Reports

A Sample Formal Report

Checklist for Formal Reports

Applications

17. Proposals

Let’s Get Started Proposals

Audience and Purpose of Proposals

Types of Proposals

Planning Proposals

Research Proposals

Sales Proposals

Organization of Informal and Formal Proposals

Clear Title or Subject Line

Background Information

Statement of Problem or Situation

Description of Solution or Resolution

Costs, Timing, and Qualifications

Conclusion

Strategies for Proposals

A Sample Formal Proposal

Checklist for Proposals

Applications

 

Part 4. DIGITAL MEDIA AND PRESENTATIONS

 

18. Email and Text Messages

Let’s Get Started Email and Text Messages

Email

Audience and Purpose of Email

Components and Organization of Email

Appropriate Style for Workplace Email

Strategies for Email

Text Messages

Audience and Purpose of Workplace Text Messages

Strategies for Text Messages

Comparing Email and Text Messaging

Copyright and Privacy in Digital Communication

Be Prepared for Technology to Fail

Checklist for Email and Text Messages

Applications

19. Blogs, Wikis, and Web Pages

Let’s Get Started Blogs, Wikis, and Web Pages

Internal Blogs

External Blogs

Internal Wikis

External Wikis

Web Pages

Audience and Purpose of Web Pages

Elements of Effective Web Pages

Structure

Style

Visuals

Design

Ethical Considerations

Ethical Considerations

Strategies for Blogs, Wikis, and Web Pages

Checklist for Blogs, Wikis, and Web Pages

Applications

20. Social Media

Let’s Get Started Social Media

Considering Audience and Purpose

Audience as Contributor

Social Media in Technical and Workplace Communication

Customer Review Sites

Facebook

Google+

LinkedIn and Other Job Sites

Twitter

YouTube

Ethical and Legal Issues

Strategies for Social Media

Checklist for Social Media

Applications

21. Oral Presentations and Video Conferencing

Let’s Get Started Oral Presentations

Audience and Purpose of Oral Presentations

Types of Oral Presentations

Informative Presentations

Training Presentations

Persuasive Presentations

Action Plan Presentations

Sales Presentations

Parts of Oral Presentations

Introduction

Body

Conclusion

Preparing Oral Presentations

Research and Connect the Topic to Your Audience

Create an Outline or Storyboard

Determine a Delivery Style

Choose Your Technology

Plan the Use of Visuals

Practice the Presentation

Strategies for Preparing Oral Presentations

Using Presentation Software

Video Conferencing

Strategies for Using Presentation Software and Video Conferencing

Delivering Oral Presentations

Strategies for Delivering Oral Presentations

Checklist for Oral Presentations

Applications


APPENDICES

 

A. Documenting Sources

What Is Plagiarism?

Identifying Sources and Information to Be Documented

Taking Effective and Accurate Notes

Strategies for Taking Notes

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing Properly

Quoting the Work of Others

Strategies for Quoting the Work of Others

Paraphrasing the Work of Others

Strategies for Paraphrasing the Work of Others

Summarizing the Work of Others

Strategies for Summarizing the Work of Others

Documentation: The Key to Avoiding Plagiarism

Why You Should Document

What You Should Document

How You Should Document

MLA Documentation Style

MLA Parenthetical References

MLA Works Cited Entries

APA Documentation Style

APA Parenthetical References

APA Reference Entries

Other Documentation Styles

Recognizing Copyright Issues

Works in the Public Domain

Fair Use

The Difference between Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement

B. A Brief Handbook

Grammar

Sentence Fragments

Run-on Sentences

Comma Splices

Faulty Agreement–Subject and Verb

Faulty Agreement–Pronoun and Referent

Faulty Coordination and Subordination

Faulty Pronoun Case

Punctuation

Period

Question Mark

Exclamation Point

Semicolon

Colon

Comma

Apostrophe

Quotation Marks

Ellipses

Brackets

Italics

Parentheses

Dashes

Mechanics

Abbreviation

Hyphenation

Capitalization

Numbers and Numerals

Spelling

Usage

Transitions

Use Transitional Expressions

Repeat Key Words and Phrases

Use Forecasting Statements

Lists

Embedded Lists

Vertical Lists

Works Cited

Photo Credits

Index

 

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