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Technical Communication in the Twenty-first Century by Mind Map: Technical Communication in the
Twenty-first Century
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Technical Communication in the Twenty-first Century

Chapter One

Genres of Technical and Professional Communication

Genres:, E-mails and memos, Letters, Job search documents, Technical definitions, Technical descriptions, Websites, Technical instructions, Manuals, Proposals and requests for proposals, Informal and formal reports, Presentations

Solving Problems Through Technical and Professional Communication

Workplace problems, Require information and action to solve

Rhetorical problems, Requires choosing the best approach to communicate information, A way of thinking about and approaching workplace problems that can be solved with the help of documents

Characteristics of Technical and Professional Communication

Rhetorical, Meant to persuade readers to act, Rhetoric: study and practice of using effective language to influence others' thoughts and actions

Audience Centered, Always be aware of the audience's information needs as well as how useful information is to them, Type of audience determines the genre, formality, details, format, and length of documents, Example: format of an e-mail between you and a friend would be different than one between you and your professor

Technology Oriented, May not always be in hard copy form, Based on audience needs and particular projects, Example: sending a document attachment to an email to a client who is across the country rather than printing it out and mailing it to them

Ethical, Useful information that is efficient, successful, and safe

Research Oriented, Multifaceted and context specific, Different kinds of research other than library research, Internet searches, interviews, databases, conversation, etc.

Professional, Writer must make text very clear and accessible to their audience, Accessible: document describes and provides every detail the audience needs as well as usage of proper grammar, usage, style and punctuation

Visual, Text that has visual elements have greater clarification and meaning for readers and audience, Example: different fonts, choice of design, images, and graphics

Design Centered, You want the format of your document to make it the most effective and efficient way to convey your message, Example: font types/sizes, spacing, color, headings, placement of visuals, paper types, bindings

Concise, Keep the presentation to the point, Do not use superfluous words, phrases, and sentences

Activities of Technical and Professional Writing

HTW Organization, Writing, and Revisision






Integrating visuals





Chapter Two

Workplace Problems

PSA, Define or describe the real problem or reason for writing, Establish goals and purposes for writing, Identify stakeholders and what they want or need, Consider the ethical choices involved with the problem, Consider document formats and delivery methods, Identify what information you have and what information you need

Rhetorical Problems

Away of thinking about and approaching workplace problems that can be solved with the help of documents

Example: The manager of a large department store sees an increase in sales that involved stolen credit cards. She must research current policies and laws on this issue, develop a new procedure for accepting and processing customer credit cards, and communicate the new procedures to all employees involved in customer sales.

Involves:, Exigency and Purpose, Exigency is the moving force that requires some kind of writing or communication, Purpose include to: inform, define, explain, propose, and convince, Audiences, Vary significantly, Have expectations and attitudes, Writer must effectively address positive, negative, and neutral attitudes on particular subjects, Use documents differently, Multiple audiences often read documents, Workplace Writers, Correctness, Correct genre, conventions and standards of that genre, editing for spelling, grammar, and mechanical errors, Experience and Expertise, Goodwill, Identification, Trust, PSA, Draft, Confirm your goals and purposes, document format, and delivery methods, Organize and draft the document, Design and arrange the document, Create and integrate visual elements that help communicate the information, Review, Test the usability of the document, Solicit feedback and response from peers and colleagues, Revise or rewrite the document based on feedback, Edit the document to ensure correctness

Chapter Three

Creating documents

Word Processors, templates, create tables, use multiple windows, insert words, symbols, and images

Presentation software, slide shows with sound, video, and graphics

Graphics and Imaging Software, allows you to edit and crop existing images

Web-authoring software, allows you to enter text, graphics, and multimedia objects directly on a web page

Desktop publishing software, can be used to create print-ready publications

Help and E-learning authoring tools, used to create online documents that instruct, train, or educate teachers

Single-sourcing programs, allows you to create multiple files or documents using a single source document

Communication and collaborating

The internet

The world wide web


Ethics and electronic communication

Electronic messaging


The future of workplace writing and computer technology

Proliferation of wireless technologies

Improvement in bandwidth and connection speed

Greater integration of technology into everyday life

Declining prices for computer technology

Increasing attention to the needs of transational communication

Chapter Four

What is Ethics?

Understanding ethics is crucial for the workplace writer

Ethics is about right and wrong

Guideline #1: Ethics and Law are not the same

Liability laws

Environmental laws

Copyright laws

Patent Law

Trademark and Service Mark laws

Contract Laws

Guideline #2: Be honest

Guideline #3: Respect Confidentiality

Ethics in context


Situation and Perspective

Codes of Ethics

Ethics and technology




Environmental Ethics

Avoiding Unethical Writing

Don't use deceptive or evasive language

Don't obscure or misinterpret the issue, Jargon, Abstract languauge, Emphasis or suppression of information, Visual rhetoric, Plagiarism, Use of inaccurate information

Chapter Five

Learning about differences


Technology, Machine translation


Politics and Law




Avoiding sterotypes


Avoid assumptions

Ask questions

Collaborate with the translator

Enhancing translation

HTW: Style and language--Style



Cultural and Rhetorical Differences


Accommodating trasnational audiences




Verbal communication

Transnational Ethics

Guidelines fro writing for transnational audiences

Write clearly, localize your writing, account for visual and auditory perceptions

Chapter Seven

Predrafting strategies

Analyze your audience

Develop ideas about the information

Organize Your Information

Outline Your Important Ideas

Writing the draft

Parts of a document, Front matters, the body, end matters

Drafting the body, First part to write, presents the information that will be solved

Drafting the conclusion, summarize information, analytic predictions based on the information in the body, recommends how the reader should respond or act

Drafting the intro, Must have purpose and objective

Electronic templates and wizards