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Technical Communication : A Reader-Centered Approach,9781413017700

Technical Communication : A Reader-Centered Approach

by
Edition:
6th
ISBN13:

9781413017700

ISBN10:
1413017703
Format:
Paperback
Pub. Date:
4/21/2006
Publisher(s):
Wadsworth Publishing
List Price: $197.33

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Summary

Thousands of students have successfully improved their writing and design skills using Anderson's TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION: A READER-CENTERED APPROACH. Known for its treatment of the rhetorical situation and coverage of usability and persuasion, this edition contains new chapters and an innovative design reflecting the visual orientation of today's students.

Table of Contents

Preface xvii
PART I INTRODUCTION
1(62)
Communication, Your Career, and This Book
3(22)
Communication Expertise Will Be Critical to Your Success
4(1)
Writing at Work Differs from Writing at School
5(5)
At Work, Writing Is an Action
10(1)
The Main Advice of This Book: Think Constantly About Your Readers
10(1)
Qualities of Effective On-the-Job Communication: Usability and Persuasiveness
11(1)
The Dynamic Interaction between Your Communication and Your Readers
12(6)
Some Reader-Centered Strategies You Can Begin Using Now
18(1)
Communicating Ethically
19(2)
What Lies Ahead in this Book
21(1)
Guidelines, Your Creativity, and Your Good Judgment
22(3)
Exercises
23(1)
Case: Selecting the Right Forklift Truck
23(2)
Overview of the Reader-Centered Communication Process: Obtaining a Job
25(38)
Central Principles of the Reader-Centered Approach
26(1)
A Reader-Centered Approach to Writing Your Resume
26(14)
Writer's Tutorial: Using Tables to Design a Resume
40(5)
Electronic Resumes: Special Considerations
45(4)
A Reader-Centered Approach to Writing Your Job Application Letter
49(9)
Ethical Issues in the Job Search
58(1)
Writing for Employment in Other Countries
59(1)
Conclusion
59(4)
Exercises
59(1)
Case: Advising Patricia
60(3)
PART II DEFINING YOUR COMMUNICATION'S OBJECTIVES
63(34)
Defining Your Communication's Objectives
65(32)
The Importance of Defining Objectives
66(1)
Guideline 1: Focus on What You Want to Happen While Your Readers Are Reading
66(2)
Guideline 2: Define Your Usability Goal: Analyze Your Readers' Reading Tasks
68(3)
Guideline 3: Define Your Persuasive Goal: Analyze Your Readers' Attitudes
71(2)
Guideline 4: Learn Your Readers' Personal Characteristics
73(3)
Global Guideline 5: Learn Your Readers' Cultural Characteristics
76(6)
Guideline 6: Study the Context in Which Your Readers Will Read
82(1)
Guideline 7: Ask Others to Help You Understand Your Readers and Their Context
82(1)
Guideline 8: Learn Who All Your Readers Will Be
83(4)
Guideline 9: Identify Any Constraints on the Way You Write
87(2)
Identity Your Communication's Stakeholders
87(2)
Expertise in Action: An Example
89(4)
Conclusion
93(4)
Exercises
93(1)
Case: Announcing the Smoking Ban
94(3)
PART III PLANNING
97(100)
Planning for Usability
99(19)
Your Goal When Planning for Usability
100(1)
Guideline 1: Identify the Information Your Readers Need
101(1)
Guideline 2: Organize around Your Readers' Tasks
101(5)
Guideline 3: Identify Ways to Help Readers Quickly Find What They Want
106(1)
Guideline 4: For a Complex Audience, Plan a Modular Communication
106(2)
Guideline 5: Look for a Technical Writing Superstructure You Can Adapt
108(1)
Guideline 6: Plan Your Graphics
108(1)
Global Guideline 7: Determine Your Readers' Cultural Expectations about What Makes a Communication Usable
109(2)
Guideline 8: Outline, If This Would Be Helpful
111(1)
Guideline 9: Check Your Plans with Your Readers
112(2)
Investigate Stakeholder Impacts
112(2)
Conclusion
114(4)
Exercises
116(1)
Case: Filling the Distance Learning Classroom
116(2)
Planning Your Persuasive Strategies
118(33)
Persuasion to Influence Attitudes and Action
119(1)
Persuasion to Help a Team Develop Knowledge and Ideas Collaboratively
119(1)
How Persuasion Works
120(1)
The Sources of This Chapter's Advice
121(1)
Guideline 1: Listen---And Respond Flexibly To What You Hear
121(1)
Guideline 2: Focus on Your Readers' Goals and Values
121(4)
Guideline 3: Address- And Learn From---Your Readers' Concerns and Counterarguments
125(2)
Guideline 4: Reason Soundly
127(5)
Guideline 5: Organize to Create a Favorable Response
132(2)
Guideline 6: Build an Effective Relationship with Your Readers
134(3)
Guideline 7: Determine Whether To Appeal to Your Readers' Emotions
137(2)
Global Guideline 8: Adapt Your Persuasive Strategies to Your Readers' Cultural Background
139(6)
Employ Ethical Persuasive Techniques
144(1)
Conclusion
145(6)
Exercises
147(3)
Case: Debating a Company Drug-Testing Program
150(1)
Conducting Reader-Centered Research
151(46)
Special Characteristics of On-the-Job Research
152(1)
Guideline 1: Define Your Research Objectives
152(1)
Guideline 2: Create an Efficient and Productive Research Plan
153(2)
Guideline 3: Check Each Source for Leads to Other Sources
155(1)
Guideline 4: Carefully Evaluate What You Find
155(1)
Guideline 5: Begin Interpreting Your Research Results Even as You Obtain Them
156(1)
Guideline 6: Take Careful Notes
157(4)
Observe Intellectual Property Law and Document Your Sources
157(4)
Conclusion
161(4)
Exercises
161(4)
Writer's Reference Guide: Using Five Reader-Centered Research Methods
165(32)
Exploring Your Own Memory and Creativity
166(6)
Searching the Internet
172(6)
Writer's Tutorial: Three Ways to Search Efficiently on the Internet
178(2)
Using the Library
180(5)
Interviewing
185(1)
Writer's Tutorial: Conducting Efficient Library Research
186(4)
Conducting a Survey
190(7)
PART IV DRAFTING PROSE ELEMENTS
197(126)
Drafting Paragraphs, Sections, and Chapters
199(58)
Drafting Usable, Persuasive Prose
200(1)
Guideline 1: Begin by Announcing Your Topic
201(3)
Guideline 2: Present Your Generalizations before Your Details
204(2)
Guideline 3: Move from Most Important to Least Important
206(1)
Guideline 4: Consult Conventional Strategies When Having Difficulties Organizing
206(1)
Global Guideline 5: Consider Your Readers' Cultural Background When Organizing
207(1)
Guideline 6: Reveal Your Communication's Organization
208(11)
Guideline 7: Smooth the Flow of Thought from Sentence to Sentence
219(4)
Examine the Human Consequences of What You're Drafting
222(1)
Conclusion
223(6)
Exercises
224(2)
Case: Increasing Organ Donations
226(3)
Writer's Reference Guide: Using Seven Reader-Centered Organizational Patterns
229(28)
Formal Classification (Grouping Facts)
230(3)
Informal Classification (Grouping Facts)
233(3)
Comparison
236(4)
Description of an Object (Partitioning)
240(2)
Description of a Process (Segmenting)
242(4)
Cause and Effect
246(5)
Problem and Solution
251(3)
Combinations of Patterns
254(1)
Exercises
255(2)
Developing an Effective Style
257(23)
Creating Your Voice
258(1)
Guideline 1: Find Out What's Expected
258(2)
Guideline 2: Consider the Roles Your Voice Creates for Your Readers and You
260(1)
Guideline 3: Consider How Your Attitude Toward Your Subject Will Affect Your Readers
261(1)
Guideline 4: Say Things in Your Own Words
261(1)
Global Guideline 5: Adapt Your Voice To Your Readers' Cultural Background
262(1)
Avoid Stereotypes
262(1)
Constructing Sentences
263(1)
Guideline 1: Simplify Your Sentences
264(1)
Guideline 2: Put the Action in Your Verbs
265(1)
Guideline 3: Use the Active Voice Unless Your Have a Good Reason to Use the Passive Voice
266(1)
Guideline 4: Emphasize What's Most Important
267(1)
Guideline 5: Vary Your Sentence Length and Structure
268(1)
Global Guideline 6: Adapt Your Sentences For Readers Who Are Not Fluent In Your Language
269(1)
Selecting Words
269(1)
Guideline 1: Use Concrete, Specific Words
270(1)
Guideline 2: Use Specialized Terms When---And Only When---Your Readers Will Understand Them
271(1)
Guideline 3: Use Words Accurately
272(1)
Guideline 4: Choose Plain Words over Fancy Ones
273(1)
Guideline 5: Choose Words with Appropriate Associations
274(1)
Global Guideline 6: Consider Your Readers Cultural Background When Choosing Words
275(2)
Use Inclusive Language
276(1)
Conclusion
277(3)
Exercises
277(3)
Beginning a Communication
280(17)
Introduction to Guidelines 1 Through 3
281(1)
Guideline 1: Give Your Readers a Reason to Pay Attention
281(4)
Guideline 2: State Your Main Point
285(1)
Guideline 3: Tell Your Readers What to Expect
286(1)
Guideline 4: Encourage Openness to Your Message
287(2)
Guideline 5: Provide Necessary Background Information
289(1)
Guideline 6: Include a Summary Unless Your Communication Is Very Short
290(1)
Guideline 7: Adjust the Length of Your Beginning to Your Readers' Needs
291(3)
Global Guideline 8: Adapt Your Beginning to Your Readers' Cultural Background
294(1)
Begin to Address Unethical Practices Promptly---And Strategically
294(1)
Conclusion
295(2)
Exercises
296(1)
Ending a Communication
297(8)
Guideline 1: After You've Made Your Last Point, Stop
298(1)
Guideline 2: Repeat Your Main Point
299(1)
Guideline 3: Summarize Your Key Points
299(1)
Guideline 4: Refer to a Goal Stated Earlier in Your Communication
300(1)
Guideline 5: Focus on a Key Feeling
301(1)
Guideline 6: Tell Your Readers How to Get Assistance or More Information
302(1)
Guideline 7: Tell Your Readers What to Do Next
302(1)
Guideline 8: Identify Any Further Study That is Needed
302(1)
Guideline 9: Follow Applicable Social Conventions
303(1)
Conclusion
303(2)
Exercises
303(2)
Writing Reader-Centered Front and Back Matter
305(18)
How Transmittal Letters, Covers, and Front and Back Matter Increase Usability and Persuasiveness
306(1)
Guideline 1: Review The Ways Your Readers Will Use the Communication
307(1)
Guideline 2: Review Your Communications Persuasive Goals
307(1)
Guideline 3: Find Out What's Required
307(1)
Guideline 4: Find Out What's Expected
308(1)
Guideline 5: Evaluate and Revise Your Front and Back Matter
308(1)
Conventions and Local Practice
308(1)
Writing a Reader-Centered Transmittal Letter
308(1)
Writing a Reader-Centered Cover
309(1)
Writing Reader-Centered-Front Matter
309(8)
Writing Reader-Centered Back Matter
317(6)
PART V DRAFTING VISUAL ELEMENTS
323(76)
Creating Reader-Centered Graphics
325(47)
A Reader-Centered Approach to Creating Graphics
327(1)
Guideline 1: Look for Places Where Graphics Could Increase Your Communication's Usefulness and Persuasiveness
327(1)
Writer's Tutorial: Graphics Help Readers Understand and Use Information
328(2)
Guideline 2: Select the Type of Graphic That Will Be Most Effective at Achieving Your Objectives
330(3)
Guideline 3: Make Each Graphic Easy to Understand and Use
333(5)
Guideline 4: Use Color to Support Your Message
338(3)
Guideline 5: Use Graphics Software and Existing Graphics Effectively
341(1)
Guideline 6: Integrate Your Graphics with Your Text
342(1)
Guideline 7: Get Permission and Cite the Sources for Your Graphics
343(1)
Writer's Tutorial: Creating Reader-Centered Graphs with a Spreadsheet Program
344(2)
Global Guideline 8: Adapt Your Graphics When Writing to Readers in Other Cultures
346(3)
Avoid Graphics That Mislead
347(2)
Conclusion
349(2)
Exercises
349(2)
Writer's Reference Guide: Creating Eleven Types of Reader-Centered Graphics
351(21)
Tables
352(2)
Time Graphs
354(2)
Bar Graphs
356(2)
Pictographs
358(2)
Pie Charts
360(2)
Photographs
362(2)
Drawings
364(2)
Screen Shots
366(2)
Flowcharts
368(2)
Organizational Charts
370(1)
Schedule Charts
371(1)
Designing Reader-Centered Pages and Documents
372(27)
A Reader-Centered Approach to Design
374(1)
Design Elements of a Communication
374(1)
Guideline 1: Begin by Considering Your Readers and Purpose
374(1)
Guideline 2: Create a Grid to Serve as the Visual Framework for Your Pages
375(1)
Writer's Tutorial: Designing Grid Patterns for Print
376(3)
Introduction to Guidelines 3 Through 6
379(1)
Guideline 3: Align Related Elements with One Another
380(2)
Guideline 4: Group Related Items Visually
382(3)
Guideline 5: Use Contrast to Establish Hierarchy and Focus
385(3)
Using Word Processors to Create Page Designs
388(1)
Guideline 6: Use Repetition to Unify Your Communication Visually
389(2)
Guideline 7: Select Type That Is Easy to Read
391(1)
Guideline 8: Design Your Overall Document for Base of Use and Attractiveness
392(1)
Conclusion
393(6)
Exercises
393(6)
PART VI REVISING
399(38)
Revising Your Drafts
401(20)
The Three Activities of Revising
402(1)
Checking Your Draft Yourself
403(1)
Guideline 1: Check from Your Reader's Point of View
403(1)
Guideline 2: Check from Your Employer's Point of View
403(1)
Guideline 3: Distance Yourself from Your Draft
404(1)
Guideline 4: Read Your Draft More Than Once, Changing Your Focus Each Time
404(1)
Guideline 5: Use Computer Aids to Find (But Not to Cure) Possible Problems
405(2)
Consider the Stakeholders' Perspective
406(1)
Reviewing
407(1)
Guideline 1: Discuss the Objectives of the Communication and the Review
408(1)
Guideline 2: Build a Positive Interpersonal Relationship with Your Reviewers or Writer
408(2)
Guideline 3: Rank Suggested Revisions---and Distinguish Matters of Substance from Matters of Taste
410(1)
Guideline 4: Explore Fully the Reasons for All Suggestions
410(1)
Guideline 5: Use Computer Aids for Reviewing in a Reader--Centered Way
411(3)
Review from the Stakeholders' Perspective
412(2)
Guidelines for Managing Your Revising Time
414(1)
Guideline 1: Adjust Your Effort to the Situation
414(2)
Guideline 2: Make the Most Significant Revisions First
416(2)
Guideline 3: Be Diplomatic
418(1)
Guideline 4: To Revise Well, Follow the Guidelines for Writing Well
418(1)
Guideline 5: Revise to Learn
418(1)
Conclusion
419(2)
Exercises
419(2)
Testing Drafts for Usability and Persuasiveness
421(16)
The Logic of Testing
423(1)
Guideline 1: Establish Your Test Objectives
423(1)
Guideline 2: Pick Test Readers Who Truly Represent Your Target Readers
424(1)
Guideline 3: Focus on Usability: Ask Your Test Readers to Use Your Draft the Same Way Your Target Readers Will
425(4)
Guideline 4: Focus on Persuasiveness: Learn How Your Draft Affects Your Readers' Attitudes
429(1)
Guideline 5: Interview Your Test Readers after They Have Read and Used Your Draft
430(1)
Guideline 6: Avoid Biasing Your Test Results
430(1)
Guideline 7: Interpret Your Test Results Thoughtfully
431(1)
Guideline 8: Test Early and Often
432(1)
Global Guideline 9: With Communications for Readers in Other Cultures, Choose Test Readers from the Culture
432(1)
Obtain Informed Consent from Your Test Readers
433(1)
Conclusion
433(4)
Exercises
436(1)
PART VII APPLICATIONS OF THE READER-CENTERED APPROACH
437(86)
Creating Communications with a Team
439(20)
Varieties of Team Structures
440(1)
Guideline 1: Develop a Shared Understanding of the Communication's Objectives
441(1)
Guideline 2: Make and Share Detailed Plans
442(2)
Guideline 3: Make a Project Schedule
444(1)
Guideline 4: Share Leadership Responsibilities
445(2)
Guideline 5: Make Meetings Efficient
447(1)
Guideline 6: Encourage Discussion, Debate, and Diversity of Ideas
448(3)
Guideline 7: Use Computer Tools for Collaboration
451(3)
Global Guideline 8: Be Sensitive to Possible Cultural and Gender Differences in Team Interactions
454(2)
Conclusion
456(3)
Exercises
456(3)
Creating and Delivering Listener-Centered Oral Presentations
459(25)
Guideline 1: Define Your Presentation's Objectives
460(1)
Guideline 2: Plan the Verbal and Visual Parts of Your Presentation as a Single Package
461(3)
Writer's Tutorial: Creating a Listener-Centered Presentation
464(3)
Guideline 3: Focus on a Few Main Points
467(2)
Guideline 4: Use a Simple Structure---and Help Your Listeners Follow It
469(1)
Guideline 5: Speak in a Conversational Style
470(1)
Guideline 6: Create Easy-to-Read, Understandable Graphics
471(3)
Guideline 7: Involve Your Audience in Your Presentation
474(2)
Guideline 8: Prepare for Interruptions and Questions---and Respond Courteously
476(1)
Global Guideline 9: Adapt Your Presentation Strategies to Your Audience's Cultural Background
477(2)
Guideline 10: Rehearse
479(1)
Guideline 11: Accept Your Nervousness---and Work with It
479(1)
Making Team Presentations
480(2)
Conclusion
482(2)
Exercises
482(2)
Creating Reader-Centered Web Pages and Websites
484(23)
How the World Wide Web Works
485(1)
Guideline for Defining Objectives
486(1)
Guideline 1: Learn about Your Site's Readers and Define Its Purpose
486(1)
Guideline for Planning
Guideline 2: Create the Map for a Site That Includes What Your Readers Want and Enables Them to Get It Quickly
487(1)
Guideline 3: Gather the Information Your Readers Need
487(1)
Writer's Tutorial: Creating a Web Page in HTML Code
488(3)
Respect Intellectual Property and Provide Valid Information
490(1)
Guidelines for Drafting
491(1)
Guideline 5: Design Pages That Are Easy to Use and Attractive
491(1)
Writer's Tutorial: Designing Grid Patterns for Web Pages
492(5)
Guideline 6: Provide Navigational Aids That Help Your Readers Move Quickly Through Your Site to the Information They Want
497(3)
Guideline 7: Unify Your Site Verbally and Visually
500(1)
Guideline 8: Construct a Site That Readers with Disabilities Can Use
500(2)
Global Guideline 9: Design Your Site for International and Multicultural Readers
502(1)
Guideline 10: Help Readers Find Your Site on the Internet
503(1)
Revising Guideline
504(1)
Guideline 11: Test Your Site Before Launching It
504(3)
Exercises
504(3)
Managing Client and Service-Learning Projects
507(16)
Overall Project Management Strategy
509(1)
Guideline 1: Determine Exactly What Your Client Wants and Why
509(1)
Guideline 2: Develop Your Own Assessment of the Situation
510(1)
Guideline 3: Create a Project Management Plan
511(2)
Guideline 4: Submit a Written Proposal to Your Client---and Ask for Written Agreement
513(1)
Guideline 5: Communicate with Your Client Often---Especially at All Major Decisions
514(5)
Guideline 6: Advocate and Educate, but Defer to Your Client
519(1)
Guideline 7: Hand Off the Project in a Helpful Way
520(1)
Conclusion
520(3)
Exercises
520(3)
PART VIII SUPERSTRUCTURES
523(148)
Writing Reader-Centered Correspondence: Letters, Memos, and E-mail
525(14)
Guideline 1: Adopt A Reader-Centered ``You-Attitude''
526(1)
Guideline 2: State Your Main Point Up Front---Unless Your Readers Will React Negatively
527(1)
Guideline 3: Keep It Short
527(1)
Guideline 4: Give Your Readers the Background They Need
528(1)
Guideline 5: Use Headings, Lists, and Graphics
528(1)
Global Guideline 6: Learn the Customs of Your Readers' Culture
528(1)
Guideline 7: Follow Format Conventions
529(1)
Writing Reader-Centered Letters
529(1)
Writer's Tutorial: Writing Letters
530(2)
Writing Reader-Centered Memos
532(1)
Writing Reader-Centered E-mail
533(1)
Writer's Tutorial: Writing Memos
534(1)
Writer's Tutorial: Writing E-mail
535(4)
Writing Reader-Centered Reports
539(79)
Your Readers Want to Use the Information You Provide
540(1)
Readers' Six Basic Questions
540(1)
General Superstructure for Reports
541(5)
Sample Outlines and Report
546(11)
Writer's Reference Guide: Creating Three Types of Special Reports
557(61)
Empirical Research Reports
558(28)
Feasibility Reports
586(21)
Progress Reports
607(11)
Writing Reader-Centered Proposals
618(24)
The Variety of Proposal-Writing Situations
619(2)
Proposal Readers Are Investors
621(1)
The Questions Readers Ask Most Often
622(1)
Strategy of the Conventional Superstructure for Proposals
622(2)
Superstructure for Proposals
624(9)
Sample Proposal
633(9)
Writing Reader-Centered Instructions
642(29)
Four Important Points
643(1)
Superstructure for Instructions
644(14)
Physical Construction of Instructions
658(1)
Online Instructions
659(1)
Sample Instructions
659(12)
Exercises
669(2)
Appendix A Documenting Your Sources
671(15)
Choosing a Format for Documentation
672(1)
Deciding Where to Place In-Text Citations
672(1)
Writing APA In-Text Citations
673(1)
Writing An APA References List
674(5)
Writing MLA In-Text Citations
679(1)
Writing an MLA Works Cited List
680(6)
Appendix B Projects
686(13)
Project 1 Resume and Job Application Letter
687(1)
Project 2 Informational Website
688(1)
Project 3 Informational Page
689(1)
Project 4 Unsolicited Recommendation
689(2)
Project 5 Brochure
691(1)
Project 6 Instructions
691(1)
Project 7 User Test and Report
692(1)
Project 8 Project Proposal
693(1)
Project 9 Progress Report
694(1)
Project 10 Formal Report or Proposal
694(2)
Project 11 Oral Briefing I: Project Plans
696(1)
Project 12 Oral Briefing II: Project Results
697(2)
Credits 699(6)
References 705(4)
Index 709


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