A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

IEEE PCS

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1.
#33302

A. Stanley Higgins and the History of STC's Journal   (PDF)

A profile of Stan Higgins, one of the first editors of STC's journal. Based on archival research and an interview with Higgins. Includes a table of journal titles (e.g., TWE Journal, STWE Review) and names of editors.

Malone, Edward A. IEEE PCS (2008). Articles>TC>Publishing>History

2.
#26501

ABET Countdown   (PDF)

How could four letters strike such fear in the hearts of normally stalwart faculty? Why would administrators loathe the mere mention of the word 'accreditation'? The source of their fear and frustration is a cycle of evaluation, assessment, and reporting that constitutes a six-year accreditation period.

Williams, Julia M. IEEE PCS (2006). Articles>Education>Academic>Engineering

3.
#31644

Aligning Inner and Outer Visions of Technical Communication: Reflections Beyond Traditional Technical Writing   (PDF)   (members only)

Technical communication is often misunderstood by those outside the profession or the academic field. These outside perceptions of our work, generally based on extremely limited and narrow notions of the field, can influence the opportunities available to technical communicators. In this paper, three faculty members from the University of Washington's Department of Technical Communication describe their academic assumptions and research activities that range far beyond traditional areas from technical writing such as writing, editing and production. They describe projects that represent the expanding boundaries of the field of technical communication, spanning domains (including medicine, corporate, and public service), methods (including contextual inquiry, content analysis, case studies, and log file analysis), and solution types (including content management, user driven content, computer mediated communication, and strategic management of systems). What these projects share is abroad vision of the field of technical communication and a broad vision of the contributions that technical communication professionals have to offer.

Haselkorn, Mark P., Geoffrey Sauer and Jennifer Turns. IEEE PCS (2002). Articles>TC

4.
#31652

Analyzing the Interaction Between Facilitator and Participants in Two Variants of the Think-Aloud Method   (PDF)   (members only)

This paper focuses on the interaction between test participants and test facilitator in two variants of the think-aloud method. In a first, explorative study, we analyzed think-aloud transcripts from two usability tests: a concurrent think-aloud test and a constructive interaction test. The results of our analysis show that while the participants in both studies never explicitly addressed the facilitator, the think-aloud participants showed more signs of awareness of the facilitator than the participants in the constructive interaction test. This finding may have practical implications for the validity of the two methods.

van den Haak, Maaike J. and Menno D.T. de Jong. IEEE PCS (2005). Articles>Usability>Testing>Methods

5.
#31643

Approaches to Professionalism--A Codified Body of Knowledge   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Professionalism is a recurrent topic of discussion—formally and informally—among technical communication scholars and practitioners. In the diversity among our programs and approaches to technical communication, the difficult issues surrounding certification in technical communication is a professional goal that major stakeholders have typically considered too complex to be addressed. Increasingly, however, many of these stakeholders agree that we can no longer continue to ignore these complex issues. In an earlier article, I have described twelve issues that must be addressed and tasks that must be undertaken to move the profession towards meaningful certification. In that discussion, I also suggest approaches to begin the work on each of these steps. In this present discussion, I address the first of these steps—codification of the bodies of knowledge through the development of an encyclopedia of technical and professional communication. In order to accomplish this, I describe the categories of knowledge in the field and the editorial and organizational structure of the project.

Rainey, Kenneth T. IEEE PCS (2005). Articles>TC>Professionalism>Body of Knowledge

6.
#36826

Approaches to Professionalism: A Codified Body of Knowledge   (members only)

Professionalism is a recurrent topic of discussion - formally and informally - among technical communication scholars and practitioners. In the diversity among our programs and approaches to technical communication, the difficult issues surrounding certification in technical communication is a professional goal that major stakeholders have typically considered too complex to be addressed. Increasingly, however, many of these stakeholders agree that we can no longer continue to ignore these complex issues. In an earlier article, the author have described twelve issues that must be addressed and tasks that must be undertaken to move the profession towards meaningful certification. In that discussion, the author also suggests approaches to begin the work on each of these steps. In this present discussion, the author addresses the first of this steps-codification of the bodies of knowledge through the development of an encyclopedia of technical and professional communication. In order to accomplish this, the author describes the categories of knowledge in the field and the editorial and organizational structure of the project.

Rainey, Kenneth T. IEEE PCS (2005). Articles>TC>Professionalism>Body of Knowledge

7.
#36050

Assessing Excellence: Using Activity Theory to Understand Assessment Practices in Engineering Communication   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

In the workplace, communication serves not as an end in itself, with features that are “good” or “bad,” but as a tool for mediating a range of professional activities, and effective documents are presentations are those that achieve their goals. Yet assessment methods in technical and professional communication often continue to rely on an evaluation of features apart from the intended work of the document. In this paper, we use activity theory as a lens to explore both the criteria for effective communication and the degree to which portfolio assessment methods can be applied to effectively assess student learning in this domain.

Paretti, Marie C. and Christine Bala Burgoyne. IEEE PCS (2009). Articles>Scientific Communication>Engineering>Assessment

8.
#31761

Creating Effective Presentation Slides

The key methods you can employ to create effective presentation slides.

Doumont, Jean-luc. IEEE PCS (2008). Design>Presentations>Usability>Podcasts

9.
#31649

The Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA): Applications for Globalization   (PDF)   (members only)

Translation of documentation has traditionally been a major expense in the globalization process, especially if translations are required for multiple languages. The Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) is an XML-based architecture for creating topic-based and information-typed content. It provides a number of features that, in addition to supporting high-quality information delivery, allows for more efficient and reliable localization of information. This article provides both an introduction to DITA and a discussion of DITA features that enhance document globalization.

Harrison, Nancy. IEEE PCS (2005). Articles>Documentation>Localization>DITA

10.
#31759

Dealing Proactively with Audience Questions

What’s the best way to handle questions from the audience when presenting? This podcast examines key things you can do to deal proactively with audience questions.

Still, Brian. IEEE PCS (2008). Articles>Presentations>Audio>Podcasts

11.
#31201

Dolly Dahle and the Business of Technical Communication   (PDF)

Presents a biography of Dorothy ("Dolly") Dahle, a successful businesswoman in the 1950s.

Malone, Edward A. IEEE PCS (2008). Articles>History

12.
#34041

Eleanor McElwee (1924-2008)   (PDF)

Eleanor McElwee was one of the founders of the IRE Professional Group on Engineering Writing and Speech (now IEEE PCS).

Malone, Edward A. IEEE PCS (2009). Organizations>Business Communication>History

13.
#31672

Fixing the Flaws in the Ten Principles of Clear Writing

More importantly, most lists of ten principles of clear writing are not really principles at all, but rather tips and technique. Understanding why you are doing something, i.e., the benefit you will gain, helps ensure that you will actually do it and do it consistently. Too often, when we are told only what to do, we follow the instruction half-heartedly, inconsistently, or not at all.

Yaffe, Philip. IEEE PCS (2008). Articles>Writing>Rhetoric>Minimalism

14.
#31647

Following the Road Untraveled: From Source Language to Translation to Localization   (PDF)   (members only)

A-dec Inc. is a dental equipment manufacturer headquartered in Newberg, Oregon. A 40-year leader in the dental products industry, A-dec/spl trade/ has targeted the international market as their growth market. The change in scope has brought with it the recognition that the A-dec Technical Communications team must address how to align their content to support an international audience, as well as clearly communicate the company's core values. The process has been ongoing and dynamic as new discoveries occur. They faced the challenge of understanding the differences between translation and localization, which started their education in the area of necessary requirements for competing in the international marketplace. This case study discusses their journey towards creating a globalized product.

Ledet, Denise and Rahel Anne Bailie. IEEE PCS (2005). Articles>Language>Translation>Localization

15.
#10219

Handling Tough Situations: The Art of Buying Time

We have discussed the advantages of attacking tough situations not all at once but in four phases: (1) minimal immediate response, aimed at buying time; (2) realistic preparation based on a complete scenario; (3) problem-solving discussion focused on reaching an agreement; and (4) follow-through to ensure that agreements are carried out. The main argument for this approach is simple: to be persuasive, you need good arguments; when you are surprised and upset, you can't think of your best arguments; therefore, whenever possible, give yourself time to calm down, think, and prepare properly.

Reimold, Cheryl. IEEE PCS (2000). Careers>Collaboration

16.
#10220

Handling Tough Situations: The Short Method

We discussed how to buy time when you are assaulted by an unpleasant surprise. Our argument was that few people respond well to challenging situations unless they have some time to prepare. Therefore, whenever you can, you should divide the task into four distinct phases: (1) minimal immediate response, (2) preparation, (3) problem-solving discussion, and (4) follow-through. Unfortunately, some situations don't let you postpone a full discussion. For such cases, you need the 'short method,' which condenses phases 1-3.

Reimold, Cheryl. IEEE PCS (2000). Careers>Collaboration>Project Management

17.
#10223

How to Deliver Winning Presentations: Connecting Through Body Talk

The real secret to powerful delivery is a strong, positive, uninterrupted connection with the audience. To build that connection, you first of all need the right attitude. This is a combination of appreciation and respect for your listeners and enthusiasm about getting your message across to them. Now let's look at ways to express that attitude with your body and face.

Reimold, Cheryl. IEEE PCS (2000). Presentations>Advice

18.
#10221

How to Deliver Winning Presentations: The Magic of Connection

Do you wish you were a powerful, persuasive presenter? Do you envy people who can address a large audience with casual ease and charm, as though conversing with a few good friends? In this series, I will show you how to turn wish into reality and become one of that select group of exceptional presenters. It's surprisingly simple, as you'll see - and you don't need any special 'natural talent.'

Reimold, Cheryl. IEEE PCS (2000). Presentations>Advice

19.
#31671

How to Prepare A Winning Book Proposal

Preparing a winning book proposal is very similar to bidding on many other freelance documentation projects. This article will show you how to create a book proposal that will give you the best chance of selling your book idea to the publisher you want.

Hedtke, John. IEEE PCS (2008). Articles>Publishing>Proposals

20.
#20876

IEEE PCS Forum

The IEEE PCS Virtual Community has been established to provide you with a more robust environment to facilitate your online collaborative efforts. Enhanced capabilities not featured in static web pages or email listservs include: calendar function; polling function; file sharing; enhanced search function; and im (chat).

IEEE PCS. Resources>TC>Community Building>Social Networking

21.
#10056

IEEE Professional Communication Society

Formed in 1957, the IEEE Professional Communication Society was concerned with the art of clear writing and speaking. Now our interests extend to distance learning, web design and hypertext, document usability, video, team writing, visual communication, information design, communication and publication management and production, user interface design, and information dissemination, retrieval, and use.

IEEE PCS. Organizations>Communication

22.
#10217

IEEE Professional Communication Society Newletter Archive

Our bimonthly newsletter provides pre- and post-event news of PCS activities along with short, practical articles, tutorials, and book reviews. The frequent publication provides quick turnaround and the opportunity to develop dialogs in letters to the editor. Examples of the regular features of the Newsletter include Message from the President, Tools of the Trade from Cheryl Reimold, and Net Notes from Beth Weise Moeller.

IEEE PCS. Journals>TC

23.
#14062

IEEE Standards Style Manual

Preferred editorial style for the preparation of proposed IEEE standards is established. Many of the frequently asked questions about writing drafts are answered. The optional and required contents of drafts are described, and instructions on submitting drafts for IEEE-SA Standards Board approval and publication are provided. This manual is not intended to be a guide to the procedural development of standards.

IEEE PCS (1999). Reference>Style Guides>Engineering

24.
#13395

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication   (peer-reviewed)

The journal publishes five types of content: (1) research articles (representing the full range of workplace communication issues and all research methods), (2) interface articles (shorter pieces providing a 'translation' of theory and application to workplace communication practice), (3) tutorials (creative training/educational approaches), (4) commentary, and (5) book reviews. Users can search abstracts for research articles published from 1988 to date.

IEEE PCS. Journals>TC>Workplace

25.
#33661

John M. Kinn: IEEE-PCS' First Editor   (PDF)

Profile of John M. Kinn, a charter member of the IRE Professional Group on Engineering Writing and Speech (now IEEE-PCS) and the first editor of the Transactions on Engineering Writing and Speech (now IEEE T-PC). Includes a table of T-EWS and T-PC editors from 1958 to 2008.

Malone, Edward A. IEEE PCS (2008). Articles>History>Publishing

 
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