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Strategies for Technical Communication in the Workplace,9780205245529
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Strategies for Technical Communication in the Workplace

by ;
Edition:
2nd
ISBN13:

9780205245529

ISBN10:
0205245528
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
1/3/2012
Publisher(s):
Longman
List Price: $91.00

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Summary

Practical and affordable, Strategies for Technical Communication in the Workplace  offers complete coverage of routine workplace documents, complex forms of communication, and the latest technological innovations in a streamlined presentation of 528 pages. Emphasizing immediate and ongoing document creation as well as audience and purpose, Strategies for Technical Communication in the Workplace is appropriate for technical communication students and writers of all levels. Three new chapters cover email and text messages, blogs, wikis, and social networks, and ehtics. There is increased coverage on audience analysis in Chapter 4, where readers learn how to write persuasively in addition to analyzing audience/purpose and creating usable documents.

Author Biography

Laura J. Gurak is professor and founding chair of the Department of Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota. She holds an M.S. in technical communication and a Ph.D. in communication and rhetoric from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is author of two books from Yale University Press (1997, 2001), the earlier of which was the first book-length work to study online communities and Internet-based social actions. Gurak is also co-editor of several edited collections and author on numerous conference presentations and papers; she is a recipient of the Society for Technical Communication’s Outstanding Article award. Gurak has authored and coauthored five textbooks in technical communication published by Pearson. She has worked as a technical writer and communications consultant for various companies and organizations.

 

John M. Lannon is Professor Emeritus and former Director of Writing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where he developed the undergraduate major in professional writing and later co-developed the M.A. program in professional writing.
He has also taught at Cape Cod Community College, University of Idaho, Southern Vermont College, and University of Strasbourg.
He has authored and coauthored five major textbooks in business communication, rhetoric, and technical communication, book reviews, filmstrips, and environmental documents and instructional software. He is the recipient of an NDEA Fellowship and Fulbright Lectureship. He holds a B.S., M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His initial training and work was in biomedical science and technology with the USAF. He has served as a communications consultant for various companies and government institutions.  He worked seven years in medical laboratories.


 

Table of Contents

Preface          

 

PART 1           FOUNDATIONS      

 

1          Introduction to Technical Communication   

What Is Technical Communication?            

Who Creates Technical Communication?               

Main Features of Technical Communication          

Three Primary Purposes of Effective Technical Communication               

Common Types of Technical Documents    

The Importance of Proofreading                              

 

2          Teamwork and Global Issues in Technical Communication           

Teamwork in Technical Communication      

Global Issues in Technical Communication 

 

3          The Research Process in Technical Communication          

Thinking Critically about Research 

Primary versus Secondary Sources             

Exploring Secondary Sources                      

Exploring Primary Sources   

 

4          Providing Audiences with Usable Information                    

Analyze the Document's Audience  

Determine the Document's Purpose

Know How to Be Persuasive

Create a Task Analysis for the Document  

Consider Other Related Usability Factors  

Develop an Information Plan for the Document     

Write, Test, and Revise the Document                   

 

5          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  

 

PART 2           BLUEPRINTS                      

 

6          Structuring Information for Your Readers  

The Importance of an Understandable Structure    

Outlining        

Chunking       

Sequencing    

Paragraphing             

Clarifying Headings

Providing an Overview         

 

7          Writing with a Readable Style         

The Importance of a Readable Style           

Writing Clearly         

Writing Concisely     

Writing Fluently        

Writing Personably   

 

8          Using Audience-Centered Visuals   

The Importance of Using Audience-Centered Visuals                   

When to Use Visuals            

Types of Visuals       

Special Considerations When Using Visuals           

 

9          Designing User-Friendly Documents                       

The Importance of User-Friendly Document Design                      

Characteristics of Well Designed Documents                    

Specific Design Elements     

 

 

PART 3                       DOCUMENTS                     

 

10        Résumés and Other Employment Materials                       

Assessing Your Skills and Aptitudes                       

Researching the Job Market                       

Résumés        

Application Letters   

Dossiers, Portfolios, and Webfolios

Interviews and Follow-Up Letters    

 

11        Memos and Letters  

Memo Basics            

Memo Parts and Format      

Memo Tone   

Types of Memos       

Letter Basics             

Letter Parts and Formats     

Letter Tone   

Types of Letters       

 

12        Definitions     

Audience and Purpose of Definitions           

Legal, Ethical, and Societal Implications of Definitions     

Types of Definitions

Methods for Expanding Definitions

Using Multiple Expansion Methods            

Placement of Definitions      

 

13        Descriptions  

Audience and Purpose of Descriptions        

Objectivity in Descriptions   

Elements of Descriptions     

Product and Process Descriptions   

A Complex Product Description       

A Complex Process Description      

Specifications            

 

14        Instructions and Procedures

Audience and Purpose of Definitions                       

Types of Instructional Formats        

Ethical and Legal Implications         

Elements of Effective Instructions   

Content, Style, and Design Considerations

Procedures    

Usability Testing       

 

15        Summaries     

Audience and Purpose of Summaries                      

Elements of Effective Summaries    

Writing Summaries Step-by-Step     

Special Types of Summaries            

Ethical Considerations In Summarizing Information                      

 

16        Informal Reports      

Two Categories of Reports: Informational and Analytical

Progress Reports (Informational)    

Periodic Activity Reports (Informational)   

Trip Reports (Informational)            

Meeting Minutes (Informational)    

Feasibility Reports (Analytical)       

Recommendation Reports (Analytical)       

Peer Review Reports (Analytical)   

 

17        Formal Reports         

Audience and Purpose of Formal Reports   

Elements of Effective Formal Reports                    

Parts of Formal Reports       

A Sample Formal Report      

 

18        Proposals       

Audience and Purpose of Proposals

Types of Proposals   

Organization of Informal and Formal Proposals     

A Sample Formal Proposal   

 

PART 4           DIGITAL MEDIA AND PRESENTATIONS                    

 

19        Email and Text Messages    

Email  

Text Messages         

Comparing Email and Text Messaging                   

Copyright and Privacy in Digital Communication   

Be Prepared for Technology to Fail

 

20        Blogs, Wikis, and Social Networks  

Internal Corporate Blogs     

External Corporate Blogs    

Corporate Wikis

Social Networks        

 

21        Web Pages and Online Videos                     

Audience and Purpose of Web Pages                      

Elements of Effective Web Pages                

Online Videos            

Ethical and Legal Considerations    

PDF Files       

Differences in Media Types

 

22        Oral Presentations    

Audience and Purpose of Oral Presentations                      

Types of Oral Presentations                        

Parts of Oral Presentations  

Preparing Oral Presentations                       

Using Presentation Software            

Delivering Oral Presentations                     

 

APPENDICES                      

 

A         Documenting Sources                       

What Is Plagiarism?

Identifying Sources and Information to be Documented                

Taking Effective and Accurate Notes                     

Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing Properly            

Documentation: The Key to Avoiding Plagiarism   

MLA Documentation Style  

APA Documentation Style    

CSE Documentation Style    

Recognizing Copyright Issues                      

 

B         A Brief Handbook     

Grammar       

Punctuation    

Mechanics     

Usage             

Transitions    

Lists               

 

Works Cited              

Photo Credits            

Index


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