Technical Writing (Advanced)

Course CodeBWR301
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment
  

WHAT IS TECHNICAL WRITING?

ACS student comments: I think the course is a valuable learning experience as I feel I’m being challenged along the way. Generally, I am impressed with the service I have received from ACS since enrolling. The enrollment process was very quick and all email support has been prompt and helpful. The tutors seem very pleasant and helpful in their remarks, and this keeps me motivated. It is very encouraging when they offer additional information or ask questions of me/my writing. Sally Vanston, Malaysia - Technical Writing course.

Technical writing is usually the term given to writing about technical subjects, such as computers, machinery or equipment. This is the kind of writing one sees in instruction manuals, how-to books, and reference materials. This is a fairly narrow definition of technical writing.

A broader definition of technical writing is any writing in which the focus is on the correct, accurate and precise communication of practical information; information that is presented in order to instruct, guide, facilitate or train. Falling under this broader definition are reports, text books, records, submissions, plans and other documents that are not necessarily about technology.

An even broader definition of technical writing reflects its wide applicability to a large range of writing situations, from workplace writing to the highest levels of academic writing.

Almost all writing we come across in everyday life, in home and work, is technical writing (the exception being, of course, fiction books and magazines). The instructions that tell us how to assemble a set of shelves, a resume from a prospect employee, or a submission to a professional journal are all considered to be technical documents.

Learn to write technical and scientific documents, articles, papers, books, manuals and even product lablels.

Technical writing is a skill required by all types of industries - from factories to research laboratories. It is a skill required by people in many professions - from consultants to teachers.


Lesson Structure

There are 9 lessons in this course:

  1. Scope and Nature of Technical Writing
    • Nature and Scope
    • Quality of Information
    • Nature of Language
    • Structure
    • Characteristics of Technical Writing
  2. Presentation of Technical Writing
    • Presentation
    • Basic Parts of a Document (Written text, Images, White space)
    • Headings
    • Types of Images (Tables, Charts, Graphs, Photos, Drawings)
    • Captions and Labels
    • Main Elements (Front Matter, Body, end matter)
    • Creating an Index
    • Elements of Different types of Technical Documents (References, Texts, Journals, Reports, etc)
    • Referencing
  3. Matching Style and Content to the Audience
    • Writing for an Audience
    • Writing Well
    • Writing Guidelines (Jargon, Gender neutral writing, Using simple sentences, passive or active language, first, second or third person, etc)
    • Spelling, Grammar
    • Editing, Proof reading
  4. Planning: Developing a Logical Structure or Format
    • Creating a Technical Document
    • Research the Document; gather information
    • Plan; decide on the format
    • Write; create an outline and then write the first draft
    • Verify; check the accuracy of what you have written
    • Revise; amend the document before
    • Writing a First Draft
  5. Collaborative Writing
    • Working in a team
    • Tasks and Roles
    • Technical Brief
    • Strategies for Collaboration
    • Style Guide
    • Using Templates
    • Using Email Effectively
  6. Writing Technical Articles for Periodicals
    • Writing for Periodicals
    • Publisher Specs
    • Writing Descriptions and Specifications
    • Journal Abstracts
  7. Writing Manuals and Procedures
    • Writing manuals
    • Writing Instructions and Procedures
    • Guidelines
    • Troubleshooting
  8. Writing Project Proposals
    • What is a Proposal?
    • Proposal Categories (Solicited and Unsolicited)
    • Model for Writing Proposals
    • Grant Proposals
    • The Stop Format
  9. Writing Project Reports
    • Types of Reports
    • Progress Reports
    • Completion Reports
    • Review Reports
    • Regulatory Reports
    • Feasibility Reports
    • Scientific Reports
    • Elements of a Formal Report
    • Executive Summaries

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.

Aims

  • Identify a broad range of situations where technical writing is used and where you might gainfully apply those skills;
  • Present technical documentation for a variety of situations;
  • Determine how to write appropriately for a defined audience;
  • Develop formats for different documents that follow a logical appropriate structure;
  • Explain how to effectively collaborate with one or more people in the production of a technical writing assignment;
  • Write items of technical writing that are appropriate for publication in different types of periodicals including: popular magazines, industry magazines, scientific journals, newspapers and e-zines;
  • Write easy to follow, technically accurate instructions for a variety of processes, using a variety of equipment;
  • Write a formal proposal for a project;
  • Write in an effective and appropriate style of report, during, or on conclusion of a project.

EXAMPLE ASSIGNMENT

1. Briefly explain why you have taken a course in technical writing.

2. Have you ever written a technical document before? If so, please provide a brief example of your writing. If not, what sort of technical writing do you think you would like to specialise in?

3. Find an example of technical writing which you consider poor. It may be a sample of your own writing, if you wish. Explain why you found the writing poor and what could be done to improve it. (It may be ambiguous, use poor English, be difficult to understand or be presented poorly.)

4. List five technical documents you have glanced at or read in the last week. These can include domestic as well as professional documentation. Briefly describe each and then discuss why the format, style and language used in each document might have been selected.

5. Write two paragraphs, each describing a product of your choice (e.g. a computer; a bicycle; a house). In the first paragraph, describe the product in terms of functionality. In the second product, describe the product in terms of appearance.

Which paragraph do you feel uses more precise language? (Give specific examples). Why do you think you used more precise language in that paragraph?

 
WHY CHOOSE US?

• Reputation: we are well-known and respected in publishing and writing
• The school runs a successful publishing business, the principal has been
  editor of national magazines, many of the staff are published authors
• Industry focus: courses designed to suit industry needs and expectations
• Different focus: develop problem solving skills that make you stand out from others
• Hands on: develop practical as well as theoretical skills
• Lots of help: dedicated and knowledgeable tutors.
• Efficient: prompt responses to your questions
• Reliable: established in 1979, independent school with a solid history
• Up to date: courses under constant review
• Resources:  huge wealth of constantly developing intellectual property
• Value: courses compare very favourably on a cost per study hour basis
• Student amenities: online student room, bookshop, ebooks, social networking, acs garden online resources.
 


Credentials

ACS is an Organisational Member of the British Institute for Learning and Development
ACS is an Organisational Member of the British Institute for Learning and Development

Member of Study Gold Coast, Education Network
Member of Study Gold Coast, Education Network

ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.
ACS Global Partner - Affiliated with colleges in seven countries around the world.

ACS is recognised as an institution by IARC
ACS is recognised as an institution by IARC



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