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Course Name
Introduction to Technical Writing for Industry

Contact Hours: 30

Course Description
If you want to become a technical writer, or if you have just become a technical writer and wonder what the job and the profession may involve, this course will introduce you to an exciting and rewarding career in technical communication. You’ll learn what tasks you will do, how your work fits into the organization’s process, and where the field is headed. 

Dig in and get right into planning, writing, editing, and testing – the key activities in a technical communicator’s day. Each lesson focuses on a specific area of technical communications and you will receive information, resources, questions and assignments geared towards the specific area.

You can email any questions, thoughts, or concerns you may have at any time. After your writing assignment has been completed and submitted, it will be reviewed and returned with comments. The course is designed to help you become a professional technical communicator so I invite you to ask any questions that occur to you along the way.

Outcome
By the end of this course, you’ll be able to…
  • Identify tasks and job titles in the profession of technical communication.
  • Write and edit step by step instructions.
  • Organize a set of procedures.
  • Articulate the levels of edit.
  • Analyze and edit a document following the recommendations in a style guide.
  • Identify key components of an information plan, and content specification.
  • Analyze an audience.
  • Perform a task analysis.
  • Identify key activities in user-centered design.
  • Perform user testing on a procedure.
  • Identify the key emotional competences for outstanding performance.
  • Define key terms used in technical communication.

Assessment
Your progress will be assessed in several ways:
  • Through instructor evaluation of written work.
  • Through self quizzes.
  • Through instructor comments on your reports of activities that you undertake.
  • In-depth responses from the instructor on your weekly work.
  • A final exam.

Required Book(s)
No textbook is required. All course materials are included in the learning management system that the student will access via username and password.

Outline

Topic 1
  • What is technical communication?
  • Define the field and what it takes to become a professional
  • The ideas of documentation, documents, and design
  • Forces that have shaped our concept of technical communication
Topic 2
  • Visual display
  • Why is visual analysis necessary
  • Using tables and charts to communicate data
  • The Gestalt principles for design

Topic 3
  • Perform a task analysis
  • Testing your documentation for usability
Topic 4
  • Grammatical structure
  • Creating effective documentation
  • Using the correct formatting, styles, templates, and headings
  • Document design
Topic 5
  • Writing for your audience
  • Perform an audience analysis
  • What is user centered design

Topic 6
  • Editing and delivering a quality product
  • Understanding and using various levels of technical editing
  • Create a style guide
  • How can you become a top notch technical communicator