Bevelyn MacLise Park
A. Importance of good writing
Costs money: wasted time, paper, printing, legal costs
Tarnishes company’s image
Can costs human lives
Saves company’s money
Burnishes company’s image
What is technical writing?
1. To inform
2. Deals primarily in facts
3. Highly detailed, specific and concrete
4. Demands accuracy to the last decimal
5. Lucid and easy to follow
6. Often voluminous and uses long technical words
7. Uses many tables and illustrations
The writing process:
50% planning and design 25% writing 25% editing and proofing
Decide a purpose
Decide who are the readers
Decide on your resources
Writers are born
Writing is easy
Writing is less important than other work
It takes a big vocabulary to write easily
Have a colleague ask you questions -> write the answers
Start with conclusions
Determine key points
Determine supporting text
Prioritize the text
Use transitions to connect
Develop a writing schedule
Block-out minimum 2 hours of uninterrupted writing
Takes a good knowledge of material
Requires more than one draft
Check the text if clear and accurate
Check if it’s organized logically
Headings are helpful
Graphics included and correctly referenced
Check if language formatting and style standards are followed
Tightening sentences, paragraphs
Do not second guess
Confirm that the document meets project objectives and budget.
Cover the page and just expose only one line at the time
Check tables – one person reads numbers, another one checks them
Read pages out of order
Read the copy backwards
Use spellchecker and grammar checker
Parts of speech ( 8 ):
Noun : name of persons, place, thing or idea
Pronoun : stands for a noun ; 8 kinds of pronouns
Personal: I, you, he…
Relative: who, which, where
Demonstrative: this, that, those
Indefinite: all, some, everyone
Interrogative: who?, where?, when?
Numerical: one, two..
Reflexive: myself, yourself,
Reciprocal: each other
Verb : expresses action, occurrence or existence; 2 kinds: transitive & intransitive
Adjectives : modifies a noun or a pronoun
Articles : indefinite ( a, an), definite (the)
Adverb : modifies a verb, another adverb or adjective
Preposition : shows relationships in sentence (on, above, under..)
Conjunction : connect two parts of a sentence
Coordinating : like, and
Subordinating : but
Interjections : expresses strong feelings and emotions (wow!, oh!..)
1. Oh, and after several attempts they finally succeded. Int conj prep adj noun pronoun adv verb
2. Wow, but I object strongly to computer games. Int conj pronoun adv adv prep adj noun
3. I went to the store to buy Bert lunch. Pron verb prep article noun infinitive noun(proper) noun
4. Westhoff designed the water treatment plant for Noun(proper) verb article adj adj noun prep
Classification of Words
A. Vocabulary or content words – 99%
B. Function or structure words – 1%
Verb: My uncle is building a house.
Noun: It’s a nice building.
Adjective: I’m bringing some building materials.
Verb: I’m living in Calgary.
Noun: I make my living as an engineer.
Adjective: The living conditions are good.
Verb: They up the rent. I will up the ante.
Adverb: I’m going up.
Adjective: The up escalator is around the corner.
Preposition: We went to the store up the street.
Verbal forms can function