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Tech Writing Quiz 1

STUDY
PLAY
Accessibility
Information is accessible if people can actually get to it and understand it.
Quality Characteristics for High Standard of Tech Writing
Accuracy
Clarity
Completeness
Concretness
Organization
Visual Effectiveness
Accuracy
has no mistakes or errors
Clarity
avoids ambiguity
Completeness
includes all necessary information
Concreteness
uses concrete examples and language
Organization
follows sequences that make sense for the situation
Visual Effectiveness
uses layout, screen design, color and other graphical elements effectively
Usability
information that is efficient - it allows people to perform the task or retrieve the information they need as quickly and as easliy as possible
Relevance
information maintains a focus on the specific audience - the readers, listeners or viewers-who need information, not piles of usless data
Types of Technical Communication
Manuals
Procedures
Instructions
Quick refernce cards
Reports
Proposals
Memos
Email
Manuals
may include information on how to use a product, along with background information, such as technical specifications or lists of materials
Procedures
explain how to perform a task or how a particlular process happens
Instructions
very specific, systematic lists of the actual steps involved in using a product or performing a procedure
Quick Reference card
for tasks that users perform on a limited basis, a short summary of comands
Reports
Focus on a specific problem, issue or topoc. May recommend a course of action or analyze a particular technology or situation.
Proposals
Specific recomendations and propose solutions to technical problems. Purpose is to persuade readers to improve conditions, accept a service or product, or otherwise support a plan of action.
Memos
Brief, vital form of communitcaion. Purpose: to inform, to persuade, to document or to encorage discussion.
Email
electronic form of a memo
Teamworks - Tips for Managing a Team Project
Appoint a group manager.
Define a clear and definite goal.
Identify the type of document required.
Divide the tasks.
Establish a timetable.
Decide on a meeting schedule and format.
Establish a procedure for responding to the work of other members.
Develop a file-naming system for various dafts.
Establish procedures for dealing with interpersonal problems.
Select a group decision-making style.
Appoint a different "observer" for each meeting.
Decide how to evalute each member's contribution.
Prepare a project management plan.
Submit regular progress reports.
Discourse Community
"a group of people who share certian language using practices" any groups that share ways of communicating in terms of established routines, writing formats, ect.
Types of Discourse Communities
medical researchers, technical communicator, lawyers, physicians, etc
Audience Needs
"user centered" writings - first concern is to provide information the audience needs
Specific Purposes for Writing
To Persuade or To Inform
Analyzing Your Audience
Who will be reading, listening to or using this material?
What special characterstics do they have?
Which discourse community or communites do they belong to?
What are their backgroung and attitude toward the subject?
Basic Audience Analysis
Learn as much as possible about the lanaguage and social dynamics of the community you are writing for.
Primary Audience
targeted group for the which the info is intended
Secondary Audience
people more distant from the writer who need to stay aware of developments in the organization but who will not directly act on or respond to the document
Analyzing the Communication Purpose
Why is this communication important?
Why is it needed?
What will users do with the information?
Do the users share common membership in a specific discourse community?
Analyzing Communication Context
What are the organizational settings in which the document will be used?
Are there other legal issues to consider?
How much time do people at this company or with this job title have available to to perform the task?
Are the readers of this document associated with a larger community of professionals, and if so, what professional values might they bring to the situation?
Are the audience members from one culture only, or is this information directed at a cross-cultural audience?
Audience-Purpose Interview
Consider the following:
Levels of technical understanding.
International issues.
Workplace culture or hierarchy.
Gender.
Mixed Audiences
Understanding your Audience
Corporate style guides.
User preference documents.
Marketing surveys and focus groups.
Word Choice.
Examples.
Document format.
Length.
Document Genre. (peruade or inform?)
Information you will include - interesting and useful
Typical Audiences and Purposes for technical communication
Scientists
Engineers
Executives
Managers
Lawyers
The public
Style
your choice of words, phrases, clauses and sentences and how you connect these sentences - a way of expressing something (in language or art or music etc.) that is characteristic of a particular person or group of people or period
Style Guide
aggreed upon convetions for format, punctuation, spelling, grammer, illustration, design, and tone. "A document created to identify the spelling, layout and common grammatical issues within an organization."
Stylistics
an aspect of literary study that emphasizes the analysis of various elements of style (as metaphor of style)
Old Paradigm for Technical Prose
Technical writing should be objective (neutral), good technical writing should be impersonal, clinical, functional-anything but styllish.
New Paradigm for Technical Prose
writing not objective but persuasive and fundamentally rhetorical.
Rhetoric
the art of speaking and writing effectively
sub-rhetoric
words used deliberately to deceive people or to obscure issues
more rhetoric
language is used for sincere, not deceptive selling of a cause
Rhetoric B
language used in value disputes where the agenda calls for an open minded discussion of the issues but where you and I know all people have their own private visions to promote
Rhetoric A
words used for true inquiry- no hidden agendas, no predetermined point of view; it is the search for answers in honest pursuit of discovering and appraising our values and views.
CBS Therory
Clarity, Brevity and Sincerity
Aristotle defines Rhetoric
the faculty of observing in any given case the available means of persasion
Ethos
generally to the writers personal character and credibility
Logos
refers to the data and information provided to appeal logically to an audience
Pathos
refers to the emotional appeal a writer uses to move their audience