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Technical Writing and Communication by Mind Map: Technical Writing and
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Technical Writing and Communication

Chapter 1:Technical and Professional Communication in the Workplace

Genres of Technical Communication

Emails and Memos, Handbook pg 329: report results, instruct employees, announce policies, disseminate information and delegate responsibilities. uses headings and lists offer emphasis and clarity; electronic copies should not include simulated initials


Job Search Documents, Job Search and Application, Acceptance/Refusal Letters for Employment (9), Application Letters (35), Interviewing for a Job (272), Job Search (286), Resignation Letters (467), Resumes (471), Salary Negotiations (491)

Technical Definitions


Technical Instructions

Manuels, Pg 315: help use and maintain products, Tutorials, User Manuels, Training Manuels, Operator's Manuels, Service Manuels, Special-Purpose Manuels

Proposals and Requests for Proposals, Pg 412: used to persuade readers to believe that an idea will benefit them by solving a problem or fulfilling a need, Solicited and Unsolicited Proposals, Internal and External Proposals, Project Management

Informal Reports

Formal Reports


Characteristics of Technical and Professional Communication

Visual, Pg. 552: Offers clarity by showing information in a way text alone cannot, Drawings, Photographs, Maps, Tables, Bar & Column Graphs, Line Graphs, Picture Graphs, Pie Graphs, Flowcharts, Organizational Charts, Symbols


Research Oriented


Technology Oriented


Audience Centered

Design Centered


Activities of Technical and Professional Writing






Integrating Visuals





Solving Problems Through Technical and Professional Communication






Chapter 2: Rhetoric and Technical Communication

Rhetorical Problems

Rhetoric: study of the available means of persuasion in any given situation

Exigency and Purpose, Inform, Define, Explain, Propose, Convince

Workplace Writer, Ethos: character or credibility, Correctness, Experience and Expertise, Goodwill, Identification: shares common goals, beliefs, ideas, and vision, Trust

Audience, Use documents differently, Skim, Read Partially, Read Closely, Revise and Return, Take Related Course of Action, Make a Related Decision, Expectation and Attitudes, Positive, Negative, Neutral, Varies Significantly


Contextual Factors and Constraints

Chapter 3: Technical Communication and Electronic Technologies

Creating Documents

Word Processors, Use Templates and Style Guidelines, Revise or Change Documents, Create Tables or Columns, Use Multiple Windows, Find and Replace Specific Words or Phrases, Insert Symbols, Images, and Words, Edit Language and Grammar Style, Share or Post Documents on Internet, Include Active Hypertext Links

Presentation Software, Apply Background and Themes, Add Animation, Timing, and Transition Styles, Insert Audio, Video, or Graphic Content, Switch Between Different Views, Share Presentation, Upload Presentations

Graphics and Imaging Software, Edit and Crop Existing Images, Erase or Paint Away Photographs, Manipulate or Distort Pixels in Digital Photos, Create Text Objects and Graphics, Develop Graphic Images of Objects, design images to show motion or progress, change text appearances, add sound or motion

Web-Authoring Software, insert text, graphics, and multimedia objects, switch between various modes, easily upload or post pages, use drop-down menu, CSS: cascading style sheets, internal navigation buttons and external links, automatically find and correct bad or unnecessary HTML and XML Coding, create design notes

Desktop Publishing Software, Booklets, Manuels, Magazines, Cards, Newsletters, Tickets, Calendars

Help and E-Learning Authoring Tools, Create and Organize Information, Develop Menus, Sequence Information, Search Functions, Glossaries, Appendices, and Table of Contents, Navigational Aids

Single-Sourcing Programs

Communicating and Collaborating

Email, Organization, Convenience, Price, Speed

World Wide Web, Collaboration, Transmission, Multimedia Use, Storage, Access

Internet, Private Intranet, Electronic Messaging, Newsgroups, Discussion Lists, Web Page, Listserves, Email

Ethics and Electronic Communication, appropriate email address, appropriate subject line, respect others bandwith, "lurk", polish up writing, use rules of capitalization, use attachments appropriately, NOTHING IS PRIVATE, back it up and save it

Electronic Messaging, AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, ICQ, Texting

Video Conferencing, Web-Cameras

Groupware, WebEx, Lotus, SharePoint, WebCT, Blackboard, Combines ALL categories of communication and collaboration

The Future of Writing and Workplace Technology


Improve Bandwidth and Connection Speed

Integration and Portability

Prices Drop


Chapter 4: Ethics and the Workplace Writer

What is Workplace Ethics?

Metaethics: where ethical ideas come from

Normative Ethics: right and wrong

Applied Ethics: how events change the way we define right and wrong

Ethical Guidelines for Workplace Writers

Ethics ≠ Laws, Liability Laws, Environmental Laws, Copyright Laws, Patent Laws, Trademark and Service Mark Laws, Contract Laws

Be Honest, benefit public welfare

Respect Confidentiality

Ethics in Context

Situation and Perceive


Revision and Editing

Ethics and Technology

Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, Laws, Social Norms, The Market, Architecture




Environmental Ethics

Community Environments

Business Environments

Academic Environments

Electronic Environments

Avoiding Unethical Writing

Don't Use Deceptive or Evasive Language

Don't Obscure or Misrepresent the Issue, Abstract Language, Jargon, Emphasis or Suppression of Information, Visual Rhetoric, Plagiarism, Use of Inaccurate Information

Chapter 5: Technical Communication in a Transnational World

Learning About Differences

Language, Target Language, Official National Language, International English, Text Directionality, Writing Style

Technology, Machine Translation

Education, Literacy, Common Body of Knowledge, Learning Style

Politics and Law, Trade Issues, Legal Issues, Political Traditions and Symbols


Society, Age, Business Etiquette, Family and Social Interactions


Avoiding Stereotypes

Avoid Asssumptions

Ask Questions

Collaborate with the Translator

Enhances Translation



Cultural and Rhetorical Differences


Accommodating Transnational Audiences

Localization, General Localization: language, currency, date, and time format, Radical Localization: how reader think, feel, and act, Benefits of Localization, Improve Sales, Overcome Inherent Differences, First to Enter Niche Markets, Overcome Cultural Differences



Verbal Communication

Transnational Ethics

Guidelines for Writers for Transnational Audiences

Write Clearly, Use Correct Punctuaion, Pg. 114 Dashes: used to link, separate, and enclose. Can be used for emphasis, informality, or abruptness., Include Definite Articles, Avoid Using Pronouns, Pg. 405 Pronouns: refers clearly to a specific antecedent, Use Terminology Consistently, Pg. 248 Idioms: a group of words, or phrase, that has a special meaning apart from its literal meaning. Example: "hand in" means "submit", Avoid Idiomatic Language, Avoid Comparatives

Localize Your Writing, Recognize Alphabetic Differences, Use Local Numbers, Be Alert to Time Differences, Avoid References to Holidays, Avoid Cultural References, Avoid Humor

Account for Visual and Auditory Perceptions, Consider Visual Interpretations, Avoid Images of People and Hand Gestures, Reevaluate Design Elements and Priciples, Account for Differences in Sound Interpretation

Chapter 7: Organizing and Drafting Documents

Predrafting Strategies

Confirm Your Purpose

Analyze Your Audience

Gather Your Information

Develop Ideas about the Information, Collaboration and Discussion, Listing, Freewriting, Clustering

Organize Your Information, Purpose, Audience, Logic, Ethics, Organizational Strategy, Sequential, Chronological, General/Specific, General to Specific, Specific to General, Order of Importance, Division, Classification, Cause and Effect, Comparison/Contrast, Spatial

Outline Your Important Ideas, Pg. 362 Outlining, Topic Outline, Sentence Outline (for larger projects use a sentence that summarizes notes)

Writing the Draft

Parts of a Document, Front Matter: title, cover image, date, byline, table of contents, list of figures, executive summary/abstract. materials, parts, or tools lists, inside and resturn addresses, definitions, alerts and warnings, introduction, Body: procedures, data (both summary and actual data), steps, End Matter: conclusions, additional information, troubleshooting suggestions, additional warnings or alerts, recommendations, indexes, appendixes, glossaries, contact information, follow-up information

A Nonlinear Process

Drafting the Body, Coverage and Length, Organization and Access

Drafting the Conclusion

Drafting the Introduction, Purpose/Objective, To Persuade, Pg. 377 Persuasion: convince the audience to take the writer's point of view on a topic; writer gains credibility through the layout/design of document thus more persuasive, To Instruct, To Report, To Motivate, Scope, Pg. 493 Scope: depth and breadth of detail included in a document, Statement of the Problem, Relevant Information/Background, Key Terms, Overview of Organization, Summary

Electronic Templates and Wizards