A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication (and technical writing).

Writing

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Technical Writing, a form of technical communication, is a style of formal writing and business communication, used in fields as diverse as computer hardware and software, chemistry, the aerospace industry, robotics, finance, consumer electronics, and biotechnology. Good technical writing clarifies technical jargon; that is, it presents useful information that is clear and easy to understand for the intended audience.

 

1.
#35908

2007 Writing / Editing Average Salaries

This is a list of the average salaries for a number of writing and editing professions. The figures represent typical scales for a mid-sized metropolitan area in the United States. Larger markets tend to pay more and smaller markets tend to pay less. Remember that these are typical salaries for people who are employed by other companies. There is a much greater income variation among people who freelance or own their own businesses.

Hewitt, J.C. PoeWar (2007). Careers>Salaries>Editing>Writing

2.
#38630

5th Grade Grammar: Take the Quiz!

If you think your grammar skills are top notch, take this 5th grade grammar quiz to find out!

Eftekhar, Christina. Carolina Communique (2012). Articles>Writing>Grammar

3.
#38743

Review: A Review of Microstyle

We live in a world that, in many ways, has become shorter. Shorter messages. Shorter interactions. Shorter attention spans. And the popularity of services like Twitter encourage brevity, for better or for worse. As a writer of any stripe, you need to adapt to this change. And that’s idea underlying the book Microstyle by Christopher Johnson. The book is packed with solid advice on how to write compactly while still passing along useful information.

Nesbitt, Scott. ScottNesbitt.net (2013). Articles>Reviews>Writing

4.
#38742

Review: A Review of Writing for the Web

These days, we can’t escape writing for the online world. Whether you contribute to web-based publications, run your own blog, or are a freelancer or full-time employee doing corporate work, writing for the web has become an essential skill. While online writing shares a number of similarities with writing for print, it also has more than a few nuances that you need to learn. That’s where Writing for the Web by Lynda Felder comes in. It’s easily one of the best books that I’ve read on the subject. Writing for the Web is a thin book, weighing in at 181 pages. But those pages pack a lot of practical information. Whether you’re new to writing online or someone with more than just a little experience, you’ll learn something from this book.

Nesbitt, Scott. ScottNesbitt.net (2013). Articles>Reviews>Writing>Online

5.
#33458

About Us Information on Websites

We found a 9% improvement in the usability of About Us information on websites over the past 5 years. But companies and organizations still can't explain what they do in one paragraph.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2008). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Writing

6.
#20624

"About Us" -- Presenting Information About an Organization on Its Website

Study participants searched websites for background information ranging from company history to management biographies and contact details. Their success rate was 70%, leaving much room for usability improvements in the 'About Us' designs.

Nielsen, Jakob. Alertbox (2003). Articles>Web Design>Usability>Writing

7.
#34559

“About Us” Doesn’t Have to be All “Ugh.”

No matter how beautifully designed, if a site’s voice doesn’t ring true, it’s easy to spot an “ugh.” Rather than using this section of a site like a congratulatory press release, consider approaching “About Us” like a magazine’s Editor Letter.

Vollenweider, Julie. Brain Traffic (2009). Articles>Web Design>Writing>Business Communication

8.
#26278

About Writing

Excellent answers to burning questions about who, what, where and why of writing ... even if you're not a writer to begin with.

Green, Chuck. Creative Latitude (2005). Articles>Writing

9.
#27779

The Abstract Trap: Why Abstracts Are Bad for Persuasive White Papers

Abstracts, also known as executive summaries, are bad. As a matter of fact, they are really bad, and I stand nearly alone in my opinion. Abstracts are those summaries that typically stand in front of the core content of a white paper. They tend to include the key points about the white paper.

Stelzner, Michael A. WhitePaperSource (2006). Articles>Writing>Rhetoric>White Papers

10.
#20216

Abstracts  (link broken)

An abstract is a short statement -- generally fewer than 150 words -- of the contents of a report, paper or other document. Few scientists, engineers, or managers have the time to read every paper that comes their way; they depend on the abstract. A well-written abstract is the best of way of making sure your vitally-important report reaches the right people.

Smith, Michael. York University. Articles>Writing>Genre

11.
#26556

Academic and Practitioner Perspectives on Essential Works in Technical Communication  (link broken)   (PDF)

As I began to create categories for a list collected from many academics and practitioners, I discovered a dramatic difference in the works valued by the two groups. While some works were valued by both practitioners and academics, I also found a clear dividing line between works recommended by academics and those recommended by practitioners.

Alred, Gerald J. ATTW Bulletin (2005). Resources>Bibliographies>Technical Writing

12.
#18615

Academic Writing: Reviews of Literature

The format of a review of literature may vary from discipline to discipline and from assignment to assignment. A review may be a self-contained unit -- an end in itself -- or a preface to and rationale for engaging in primary research. A review is a required part of grant and research proposals and often a chapter in theses and dissertations. Generally, the purpose of a review is to analyze critically a segment of a published body of knowledge through summary, classification, and comparison of prior research studies, reviews of literature, and theoretical articles.

University of Wisconsin (2003). Academic>Writing>Style Guides

13.
#28774

Accelerated Authoring @ Method M

The Method M blog for technical writers, marketing staff, product managers and others who spend hours each week creating documents. This blog is dedicated to helping you work more efficiently and create better documents.

Reichman, Katriel. Method M (2007). Resources>Documentation>Technical Writing>Blogs

14.
#38256

An Accidental Affair

I always knew I was destined to be a writer (even my kindergarten teacher bragged about my stories because they actually had a beginning, middle, and an end). I just didn't know how I would get there.

Eftekhar, Christina. Carolina Communique (2011). Careers>Writing

15.
#36357

Accuracy in Website Terms and Conditions

For legal documents, accurate information is important. When you use a template, make sure that you customise the content carefully.

TechScribe (2010). Articles>Web Design>Writing>Policies and Procedures

16.
#13950

Achieve It All!  (link broken)   (PowerPoint)

When the opportunity arose in 1990, I purchased a franchise from the Success Motivation Institute and presented literally hundreds of workshops on goal setting. I was overjoyed at the opportunity to finally achieve all my dreams through a business such as this. I learned about goal setting and Paul Meyer's Million Dollar Personal Success Plan. I loved the idea of teaching people how to help themselves become self-motivated and achieve their goals. But, there was a problem in my dream world. In order to run a business you must sell your products or services, and I simply hated being in sales! I just wouldn't get out and ask people to buy the goal setting plan. It wasn't that I didn't believe in it, because I do! When I finally started listening to myself as I taught others how to achieve happiness, I actually used goal setting to make the decision to give up that business and go back to technical writing.

Laurent, J. Suzanna. Prodigy (2002). Presentations>Slideshows>Technical Writing>Business Communication

17.
#29154

Achieving Objectivity Through Genred Activity: A Case Study   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Finding itself at the center of highly publicized legal and political deliberations over fairness in testing, personnel credibility, and legal liability, the training department at a North American transit authority adopted a genre system that enabled the production of objective evidence of job competence, which was then used to make objective decisions about who passed and failed various training programs. The ongoing genre-structured activity of the department involved not only the regularization of organizational texts but also the regularization of social interaction mediated by those texts, which, while producing the types of interpretively stable documents required for successful public deliberation, led to a shift in authority and social relations within the department that instigated considerable resentment and loss of morale among many veteran instructors.

Little, Joseph. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (2007). Articles>Writing>Instructional Design>Genre

18.
#31378

Activity Theory and Its Implications for Writing Instruction   (Word)   (peer-reviewed)

Proposes that educational institutions continue to improve the uses of writing in society in two ways: extend writing across the curriculum efforts and raise the awareness of students, the university community, and the public to the role of writing in society by having those who study writing teach an introductory liberal arts course on it. Both are important steps toward removing the remedial stigma attached to writing and its teaching, and toward combating the myth of autonomous literacy that reinforces the remedial stigma.

Russell, David R. Iowa State University (1995). Articles>Education>Writing>Activity Theory

19.
#37938

Adding Dropbox to Your Writer’s Toolkit

Dropbox isn't just useful for backing up files. It’s also an excellent way of synchronizing files across the various devices like laptops, my smartphone, and my media player. Here’s a look at how one person uses Dropbox when writing.

Nesbitt, Scott. ScottNesbitt.net (2011). Articles>Writing>Tools>Online

20.
#20548

Adding Life to Your Documentation  (link broken)   (PDF)

Suggests several techniques technical writers can use to enliven their writing and improve their documentation.

Potsus, Whitney Beth. Intercom (2003). Articles>Documentation>Writing>Technical Writing

21.
#36295

Addressing Resistance to Change in Policy and Procedure Writing

Policy writing and procedure writing is challenging because of the mechanics involved. Words must be carefully chosen; nuances must be considered. Understanding the mechanics of writing these documents is critical; however, an often overlooked aspect should be dealt with before the first word is written. How can policy and procedure writing tiptoe around the elephant in the room that everyone is trying to ignore?

Hibbard, Catherine S. Cypress Media Group (2010). Articles>Business Communication>Policies and Procedures>Technical Writing

22.
#23883

Administering Teacher Technology Training   (peer-reviewed)

The collection of materials included here are designed to assist those, who for the first time, find themselves administering and developing an ongoing program for training teachers to use technology in the composition classroom.

Carnegie, Teena A.M., Amy C. Kimme Hea, Melinda Turley and David Menchaca. Kairos (2003). Articles>Education>Technology>Writing

23.
#25641

Adolescent Diary Weblogs and the Unseen Audience   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)

This paper first situates adolescent diary weblogs and their implied audiences and then applies a typology of audiences for personal narrative performance to a sample of diary weblog posts to ascertain if the typology fits the implied audiences present in the weblog text.

Scheidt, Lois Ann. Indiana University (2005). Articles>Writing>Web Design>Blogging

24.
#21801

Advanced Blogger   (PDF)

Blogger's primary advantage is its simplicity--if you accept the default settings and host on BlogSpot, you can be up and running within five minutes. Once you have your blog, you'll find it's just as easy to customize it.

Doctorow, Cory, Rael Dornfest, J. Scott Johnson, Shelley Powers, Benjamin Trott and Mena G. Trott. O'Reilly and Associates (1998). Articles>Web Design>Writing>Blogging

25.
#13977

"Advanced Composition" And Occasion-Sensitivity

As writing teacher but also freelance writer and editor, I rejoice to see current advanced composition textbooks emphasize sensitivity to occasion. For real-world writing profoundly requires audience-awareness. Out there, students will not be writing yet another typical theme for the teacher, concerned mainly with correctness. Nor will they be writing expressively, concerned mainly with self and authenticity. They must be writing for the occasion, to achieve specific purpose with specific readers, and hence must be concerned with effectiveness above all. But what about actual current classroom practice on this point?

Beck, James P. JAC (1981). Articles>Writing>Rhetoric

 
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