Table of Content
 

Planning to Write

The Quest

Technical Writing Theorems

Technical Writing Can Be Creative

The Value of Technical Communication to You

Comparing Technical Writing to Engineering and Science

Summary

Audience

General Considerations

Experience and Expertise

Breadth of Audience

Native Language

Audience Motivation

Medium and the Message

Becoming the Audience

Summary of Audience

 

Documentation Plans

Document Specifications (Doc Specs)

Doc Specs: Sample

Documentation Project Plans

Writing: General Principles

Words

Consistency

Verbs

Adjectives

Adverb

Nouns

Pronouns: He, She, and They

Pronouns: You

Pronouns: It and They

Fluffy Phrases

Commonly Confused Words

Sentences

Active Voice and Passive Voice

Active Voice Is Better

When Is Passive Voice Okay?

Short= Sweet

Causes of Long Sentences

One Sentence = One Thought

Parenthetical Clauses

Paragraphs and Sections

Sentence Transitions

Section transitions

Paragraph Length

Paragraph Transitions

Sections

Summary of Paragraphs and Sections

Lists

Introduction to Lists

In-Sentence Lists

Bulleted List

Elements in Bulleted Lists

The Length of Each Element

Numbered Lists Directions

Directions

Parallel Lists

Tables

Principles of using Tables:

Column & Row Headers

Units of Measure

Arrangement of Columns and Rows

Parallelism in Tables

Amounts of Text in Cells

Rules

Coloring

Shading

Captions

Know-how!

Graphics

Time Series

Extra Detail in Online Graphics

Before and After

Callouts versus Embedded Text

Graphics That Orient Readers

Screenshots

Color Blindness

Block Diagrams

Text That Supplements Figures

Technical Photography

Line Art Enhances Technical Photographs

Big Picture First, Then Details

Layout: Controlling Focus

Layout: Keeping Eyes on the Page

Layout: White Space

Professional Secrets

Explanations of Formula- Based Rules

Examples

Examples By Metaphor

Examples for Programming Documentation

Questions-and-Answer Format Example

In Other Words

Tone

Pace

Footnotes and Other Digressions

Beyond the Obvious

Precision Descriptions

The Hardest Part of Writing

Writing: Specific Kinds of Documents

Manuals

Manual Style: Cookbooks

Cookbook Example: Installing the Carambola Server

Manual Style: Tutorials

Tutorial Example: Getting Started with HTML

Manual Style Guides

Guide Example: Creating HTML Headers

Manual Style: Reference Manuals

Reference Example: The Pr1me Utility

Manual Style: Nonverbal Manuals

Online Help: Overview

Online Help Examples

Release Notes

Release Note Example: Carabola Web Server Version 3.7

Web Sites

Plans

Home Page: Specify Purpose and Audience

Home Pages: Engage the Reader’s Imagination

Home Pages: Set the Tone

Page Templates

Navigators and Search Boxes

Hyperlinks in Body Text

Secondary Pages

Text in Web Sites

PDF versus HTML

Proposals

The Proposal before the Proposal

Adherence to the Proposal Template

Proposal Element

Proposal Element: Cover Letters

Proposal Element: Abstracts

Proposal Element: Contingency Plans

Types of Proposals

Proposals for Revolutionary Ideas

Research Proposals

Research Proposals: Significance Statements

Research Proposals: Objectives and Hypotheses

Research Proposal: Design and Methods

Book Proposals

Book Proposal: Example Marking Section

Business Plans

Internal Planning Documents

Business Proposals

Business Proposal: Example

High-Level Technical Specs

High-Level Technical Spec Example

Lab Reports

Title Page

Abstract

Introduction

Materials

Experimental Procedure

Results

PowerPoint Presentations

Organizing a Presentation: The Big Picture

The Number of Slides

The Opening Moments of a Presentation

Introductory Slides: The Traditional Approach

Mechanics: Fonts and Backgrounds

Audience: The Theory of Relativity

Graphics

The Complicity of a Graphic

Different Kinds of Learners

PowerPoint Speech: Overcoming Fear

E-Mail

The Essence of the E-Mail Problem

Guidelines for writing E-mails

Before Hitting the Send Button

After the First Miscommunication

Editing and Producing Documents

Editing: What Is It Really?

Technical Editing Peer’s Work

Copyediting a Colleague’s Document

Media for Technical Editing

Technical Editor’s Role and Responsibilities

Bug-Tracking Systems

Fonts and Typography

Font

Serif and Sans- Serif Fonts

Serif and Sans-Serif in Soft Copy

Consistency and Convention

True- Type versus Post Script Fonts

Punctuation

Commas

Colons

Semicolons (;)

Dashes and Hyphens

Hyphens

Periods

Quotation Marks (“”)

Apostrophe (‘’)

 

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