Technical Communication

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  • Edition: 7th
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-03-17
  • Publisher: Wadsworth Publishing
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Thousands have successfully improved their writing and design skills using Anderson's TECHNICAL COMMUNICATION: A READER-CENTERED APPROACH. Guiding you step by step through the writing process, this new edition includes added coverage digital communication, team communication, the latest APA and MLA citation guidelines, a new visual design, and much more.

Table of Contents

Communication, Your Career, and This Book
Communication Expertise Will Be Critical to Your Success
Characteristics of Workplace Writing
At Work, Writing Is an Action
The Main Advice of This Book: Think Constantly about Your Readers
Qualities of Effective On-the-Job Communication: Usability and Persuasiveness
The Dynamic Interaction between Your Communication and Your Readers
Some Reader-Centered Strategies You Can Begin Using Now
Communicating Ethically
What Lies Ahead in This Book
Guidelines, Your Creativity, and Your Good Judgment
Case: Help Mickey Chelini Select the Right Forklift Truck
Overview of the Reader-Centered Communication Process: Obtaining a Job
Central Principles of the Reader-Centered Approach
A Reader-Centered Approach to Writing Your R?sum?
Writer's Tutorial: Using Tables to Design a R?sum?
Electronic R?sum?s: Special Considerations
A Reader-Centered Approach to Writing Your Job Application Letter
Ethical Issues in the Job Search
Writing for Employment in Other Countries
Interviewing Effectively and Displaying Your Work
Case: Advising Patricia
Defining Your Communication's Objectives
Defining Your Communication's Objectives: Purpose, Reader, Context
Create a Mental Movie of Your Reader in the Act of Reading
Guidelines for Describing Your Communication's Purpose
Describe the Task Your Communication Will Help Your Reader Perform
Describe the Way You Want Your Communication to Alter Your Reader's Attitudes.
Guidelines for Creating a Profile of Your Reader
Describe Your Reader's Professional Characteristics
Global Guideline: Describe Your Reader's Cultural Characteristics
Learn Who ALL Your Readers Will Be
Guidelines for Understanding Your Reader's Context
Describe the Context in Which Your Reader Will Read
Guidelines for Other Important Considerations
Identify Any Constraints on the Way You Write
Ethics Guideline: Identify Your Communication's Stakeholders
Case: Announcing the Smoking Ban
Planning for Usability
Process for Planning for Usability
Identify The Information Your Readers Need
Organize Around Your Readers' Tasks
Identify Ways to Help Readers Quickly Find What They Want
Techniques for Planning for Usability
Look for a Technical Writing Superstructure You Can Adapt
Plan Your Graphics
Outline, If This Would Be Helpful
Global Guideline: Determine Your Readers' Cultural Expectations About What Makes a Communication Usable
Check Your Plans With Your Readers
Ethics Guideline: Investigate Stakeholder Impacts
Case: Filling the Distance Learning Classroom
Planning Your Persuasive Strategies
Persuasion to Influence Attitudes and Action
Persuasion to Help a Team Explore Ideas Collaboratively
How Persuasion Works
The Sources of This Chapter's Advice
Listen--and Respond Flexibly to What You Hear
Focus on Your Readers' Goals and Values
Address--and Learn from--Your Readers' Concerns and Counterarguments
Reason Soundly
Organize to Create a Favorable Response
Build an Effective Relationship with Your Readers
Decide Whether to Appeal to Your Readers' Emotions
Global Guideline: Adapt Your Persuasive Strategies to Your Readers' Cultural Background
Ethics Guideline: Employ Ethical Persuasive Techniques
Case: Debating a Company Drug-Testing Program
Conducting Reader-Centered Research
Special Characteristics of the On-the-Job Research
What Readers Want
Guiding You through the Reader-Centered Information-Gathering Process
Define Your Research Objectives
Identify the Full Range of Sources that May Have Helpful Information
Gather Broad, Credible Information from Each Source
Gather Information that Can Be Analyzed in Subgroups
Create an Efficient and Productive Research Plan
Carefully Evaluate What You Find
Take Careful Notes
Ethics Guideline: Observe Intellectual Property Law and Document Your Sources
Writer's Reference Guide to Using Five Reader-Centered Research Methods
Exploring Your Own Memory and Creativity
Searching the Internet
Writer's Tutorial: Three Ways to Search Efficiently on the Internet
Using the Library
Writer's Tutorial: Conducting Efficient Library Research
Conducting a Survey
Analyzing and Interpreting Information and Data for Your Readers
Guiding Your Through the Reader-Centered Process for Analyzing Information and Data
Review Your Research Objectives
Arrange Your Information in an Analyzable Form
Find Meaningful Relationships in the Information
Examine Subgroups of Information
Interpret the Relationships for Your Readers
Identify the Significance of the Relationships to Your Readers
Recommend Actions Based on Your Analysis
Think Critically Throughout Your Analysis
Drafting Prose Elements
Drafting Paragraphs, Sections, and Chapters
The Bridge from Planning to Drafting
The Similarities of Paragraphs, Sections, and Chapters
Guidelines for Beginning a Segment
Begin by Announcing Your Topic
How Topic Statements Increase Usability
Present Your Generalizations Before Your Details
Guidelines for Organizing the Information in Your Segments
Move from Most Important to Least Important
Consult Conventional Strategies When Having Difficulties Organizing
Global Guideline: Consider Your Readers' Cultural Backgrounds When Organizing
Guidelines for Helping Readers See the Organization of Your Segments
Add Signposts that Create a Map of Your Communication's Organization
Smooth the Flow of Thought from Sentence to Sentence
Ethics Guideline: Examine the Human Consequences of What You're Drafting
Case: Increasing Organ Donations
Writer's Reference Guide to Using Seven Reader-Centered Organizational Patterns
Formal Classification (Grouping Facts)
Informal Classification (Grouping Facts)
Description of an Object (Partitioning)
Description of a Process (Segmenting)
Cause and Effect
Problem and Solution
Combinations of Patterns
Developing an Effective Style
Creating Your Voice
Find Out What's Expected
Consider the Roles Your Voice Creates for Your Readers and You
Consider How Your Attitude toward Your Subject Will Affect Your Readers
Say Things in Your Own Words
Global Guideline: Adapt Your Voice to Your Readers' Cultural Background
Ethics Guideline: Avoid Stereotypes
Constructing Sentences
Simplify Your Sentences
Put the Action in Your Verbs
Use the Active Voice Unless You Have a Good Reason to Use the Passive Voice
Emphasize What's Most Important
Vary Your Sentence Length and Structure
Global Guideline: Adapt Your Sentences for Readers Who Are Not Fluent in Your Language
Selecting Words
Use Concrete, Specific Words
Use Specialized Terms When--and Only When--Your Readers Will Understand Them
Use Words Accurately
Choose Plain Words Over Fancy Ones
Choose Words with Appropriate Associations
Global Guideline: Consider Your Readers' Cultural Background When Choosing Words
Ethics Guideline: Use Inclusive Language
Beginning a Communication
Introduction to Guidelines 1 through
Guideline 1 Give Your Readers a Reason to Pay Attention
State Your Main Point
Tell Your Readers What to Expect
Encourage Openness to Your Message
Provide Necessary Background Information
Include a Summary Unless Your Communication Is Very Short
Adjust the Length of Your Beginning to Your Readers' Needs
Global Guideline: Adapt Your Beginning to Your Readers' Cultural Background
Ethics Guideline: Begin to Address Unethical Practices Promptly--and Strategically
Ending a Communication
After You've Made Your Last Point, Stop
Repeat Your Main Point
Summarize Your Key Points
Refer to a Goal Stated Earlier in Your Communication
Focus on a Key Feeling
Tell Your Readers How to Get Assistance or More Information
Tell Your Readers What to Do Next
Identify Any Further Study That Is Needed
Follow Applicable Social Conventions
Writing Reader-Centered Front and Back Matter
How Transmittal Letters, Covers, and Front and Back Matter Increase Usability and Persuasiveness
Review the Ways Your Readers Will Use the Communication
Review Your Communication's Persuasive Goals
Find Out What's Required
Find Out What's Expected
Evaluate and Revise Your Front and Back Matter
Conventions and Local Practice
Writing a Reader-Centered Transmittal Letter
Writing a Reader-Centered Cover
Writing Reader-Centered Front Matter
Writing Reader-Centered Back Matter
Drafting Visual Elements
Creating Reader-Centered Graphics
A Reader-Centered Approach to Creating Graphics
Look for Places Where Graphics Can Increase Your Communication's Usefulness and Persuasiveness
Writer's Tutorial: Graphics Help Readers Understand and Use Information
Select the Type of Graphic That Will Be Most Effective at Achieving Your Objectives
Make Each Graphic Easy to Understand and Use
Use Color to Support Your Message
Use Graphics Software and Existing Graphics Effectively
Integrate Your Graphics with Your Text
Get Permission and Cite the Sources for Your Graphics
Writer's Tutorial: Creating Reader-Centered Graphs with a Spreadsheet Program
Global Guideline: Adapt Your Graphics When Writing to Readers in Other Cultures
Ethics Guideline: Avoid Graphics That Mislead
Writer's Reference Guide to Creating Eleven Types of Reader-Centered Graphics
Line Graphs
Bar Graphs
Pie Charts
Screen Shots
Organizational Charts
Schedule Charts
Designing Reader-Centered Pages and Documents
A Reader-Centered Approach to Design
Design Elements of a Communication
Begin by Considering Your Readers and Purpose
Create a Grid to Serve as the Visual Framework for Your Pages
Writer's Tutorial: Designing Grid Patterns for Print
Introduction to Guidelines 3 through 6
Align Related Elements with One Another
Group Related Items Visually
Use Contrast to Establish Hierarchy and Focus
Using Word Processors to Create Page Designs
Use Repetition to Unify Your Communication Visually
Select Type That Is Easy to Read
Design Your Overall Document for Ease of Use and Attractiveness
Use What You've Learned
Revising Your Drafts
The Three Activities of Revising
Checking Your Draft Yourself
Check from Your Readers' Point of View
Check from Your Employer's Point of View
Distance Yourself from Your Draft
Read Your Draft More Than Once, Changing Your Focus Each Time
Use Computer Aids to Find (But Not to Cure) Possible Problems
Ethics Guideline: Consider the Stakeholders' Perspective
Discuss the Objectives of the Communication and the Review
Build a Positive Interpersonal Relationship with Your Reviewers or Writer
Rank Suggested Revisions--and Distinguish Matters of Substance from Matters of Taste
Explore Fully the Reasons for All Suggestions
Convey Suggestions to the Writer in the Most Helpful Way
Ethics Guideline: Review from the Stakeholders' Perspective
Guidelines for Managing Your Revising Time
Adjust Your Effort to the Situation
Make the Most Significant Revisions First
Be Diplomatic
To Revise Well, Follow the Guidelines for Writing Well
Revise to Learn
Testing Drafts for Usability and Persuasiveness
The Logic of Testing
Establish Your Test Objectives
Pick Test Readers Who Truly Represent Your Target Readers
Focus on Usability: Ask Your Test Readers to Use Your Draft the Same Way Your Target Readers Will
Focus on Persuasiveness: Learn How Your Draft Affects Your Readers' Attitudes
Interview Your Test Readers after They Have Read and Used Your Draft
Avoid Biasing Your Test Results
Interpret Your Results Thoughtfully
Test Early and Often
Global Guideline: With Communications for Readers in Other Cultures, Choose Test Readers from the Culture
Ethics Guideline: Obtain Informed Consent from Your Test Readers
Applications of the Reader-Centered Approach
Communicating and Collaborating in the Globally Networked World
Corresponding Digitally
Writing Collaboratively Online
Meeting virtually
Creating Communications with a Team
Varieties of Team Structures
Develop a Shared Understanding of the Communication's Objectives
Make and Share Detailed Plans
Make a Project Schedule
Share Leadership Responsibilities
Make Meetings Efficient
Encourage Discussion, Debate, and Diversity of Ideas
Choose the Computer Technology Best Suited to Your Team's Project
Global Guideline: Be Sensitive to Possible Cultural and Gender Differences in Team Interactions
For Virtual Teams, Foster Personal Relationships and Conversational Interchanges
Creating and Delivering Listener-Centered Oral Presentations
Define Your Presentation's Objectives
Plan the Verbal and Visual Parts of Your Presentation as a Single Package
Writer's Tutorial: Creating a Listener-Centered Presentation
Focus on a Few Main Points
Use a Simple Structure--and Help Your Listeners Follow It
Speak in a Conversational Style
Create Easy-to-Read, Understandable Graphics
Involve Your Audience in Your Presentation
Prepare for Interruptions and Questions--and Respond Courteously
Global Guideline: Adapt to Your Audience's Cultural Background
Accept Your Nervousness--and Work with It
Making Team Presentations
Creating Reader-Centered Web Pages and Websites
Creating a Website, Creating a Digital Portfolio
Digital Portfolio Websites
Writer's Tutorial: Using a Word Processor to Create a Digital Portfolio
Guidelines for Defining Objectives
Learn About Your Site's Readers and Define Its Purpose
Guidelines for Planning
Create the Map for a Site That Includes What Your Readers Want and Enables Them to Get It Quickly
Gather the Information Your Readers Need
Ethics Guideline: Respect Intellectual Property and Provide Valid Information
Guidelines for Drafting
Design Pages That Are Easy to Use and Attractive
Writer's Tutorial: Designing Grid Patterns for Web Pages
Provide Navigational Aids That Help Your Readers Move Quickly through Your Site to the Information They Want
Unify Your Site Verbally and Visually
Ethics Guideline: Construct a Site That Readers with Disabilities Can Use
Global Guideline: Design Your Site for International and Multicultural Readers
Help Readers Find Your Site on the Internet
Revising Guideline
Test Your Site Before Launching It
Writer's Guide and Other Resources
Managing Client and Service-Learning Projects
Overall Project Management Strategy
Determine Exactly What Your Client Wants and Why
Develop Your Own Assessment of the Situation
Create a Project Management Plan
Submit a Written Proposal to Your Client--and Ask for a Written Agreement
Communicate with Your Client Often--Especially at All Major Decisions
Advocate and Educate, But Defer to Your Client
Hand Off the Project in a Helpful Way
Writing Reader-Centered Letters and Memos
Adopt a Reader-Centered "You-Attitude." Guideline 2 State Your Main Point Up Front--Unless Your Reader Will React Negatively
Keep It Short Guideline 4 Give Your Readers the Background They Need
Use Headings, Lists, and Graphics
Global Guideline: Learn the Customs of Your Readers' Culture
Follow Format Conventions
Writing Reader-Centered Letters
Writer's Tutorial: Writing Letters
Writing Reader-Centered Memos
Writer's Tutorial: Writing Memos
Writing Reader-Centered Proposals
The Variety of Proposal-Writing Situations
Features of Proposals That Help You
The Questions Readers Ask Most Often
Superstructure for Proposals
Guiding You Through the Process of Preparing Proposals
Crafting the Major Elements of a Proposal
Sample Proposal
Writer's Guides and Other Resources
Writing Reader-Centered Empirical Research Reports
Typical Writing Situations
Features of Empirical Research Reports That Help You
The Questions Readers Ask Most Often
Superstructure for Empirical Research Reports
Guiding You Through the Process of Preparing Empirical Research Reports
Crafting the Major Elements of an Empirical Research Report
Sample Empirical Research Reports
Writer's Guides and Other Resources
Writing Reader-Centered Feasibility Reports
Features of Feasibility Reports That Help You
The Questions Readers Ask Most Often
Superstructure for Feasibility Reports
Guiding You Through the Process of Preparing Feasibility Reports
Crafting the Major Elements of a Feasibility Report
Sample Feasibility Report
Writer's Guides and Other Resources
Writing Reader-Centered Progress Reports
Typical Writing Situations
Readers' Concern with the Future
The Questions Readers Ask Most Often
Superstructure for Progress Reports
Features of Progress Reports That Help You.
Guiding You Through the Process of Preparing Progress Reports
Crafting the Major Elements of a Progress Report
Tone in Progress Reports
Writer's Guides and Other Resources
Writing Reader-Centered Instructions
Features of Instructions That Help You
The Questions Readers Ask Most Often
Superstructure for Instructions
Guiding You Through the Process of Preparing Instructions
Crafting the Major Elements of Instructions
Web Page Instructions
Digital Movie Instructions
Writer's Guide and Other Resources
Documenting Your Sources
Choosing a Format for Documentation
Deciding Where to Place In-Text Citations
Writing APA In-Text Citations
Writing An APA References List
Writing MLA In-Text Citations
Writing an MLA Works Cited List
R?sum? and Job Application Letter
Digital Portfolio
Informational Web Site
Informational Page
Unsolicited Recommendation
Digital Movie Instructions
User Test and Report
Project Proposal
Progress Report
Formal Report or Proposal
Oral Briefing I: Project Plans
Oral Briefing II: Project Results
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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