Strategies for Technical Communication in the Workplace

Strategies for Technical Communication in the Workplace, 4th edition

  • Laura J. Gurak, 
  • John M. Lannon

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Overview

Clearly and concisely, Strategies for Technical Communication in the Workplace helps professionals adapt their communication strategies in a global marketplace. It includes practical applications, sample documents, coverage of technology and global issues, and useful checklists to prepare for any situation.

Published by Pearson (July 14th 2021) - Copyright © 2019

ISBN-13: 9780137554430

Table of contents

I. FOUNDATIONS

1. Technical Communication: Global, Collaborative, and Digital
What is Technical Communication?
Main Features of Technical Communication
Focus is on the Reader, Not the Writer
Document Design is Efficient and Accessible
Writing Style is Clear and Relevant
Information is Persuasive, Truthful, and Based on Research
Three Primary Purposes of Technical Communication
Informational Purpose
Instructional Purpose
Persuasive Purpose
Common Types of Technical Documents
Technical Communication is Global, Collaborative, and Digital
Technical Communication is Global
STRATEGIES for Global Technical Communication
Technical Communication is Collaborative
STRATEGIES for Organizing a Team Project
Running Successful Meetings
Identifying and Managing Group Conflicts
STRATEGIES for Running a Meeting
STRATEGIES for Managing Team Conflicts
Reviewing and Editing the Work of Others
STRATEGIES for Peer Review and Editing
Technical Communication is Digital
CHECKLIST for Effective Technical Communication
APPLICATIONS

2. The Research Process in Technical Communication
Thinking Critically about Research
STRATEGIES for Thinking Critically about Research
Primary versus Secondary Sources
Exploring Secondary Sources
How to Locate Secondary Sources
Types of Secondary Sources
STRATEGIES for Finding Credible, Reliable Secondary Sources
Exploring Primary Sources
Unsolicited Inquiries
Informational Interviews
STRATEGIES for Informational Interviews
Surveys
STRATEGIES for Surveys
Observations and Experiments
CHECKLIST for Doing Research
APPLICATIONS

3. Providing Audiences with Usable Information
Analyze the Document's Audience
Primary and Secondary Audiences
Relationship with Audience
Audience's Technical Background
Audience's Cultural Background
STRATEGIES for Analyzing Your Audience
Determine the Document's Purpose
Primary and Secondary Purposes
Intended Use of the Document
Know How to Be Persuasive
Using Claims as a Basis for Persuasion
Connecting with Your Audience
STRATEGIES for Persuasion
Create a Task Analysis for the Document
Consider Other Related Usability Factors
Setting
Potential Problems
Length
Format
Timing
Budget
Develop an Information Plan for the Document
Write, Test, Revise, and Proofread the Document
STRATEGIES for Proofreading
CHECKLIST for Usability
APPLICATIONS

4. Recognizing Ethical Issues in Technical Communication
Ethics, Technology, and Communication
Types of Ethical Choices
How Workplace Pressures Affect Ethical Values
Recognizing and Avoiding Ethical Abuses
STRATEGIES for Avoiding Ethical Abuses
CHECKLIST for Ethical Communication
APPLICATIONS

II. BLUEPRINTS

5. Structuring Information for Your Readers
The Importance of an Understandable Structure
Outlining
Chunking
STRATEGIES for Outlining
Sequencing
Paragraphing
The Topic Sentence
Paragraph Unity
Paragraph Coherence
Clarifying Headings
Providing an Overview
CHECKLIST for Structuring Information
APPLICATIONS

6. Writing with a Readable Style
The Importance of a Readable Style
Writing Clearly
Avoiding Ambiguous Pronoun References
Avoiding Ambiguous Modifiers
Using Active Voice Whenever Possible
Using Passive Voice Selectively
Avoiding Nominalizations
Unstack Modifying Nouns
Avoiding Unnecessary Jargon
Writing Concisely
Avoiding Wordiness
Eliminating Redundancy and Repetition
Writing Fluently
Combining Related Ideas
Varying Sentence Construction and Length
Using Parallel Structure
Writing Personably
Adjusting Your Tone
STRATEGIES for Deciding about Tone
Avoiding Biased Language
STRATEGIES for Unbiased Usage
CHECKLIST for Style
APPLICATIONS

7. Using Audience-Centered Visuals
The Importance of Using Audience-Centered Visuals
When to Use Visuals
Using Visuals to Support Text
Using Visuals on Their Own
Types of Visuals
Tables
STRATEGIES for Creating Tables
Graphs
STRATEGIES for Creating Graphs
Charts
STRATEGIES for Creating Charts
Illustrations and Diagrams
Photographs
Videos
Icons and Symbols
STRATEGIES for Illustrations, Diagrams, Photographs, Videos, Icons, and Symbols
Special Considerations When Using Visuals
Selecting Appropriate Visuals
Placing, Cross-Referencing, and Presenting Visuals
Using Color in Visuals
Using Visuals Fairly and Accurately
CHECKLIST for Using Audience-Centered Visuals
APPLICATIONS

8. Designing User-Friendly Documents
The Importance of User-Friendly Document Design
Characteristics of Well-Designed Documents
Specific Design Elements
Designing for Consistency and Cohesiveness
STRATEGIES for Designing: Consistency and Cohesiveness
Designing for Navigation and Emphasis
STRATEGIES for Designing: Navigation and Emphasis
CHECKLIST for Document Design
APPLICATIONS

III. DOCUMENTS

9. Résumés and Other Employment Materials
Assessing Your Skills and Aptitudes
Researching the Job Market
Engage in Active Networking
Résumés
Parts of a Résumé
Organizing Your Résumé
STRATEGIES for Creating a Résumé
Application Letters
Solicited Application Letters
Unsolicited Application Letters
STRATEGIES for Application Letters
Digital versus Print Job Application Materials
STRATEGIES for Digital Job Application Materials
Dossiers, Portfolios, and E-portfolios
Dossiers
Portfolios and E-portfolios
STRATEGIES for Dossiers, Portfolios, and E-portfolios
Interviews and Follow-up Letters
Interviews
Follow-up Communication
STRATEGIES for Interviews and Follow-up Notes
CHECKLIST for Résumés
CHECKLIST for Job Application Letters
CHECKLIST for Supporting Materials
APPLICATIONS

10. Memos and Letters
Memo Basics, Parts, and Format
Parts and Format of Memos
Memo Tone
Types of Memos
Transmittal Memo
Summary or Follow-up Memo
Informational Memo
STRATEGIES for Memos
Letter Basics, Parts, and Format
Letter Parts and Formats
Letter Tone
Establishing and Maintaining a “You" Perspective
Being Polite and Tactful
Using Plain English
Considering the Needs of International Readers
Being Direct or Indirect
STRATEGIES for Letters in General
Types of Letters
Inquiry Letters
STRATEGIES for Inquiry Letters
Claim Letters
STRATEGIES for Claim Letters
Sales Letters
STRATEGIES for Sales Letters
Adjustment Letters
STRATEGIES for Adjustment Letters
CHECKLIST for Memos and Letters
APPLICATIONS

11. Definitions
Audience and Purpose of Definitions
Legal, Safety, and Societal Implications of Definitions
Types of Definitions
Parenthetical Definitions
Sentence Definitions
Expanded Definitions
Methods for Expanding Definitions
Etymology
History
Negation
Operating Principle
Analysis of Parts
Visuals
Comparison and Contrast
Required Conditions
Examples
Using Multiple Expansion Methods
Placement of Definitions
STRATEGIES for Definitions
CHECKLIST for Definitions
APPLICATIONS

12. Descriptions
Audience and Purpose of Descriptions
Objectivity in Descriptions
Elements of Descriptions
Title
Introduction
Sequence of Topics
Visuals
Conclusion
Product and Process Descriptions
A Complex Product Description
A Complex Process Description
STRATEGIES for Descriptions
Specifications
STRATEGIES for Specifications
CHECKLIST for Descriptions and Specifications
APPLICATIONS

13. Instructions and Procedures
Audience and Purpose of Instructions
Types of Instructional Formats
User Manuals
Quick Reference Materials
Assembly Guides
Web-based Instructions
Online Instructions
Safety and Legal Implications
Elements of Effective Instructions
Title
Overview or Introduction
Body
Conclusion
Visuals
Notes, Cautions, Warnings, and Danger Notices
Content, Style, and Design Considerations
Detail and Technicality
Style
Design
STRATEGIES for Readable Instructions
STRATEGIES for Accessible Instructions
Procedures
Audience and Purpose Considerations
Types of Procedures
Conducting a Usability Survey
STRATEGIES for Instructions and Procedures
CHECKLIST for Instructions and Procedures
APPLICATIONS

14. Summaries
Audience and Purpose of Summaries
Elements of Effective Summaries
Accuracy
Completeness
Conciseness
Nontechnical Style
Writing Summaries Step by Step
Step 1: Read the Original Document
Step 2: Reread and Mark Essential Material
Step 3: Cut and Paste the Key Information
Step 4: Redraft the Information into Your Own Organizational Pattern and Words
Step 5: Edit Your Draft
Step 6: Compare Your Version with the Original Document
Special Types of Summaries
Closing Summaries
Informative Abstracts
Descriptive Abstracts
Executive Summaries
Summarizing Information for Social Media
STRATEGIES for Summaries
CHECKLIST for Summaries
APPLICATIONS

15. Informal Reports
Two Categories of Reports: Informational and Analytical
Types of Informational Reports
Progress Reports
STRATEGIES for Progress Reports
Periodic Activity Reports
Trip Reports
STRATEGIES for Periodic Activity Reports
STRATEGIES for Trip Reports
Meeting Minutes
STRATEGIES for Meeting Minutes
Types of Analytical Reports
Feasibility Reports
STRATEGIES for Feasibility Reports
Recommendation Reports
STRATEGIES for Recommendation Reports
Peer Review Reports
STRATEGIES for Peer Review Reports
CHECKLIST for Informal Reports
APPLICATIONS

16. Formal Reports
Audience and Purpose of Formal Reports
Comparative Analysis
Causal Analysis
Feasibility Analysis
Elements of Effective Formal Reports
Accurate, Appropriate, and Clearly Interpreted Data
Clearly Identified Purpose Statement
Understandable Structure
Readable Style
Audience-centered Visuals
User-friendly Design
Parts of Formal Reports
Letter of Transmittal
Front Matter
Text of the Report
End Matter
STRATEGIES for Formal Reports
A Sample Formal Report
CHECKLIST for Formal Reports
APPLICATIONS

17. Proposals
Audience and Purpose of Proposals
Types of Proposals
Planning Proposals
Research Proposals
Sales Proposals
Organization of Informal and Formal Proposals
Clear Title or Subject Line
Background Information
Statement of Problem or Situation
Description of Solution or Resolution
Costs, Timing, and Qualifications
Conclusion
STRATEGIES for Proposals
A Sample Formal Proposal
CHECKLIST for Proposals
APPLICATIONS

IV. DIGITAL MEDIA AND PRESENTATIONS

18. Email
Workplace Email
Audience and Purpose of Email
Components and Organization of Email
Types of Workplace Email
STRATEGIES for Choosing and Using Email
Appropriate Style for Workplace Email
STRATEGIES for Email Style and Tone in the Workplace
Copyright and Privacy in Digital Communication
CHECKLIST for Email
APPLICATIONS

19. Blogs, Wikis, and Web Pages
Blogs
Internal Blogs
External Blogs
Wikis
Internal Wikis
External Wikis
Web Pages
Audience and Purpose of Web Pages
Elements of Effective Web Pages
Structure
Style
Visuals
Design
Web Page Credibility and Privacy Issues
STRATEGIES for Blogs, Wikis, and Web Pages
CHECKLIST for Blogs, Wikis, and Web Pages
APPLICATIONS

20. Social Media
Considering Audience and Purpose
Audience as Contributor
Personal versus Workplace Uses of Social Media
Social Media in Technical and Workplace Communication
Customer Review Sites
Facebook
Google+
Instagram
LinkedIn and Other Job Sites
Twitter
YouTube
Other Popular Social Media Sites
Credibilty and Legal Issues
STRATEGIES for Social Media
CHECKLIST for Social Media
APPLICATIONS

21. Oral Presentations and Video Conferencing
Audience and Purpose of Oral Presentations
Types of Oral Presentations
Informative Presentations
Training Presentations
Persuasive Presentations
Action Plan Presentations
Sales Presentations
Parts of Oral Presentations
Introduction
Body
Conclusion
Preparing Oral Presentations
Research and Connect the Topic to Your Audience
Create an Outline or Storyboard
Determine a Delivery Style
Choose Your Technology
Plan the Use of Visuals
STRATEGIES for Preparing Oral Presentations
Practice the Presentation
Using Presentation Software
Video Conferencing
STRATEGIES for Using Presentation Software and Video Conferencing
Delivering Oral Presentations
STRATEGIES for Delivering Oral Presentations
CHECKLIST for Oral Presentations
APPLICATIONS

Appendix A: Documenting Sources
What Is Plagiarism?
Identifying Sources and Information to be Documented
Taking Effective and Accurate Notes
STRATEGIES for Taking Notes
Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Summarizing Properly
Quoting the Work of Others
STRATEGIES for Quoting the Work of Others
Paraphrasing the Work of Others
STRATEGIES for Paraphrasing the Work of Others
Summarizing the Work of Others
STRATEGIES for Summarizing the Work of Others
Documentation: The Key to Avoiding Plagiarism
Why You Should Document
What You Should Document
How You Should Document
MLA Documentation Style
MLA Parenthetical References
MLA Works Cited Entries
APA Documentation Style
APA Parenthetical References
APA Reference Entries
Other Documentation Styles
Recognizing Copyright Issues
Works in the Public Domain
Fair Use
The Difference between Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement

Appendix B: A Brief Handbook
Grammar
Sentence Fragments
Run-on Sentences
Comma Splices
Faulty Agreement-Subject and Verb
Faulty Agreement-Pronoun and Referent
Faulty Coordination and Subordination
Faulty Pronoun Case
Punctuation
Period
Question Mark
Exclamation Point
Semicolon
Colon
Comma
Apostrophe
Quotation Marks
Ellipses
Brackets
Italics
Parentheses
Dashes
Mechanics
Abbreviation
Hyphenation
Capitalization
Numbers and Numerals
Spelling
Usage
Transitions
Use Transitional Expressions
Repeat Key Words and Phrases
Use Forecasting Statements
Lists
Embedded Lists
Vertical Lists
Works Cited
Credits
Index

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