Synopses & Reviews
This brief, inexpensive text provides a complete introduction to technical writing in a handy spiral format. The authors establish a fictional telecommunications company as a context for the technical writing tasks taught in the book. In addition to the usual short documents, the book teaches how to design and develop long documents such as manuals and proposals. Professional editing, proofreading, and indexing are presented as part of technical writing.
About the Author
William Murdick is Emeritus Professor of English, California University of Pennsylvania. He holds a B.A. in English from SUNY Albany, an M.F.A. in writing from the University of Iowa's Writer's Workshop, and a Ph.D. in English (Rhetoric and Linguistics) from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.William has business experience as co-owner of a computer company and as a consultant who wrote policy-procedure manuals. He is the author of five books: in addition to the two Portable books, he has written two composition books for Jain Publishing (2003 and 2005) and one on word processing (1984). He has also published many technical articles on computer use and scholarly articles, mainly on the teaching of writing. Jonathan C. Bloemker is a senior technical writer at Compunetix, Inc., a Pittsburgh-area telecommunications firm. He holds a B.A. in English from California University of Pennsylvania, an M.A. in English from Duquesne University, and a B.S. in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh. Bloemker has extensive experience as a technical communicator for several Pittsburgh area companies. He presently writes documentation for the Government and International Contracts Department at Compunetix.
Table of Contents
I. The Social Contexts for Technical Writing 1. Technical Writing in College 1.1 Technical Writing Defined 1.2 Collaborative Work in College Writing Courses 1.3 Big Project Ideas 1.4 A Writing Process for Big Projects 2. Technical Writing on the Job 2.1 Possibilities for Technical Writers 2.2 A Company Context 2.3 The Technical Writers 2.4 Communicating In-House 2.5 Ethical Concerns for Technical Writers 2.6 Legal Concerns for Technical Writers 2.7 A Theory of Quality 3. Collaborative Writing 3.1 A Writing Process for Long Documents 3.2 The Document Database 3.3 An Object-Oriented Writing Process 3.4 Research 3.5 The Resource Room 3.6 A Writing Process for Short Instructions II. The Skills of the Technical Writer 4. Rhetoric 4.1 Purpose 4.2 Audience 4.3 Tone 4.4 Point of View 4.5 Content 4.6 Organization 4.7 Methods of Persuasion 4.8 Rhetoric and Cross-Cultural Communication 5. Technical Writing Style 5.1 Clear Style: Sentence-Level Issues 5.2 Clear Style: Word-Level Issues 5.3 Formatting Numbers and Formulas 5.4 Communicating Internationally in IBE Style 5.5 The Promise of Simplified English 5.6 Company Style Guides 6. Tools of the Technical Writer 6.1 Hardware Tools 6.2 Software Tools 6.3 Presentation Tools 7. Visuals 7.1 Generalizations About Visuals 7.2 Visuals That Examine Objects 7.3 Visuals That Show Process 7.4 Visuals That Show Relationships 7.5 Visuals That Symbolize 7.6 Writing Physical Descriptions III. Technical Documents 8. RFPs and Proposals 8.1 Writing an RFP 8.2 Processing an RFP 8.3 Writing a Proposal 9. Manuals 9.1 Project Planning 9.2 Developing a Full Set of Manuals 9.3 Determining Sections, Page Layout, and Packaging 9.4 Developing Manuals and Guides for the General Public 9.5 Designing Online Documentation 9.6 The Minimalist Approach to Manual Design 10. Testing and Revising 10.1 The Nature of Revision in Technical Writing 10.2 Usability Testing 10.3 Field Testing 11. Editing, Proofreading, and Indexing 11.1 Editing 11.2 Proofreading 11.3 Indexing IV. Business Documents 12. Marketing Publications 12.1 Principles of Design and Layout 12.2 Flyers, Polybags, and Posters 12.3 Brochures 12.4 Creating Web Sites for Marketing Purposes 13. Letters and Reports 13.1 AMA Letter Format 13.2 Routine Letters 13.3 Report Formats and Organizational Plans 13.4 Routine Short Reports 14. Job Search 14.1 Finding Job Opportunities 14.2 Preparing Your Resume 14.3 Job Search Letters