Technical Writing

Part 1: Communicating in the Workplace
Chapter 1: Introduction to Technical Communication
Chapter 2: Meeting the Needs of Specific Audiences
Chapter 3: Persuading your Audience
Chapter 4: Weighing the Ethical Issues
Chapter 5: Teamwork & Global Considerations
Chapter 6: An Overview of the Technical Writing Process

Module 1 Assignment

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Write a memo to your boss, justifying reimbursement for this course. Explain how the course will help you become more effective on the job. The memo should be one page in length. See Chapter 15 for memo elements and format. (Figure 15.1, 15.2, and 15.3)
Find a short article from your future career field (or part of a long article or a selection from your textbook for an advanced course). Choose a piece written at the highest level of technicality you can understand and then translate that piece for a layperson, as in the example on page 23. (See figure 2.5 on page 22 for an example of a nontechnical report.)
Assume that a new employee is taking over your job because you have been promoted. Identify a specific problem in the job that could cause difficulty for the new employee. Assume that you will need to write instructions for the employee to help him or her avoid or cope with the problem. Create an audience and use the profile based on Figure 2.7 (page 30). Use the page 28 case as a model for your responses. Read more at,

Locate a Web site or Facebook page that accommodates various readers at different levels of technicality. Sites for government agencies such as those listed below are good sources of both general and specialized information. Ex:
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)
National Institutes of Health (NH)
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
Examine one of these sites and find an example of (a) material aimed at a general audience, and (b) material on the same topic aimed at a specialized or expert audience. First, list the specific features that enabled you to identify each piece’s level of technicality. Next, using the Audience and Use Profile Sheet (page 30), record the assumptions about the audience made by the author of the nontechnical version. Finally, evaluate how well that piece addresses a nontechnical reader’s information needs. Your answers should be 1-2 pages in length.

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