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Technical Writing Introduction

Successfully conveying complicated content to end users — both internal and external — is vital and can greatly enhance the value of products and services. This training course provides a complete process for planning, writing, and editing technical documents, including assessing the needs of users, selecting document formats, and making effective use of graphics.

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Learning Objectives

You Will Learn How To

  • Write effective technical documents, manuals, and white papers
  • Assess your audience and develop documents to meet their needs
  • Build effective sentences and sections that explain information clearly
  • Employ diagrams, tables, charts, and other graphical tools effectively
  • Create informative content that your readers will understand and use

Course Content

Course Outline

Introduction to Technical Writing

  • Benefits of effectively communicating technical information
  • Dealing with common writing problems

The Writing Process

Getting ready to write

  • Eliminating misconceptions that stall technical writing
  • Driving your document design with scenarios
  • Focusing on a document's purposes

Assessing your audience

  • Identifying your purpose and the reader's purpose
  • What the audience brings to the table

Covering the knowledge domain

  • Exposing tacit knowledge
  • Knowing when you've "covered it all"
  • Organising using the audience's scenarios

Ensuring Clarity and Readability

Writing technically

  • Discriminating between the three levels of information
  • Determining information needs with the OODA loop

Architecting sentences that communicate

  • Creating sentences with clarity
  • Building clarity through sentence focus
  • Solving common grammar problems in technical writing

Managing style in technical writing

  • Evaluating readability using the Given/New technique
  • Ensuring consistency with a style guide
  • Eliminating reader recycling

The Mechanics of Writing

Working with words

  • Selecting the right words
  • Editing for concision

Editing for quality

  • Knowing when and what to edit
  • The editing triage
  • Editing throughout the document process
  • Two strategies for rewriting

Structuring Information for Understanding

Leveraging and formatting tables and lists

  • Organising data to support readers' scenarios
  • Determining when to use a list
  • Exploiting tables for highly structured data

Maintaining document structure

  • Building cohesive documents with Given/New
  • Applying useful headings to support skimming

Methods of development

  • Problems-methods-results
  • Effect and cause
  • Order of importance

Designing Your Document

Audience-driven document design

  • Relating document structure to the audience
  • Recognising the varieties of user manuals
  • Developing reference manuals and white papers

Determining the document types

  • Post-positive vs. pragmatic documents
  • Implementing the right document format

Building documents

  • Tutorials and standard operating procedures
  • Designing two styles of tutorials
  • Structuring sentences and sections
  • Handling introductions and conclusions

Prototyping the document

  • Testing for success
  • Levels of prototypes

Developing the Look of Your Document

Designing the appearance of your page

  • The technical document reading process
  • Fonts
  • White space
  • Alignment

Conveying information with graphics

  • Chunking the document
  • Employing photos, drawings and graphs
  • Focusing graphics

Exams & Certification

This course is approved by PMI® for 23 professional development units (PDUs). For more on the Project Management Institute and a full list of courses approved for PDUs.

  Technical : 22 PDUs
  Business & Strategic : 1 PDUs

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