Technical Writing and Communication (ELE013)

Semester: 
Spring

Technical communication is a challenging and rewarding career, which can be practiced within any knowledge area. In 2006, Money Magazine rated Technical Writer as the 13th best job in the US, rated on salary, job prospects, flexibility, creativity, difficulty and stress level (money.cnn.com). Demand for skilled technical writers continues to grow in fields such as health, finance, manufacturing, IT and government. Anybody whose job involves technical writing, or who intends moving into this area, will benefit from attending this course.

The course begins by examining the roles and responsibilities of technical writers within organizations. A general framework for technical writing is then constructed, based on the elements of audience analysis, purpose identification, document structure, content and style. Students use this framework to analyze and produce a variety of technical communications, each with a specific audience and purpose in mind. This provides a flexible approach to writing which is easily accommodated within an organization's existing documentation standards. Later seminars address a number of technical, legal and social issues relating to document production and management within a business environment, such as version control, copyright, and writing for translation.

Although the course is not intended to teach English grammar or spelling, common language problems are identified and writing style is improved. In technical writing, how you write is as important as what you write. Collaborative work ensures that delegates are exposed to different styles and points of view, while individual assignments are used to strengthen delegates’ analytical and writing skills. The final project integrates theoretical knowledge and practical skills, and can become a significant component of a delegate’s portfolio.

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