Technical Communication Strategies for Today

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-09-15
  • Publisher: Longman
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Supplemental Materials

What is included with this book?


Technical Communication Strategies for Today offers students all of the topics and genres they need for their technical communication course—in fewer pages and at a significantly lower price.

Students want their textbooks to cost less, and they want comprehensive topical coverage presented in a succinct and clear writing style. Technical Communication Strategies for Today offers both and speaks to today's students. Instructional narrative is “chunked,” so that portions of text are combined with graphics. The chunked presentation also integrates an awareness of how documents are read—often skimmed by readers seeking the information they need, and it models the way today’s technical documents should be designed.

The contemporary writing style is matched by an approach that accurately reflects the modern day computer-centered technical workplace: Technical Communication Strategies for Today presents computers as thinking tools that powerfully influence how we develop, produce, design, and deliver technical documents and presentations.

Table of Contents



Chapter 1          Communicating in the Workplace

                          How Important is Technical Communication?

                          What is Technical Communication? 

                          Technical Communication: Actions, Words, Images

                                    Technical Communication is Interactive and Adaptable

                                    Technical Communication is Reader Centered

                                    Technical Communication Relies on Teamwork

                                    Technical Communication is Visual

                                    Technical Communication Has Ethical, Legal, and Political


                                    Technical Communication Is International and Cross Cultural

                          Your Career and Technical Communication

                                    Help: How to Learn New Software Quickly

                          Exercises and Projects

Chapter 2          Readers and Context of Use

                           Profiling Your Readers

                                    Identifying Your Readers

                                    Profiling Your Readers’ Needs, Values, and Attitudes

                                    Help: Profiling Readers with Search Engines

                           Profiling Contexts of Use

                                    Identifying the Context of Use

                           International and Cross-Cultural Communication

                                    Differences in Context

                                    Difference in Organization

                                    Differences in Style

                                    Differences in Design

                                    Listen and Learn: The Key to International and Cross-Cultural


                           Exercises and Projects

Chapter 3          Working in Teams

                           The Stages of Teaming

                           Forming: Strategic Planning

                                    Step 1: Define the Project Mission and Objectives

                                    Step 2: Identify Project Outcomes

                                    Step 3: Define Team Member Responsibilities

                                    Step 4: Create a Project Calendar

                                    Step 5: Write Out a Work Plan

                                    Step 6: Agree on How Conflicts will be Resolved

                           Storming: Managing Conflict

                                    Running Effective Meetings

                                    Mediating Conflicts

                                    Firing a Team Member

                           Norming: Determining Team Roles

                                    Revising Objectives and Outcomes

                                    Help: Virtual Teaming

                                    Identifying Team Roles

                                    Using Groupware to Facilitate Work

                           Performing: Improving Quality

                           The Keys to Teaming

                           Exercises and Projects

Chapter 4          Ethics in the Technical Workplace

                           What are Ethics?

                           Where do Ethics Come From?

                                    Personal Ethics

                                    Social Ethics

                                    Conservation Ethics

                                    Help: Stopping Cyberbullying and Computer Harassment

                           Resolving Ethical Dilemmas

                                    Confronting an Ethical Dilemma

                                    Resolving an Ethical Dilemma

                                    When You Disagree with the Company

                           Copyright Law in Technical Communication

                                    Asking Permission

                                    Copyrighting Your Work


                           Exercises and Projects

Chapter 5          Starting Your Career

                           Setting Goals, Making a Plan

                                    Setting Goals

                                    Using a Variety of Job-Seeking Paths

                           Preparing a Résumé

                                    Types of Résumés

                                    Chronological Résumé

                                    Functional Résumé

                                    Designing the Résumé

                                    Help: Designing a Scannable/Searchable Résumé

                           Writing Effective Application Letters

                                    Content and Organization


                                    Revising and Proofreading the Résumé and Letter

                           Creating a Professional Portfolio

                                    Collecting Materials

                                    Organizing Your Portfolio

                                    Assembling the Portfolio in a Binder

                                    Creating and Electronic Portfolio

                           Interviewing Strategies

                                    Preparing for the Interview

                                    At the Interview

                                    Writing Thank You Letters and/or E-mails

                           Exercises and Projects

Chapter 6          Researching and Managing Information

                           Beginning Your Research

                           Defining Your Research Subject

                                    Narrowing Your Research Question

                           Formulating a Research Question or Hypothesis

                           Developing a Research Methodology

                                    Mapping Out a Methodology

                                    Describing Your Methodology

                                    Using and Revising Your Methodology

                           Triangulating Materials

                                    Using Electronic Sources

                                    Using Print Sources

                                    Using Empirical Sources

                           Managing Information and Taking Notes

                                    Managing Information

                                    Careful Note Taking

                                    Documenting Sources

                                    Help: Avoiding Junk Science on the Internet

                           Appraising Your Information

                                    Is the Source Reliable?

                                    How Biased is the Source?

                                    Am I Biased?

                                    Is the Source Up to Date?

                                    Can the Information Be Verified?

                           Avoiding Plagiarism

                           Exercises and Projects

Chapter 7          Designing Documents and Interfaces

                           Five Principles of Design

                           Design Principle 1: Balance

                                    Weighting a Page or Screen

                                    Using Grids to Balance a Page Layout

                                    Using Other Balance Techniques

                           Design Principle 2: Alignment

                           Design Principle 3: Grouping

                                    Using Headings

                                    Using Borders and Rules

                           Design Principle 4: Consistency

                                    Choosing Typefaces

                                    Labeling Graphics        

                                    Creating Sequential and Nonsequential Lists

                                    Inserting Headers and Footers

                                    Help: Using Styles and Templates

                           Design Principle 5: Contrast

                                    Adding Shading and Background Color

                                    Highlighting Text

                                    Using Font Size and Line Length

                           Cross-Cultural Design

                           Exercises and Projects

Chapter 8          Creating and Using Graphics

                           Guidelines for Using Graphics

                                    Guideline One: A Graphic Should Tell a Simple Story

                                    Guideline Two: A Graphic Should Reinforce the Written Text, Not Replace It

                                    Guideline Three: A Graphic Should be Ethical

                                    Guideline Four: A Graphic Should be Labeled and Placed Properly

                           Displaying Data with Graphs, Tables, and Charts

                                    Line Graphs

                                    Bar Charts


                                    Pie Charts

                                    Gantt Charts

                           Using Pictures, Drawings, and Screen Shots


                                    Help: Making Visuals with a Spreadsheet Program

                                    Inserting Photographs and Other Images


                                    Screen Shots

                           Using Cross-Cultural Symbols

                           Exercises and Projects

Chapter 9          Websites and Social Networking (Web 2.0)

                           Creating a Website

                                    Planning and Researching a Website

                                    Organizing and Drafting the Website

                                    Using Style in a Website

                                    Designing the Website

                                    Help: Using Web-Authoring Software

                                    A Warning about Copyright and Plagiarism

                                    Websites for International and Cross-Cultural Readers

                           Using Social Networking (Web 2.0)

                                    Starting a Social Networking Site

                                    Blogging and Microblogging

                                    Updating Videos and Podcasts

                                    Contributing to a Wiki

                           Exercises and Projects

Chapter 10        Preparing and Giving Presentations

                           Choosing the Right Presentation Technology

                           Organizing the Content of Your Presentation

                                    Building the Presentation

                                    The Introduction: Tell Them What You’re Going to Tell Them

                                    Help: Giving Presentations with Your iPod, MP3, PDA, or Smartphone

                                    The Body: Tell Them

                                    The Conclusion: Tell Them What You Told Them

                                    Preparing to Answer Questions

                           Choosing Your Presentation Style

                           Creating Visuals

                                    Designing Visual Aids

                                    Using Graphics

                                    Slides to Avoid

                           Delivering the Presentation

                                    Body Language

                                    Voice, Rhythm, and Tone

                                    Using Your Notes

                           Practicing and Rehearsing

                                    Practice, Practice, Practice

                                    Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse

                           Working Cross-Culturally with Translators

                           Exercises and Projects


Chapter 11        Letters, Memos, and E-Mail

                           Basic Features of Letters and Memos

                           Basic Features of E-Mail

                           Planning and Researching a Correspondence

                                    Determining the Rhetorical Situation

                           Organizing and Drafting Letters, Memos, and E-Mails

                                    Introduction with a Purpose and a Main Point

                                    Body that Provides Need-to-Know Information

                                    Conclusion that Restates the Main Point

                           Types of Letters, Memos, and E-Mails



                                    Transmittal Letters and Memos

                                    Claims or Complaints



                           Using Style in Letters, Memos, and E-Mails

                                    Strategies for Developing an Appropriate Style

                           Designing and Formatting Letters and Memos

                                    Formatting Letters

                                    Formatting Envelopes

                                    Formatting Memos

                                    Help: Using E-Mail Internationally

                           Revising, Editing, and Proofreading

                           Exercises and Projects

Chapter 12        Technical Descriptions

                           Basic Features of Technical Descriptions

                           Planning and Researching Technical Descriptions


                                    Addressing ISO 9000/ISO 14000 Issues


                           Partitioning the Subject

                           Organizing and Drafting Technical Descriptions

                                    Specific and Precise Title

                                    Introduction with an Overall Description

                                    Description by Features, Functions, or Stages in a Process

                                    Description by Senses, Similes, Analogies, and Metaphors


                           Using Style in Technical Descriptions

                           Designing Technical Descriptions

                                    Designing a Page Layout

                                    Using Graphics

                           Revising, Editing, and Proofreading

                                    Revising for Conciseness

                                    Help: Using Digital Photography in Descriptions

                                    Editing and Proofreading for Accuracy

                           Exercises and Projects

Chapter 13        Instructions and Other Documentation

                           Basic Features of Documentation

                           Planning and Researching Documentation



                           Planning for Cross-Cultural Readers and Contexts

                                    Verbal Considerations

                                    Design Considerations

                           Organizing and Drafting Documentation

                                    Specific and Precise Title


                                    List of Parts, Tools, and Conditions Required

                                    Sequentially Ordered Steps

                                    Safety Information


Rewards Program

Customer Reviews

Got the book, cheap price, good enough quality and very helpful June 9, 2011
It is my pleasure to have received this cheap textbook. It really helped me in my technical communication course in fewer pages and at a significantly lower price. I received the textbook on time and was very pleased! I will purchase other items from the seller!
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