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CANKAYA UNIVERSITY -FOREIGN LANGUAGES UNIT-. CHAPTER III FOR RTW405 COURSE. CHAPTER III. PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING. OUTLINE Phase 1. Conducting A Situational Analysis Phase 2. Gathering Information Phase 3. Planning & Arranging Phase 4. Writing & Revising.

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chapter iii
CHAPTER III

PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

  • OUTLINE
  • Phase 1. Conducting A Situational Analysis
  • Phase 2. Gathering Information
  • Phase 3. Planning & Arranging
  • Phase 4. Writing & Revising
process of technical writing
PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 1. Conducting A Situational Analysis

Audience: readers of your document: you must understand their abilities, needs, characteristics, and expectations.

Role: perspective you take toward the information and the audience.

Are you an instructor informing your readers or a student showing your mastery of a subject to your professor?

Or you may be a design engineer explaining the rationale behind your plans to a budget committee that will fund additional work on the project.

process of technical writing1
PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 1. Conducting A Situational Analysis

Purpose: this includes both your purpose as a writer and that of your readers.

Why are you presenting the information and why are they reading?

Subject matter: is analyzed in terms of scope and complexity. What are the most important parts of the topic?-both to you and your audience.

Constraints: include many elements, such as budget, schedule, resources, and format.

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 1. Conducting A Situational Analysis

    • 1.1. Audience:
  • Who will be reading the document?
  • Will they be business executives, nurses, your boss, co-workers, and a budget committee of laypersons, hobbyists, students, children, homemakers, or maintenance personnel?
  • What is the audience’s level of expertise?
  • Are your readers as experienced as you, or are they unskilled trainees? Perhaps, they are highly educated theorists or accomplished technicians.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 1. Conducting A Situational Analysis

Why do they need the information in your document?

Is your document simply providing information for their consideration, or will they be acting on the points you arise? They might be allocating funds, building a machine, rejecting a proposal, or implementing a program.

Which points are most important to them?

Are your readers most interested in the cost of implementing your recommendations? Are your methods of greatest concern to them? Do they need to learn how to operate the machinery you are describing, or will they be fixing it instead?

process of technical writing4
PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 1. Conducting A Situational Analysis

Other audience characteristics to consider include:

Age, hobbies, income, concerns, gender, education,

occupation, location, interests, social status,

responsibilities, political affiliation, opportunities..

The information you derive from this analysis offers you an insight into choosing such elements as vocabulary, sentence structure, graphic aids, and format.

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 1. Conducting A Situational Analysis

    • 1.2. Role:
  • Your role as a writer is a subset of your total self. As a writer of technical document, you may play the role of a scientist, analyst, researcher, critic, engineer, or advocate.
  • To decide the appropriateness of your role, you should rely on the readers’ expectations of you. If it requires an analyst, you should be an analyst; if it requires a consultant, you should be one.
  • Establishing an appropriate role is crucial because it affects the vocabulary, tone, level of detail, order of information, choice of visuals, and so forth.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 1. Conducting A Situational Analysis

    • 1.3. Purpose:
  • The overall purpose of technical writing is to communicate skills, information, and experience.
  • However, it is accompanied by immediate purposes, such as allocation of budget, implementation of a nutrition program, or installation of a new software program.
  • You may write about the same topic with different purposes. For example, in one document you aim at explaining the installation process of a greenhouse whereas you provide the reader with evidence that is the best alternative to grow vegetables in another document. In the first one, the audience needs to learn about the materials, dimensions, order of steps, etc. On the other hand, in the second one, they need some scientific information and samples.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 1. Conducting A Situational Analysis

    • 1.3. Purpose:
  • You may write about the same topic with different purposes. For example, in one document you aim at explaining the installation process of a greenhouse whereas you provide the reader with evidence that is the best alternative to grow vegetables in another document. In the first one, the audience needs to learn about the materials, dimensions, order of steps, etc. On the other hand, in the second one, they need some scientific information and samples.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 1. Conducting A Situational Analysis

    • 1.3. Purpose:
  • In order to state your purpose clearly, you should develop a complete statement of purpose that includes both sets of objectives as part of your situational analysis.
  • Look at the following statements:
  • Example:
  • I will compare the price and performance features of the 2012 Volkswagen Polo 1.4 to that of the Opel Corsa Enjoy 1.4 so that my readers canchoose the car that best suits their needs.
  • I will describe the methods and materials I used in my experiment so that my instructor can evaluate my performance in recent lab sessions.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 1. Conducting A Situational Analysis

    • 1.4. Subject Matter
  • Say you have to write a lab report on and the subject matter will be the experiments you have conducted. Perhaps the overall subject will be acid rain, recombinant DNA, 4th-generation computer languages, or chimpanzees.
  • Subject matter is delicately balanced on these interrelated factors:
  • The level of detail
  • The order of information
  • The examples provided – all of these aspects of subject are shaped by the analysis of these factors.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 1. Conducting A Situational Analysis

    • 1.4. Subject Matter
  • Imagine that you must go to your parents to discuss the problem and to ask for help (even though you know it would be a burden). In this case your audience is your parents, you role is son or daughter, and your purpose is to gain financial help from them. Assuming that you would not be deceitful in any of these dealings, consider the differences that would probably exist if you were discussing the same subject with each of the other two combinations of audience, role, and purpose cited below:
  • Audience Role Purpose
  • Bank loan officer applicant borrow money
  • Your best friend friend enlist sympathy
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 1. Conducting A Situational Analysis

    • 1.5. Recognizing Constraints
  • A constraint is a limitation or prescribed method that affects a writing situation. These elements include:
  • Format specifications
  • Schedule
  • Budget
  • Availability of information
  • Human resources and abilities
  • Production and distribution capabilities
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 1. Conducting A Situational Analysis

    • 1.5. Recognizing Constraints
  • 1.5.1. Format Specifications
  • Not all technical writing is produced in a prescribed format, but many companies, government agencies; universities establish their own guidelines for preparing documents. When you need to write in a certain format, consider
  • all the headings you must provide,
  • the order of information within those categories,
  • the kind of graphics you can incorporate, and
  • the emphasis given to each section of document.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 1. Conducting A Situational Analysis

    • 1.5. Recognizing Constraints
  • 1.5.2. Schedule
  • Since the technical writing process unfolds in several stages, it is not necessary to do everything in one block of time. This is more important in complex writing situations.
  • As part of your situational analysis, list the many activities that must be planned before you write. These may include:
  • Situational analysis
  • Clarification of requirements
  • Research
  • Compilation of data
  • Initial writing
  • Review cycle
  • Revision cycle
  • Approval process
  • Production
  • Distribution
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 1. Conducting A Situational Analysis

    • 1.5. Recognizing Constraints
  • 1.5.3. Budget
  • During the situational analysis you should consider several means of producing the final documents at various prices.
  • Bid proposals are printed professionally and bound in a cover that carries your firm’s logo; brochures for products often justify the use of expensive photography and glossy paper; manuals may be printed by an outside vendor.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 1. Conducting A Situational Analysis

    • 1.5. Recognizing Constraints
  • 1.5.4. Availability of Information
  • Very often only a single person (a “guru”) knows the facts about a forthcoming design. Usually key reports are available only to those with certain security clearances. Some information may be filed in a government document depository 50 miles away. All such factors affect your writing.
  • Also, the lack of sufficient writing resources is key problem in business and industry. You need to design work, research, and write reports in your field.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 2. Gathering Information

Research, the act of gathering information, is the second step if technical writing process.

Most writing projects require some degree of research;

whether you are confirming information you already have or are learning new material.

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

2. Phase :Gathering Information

      • 2.1.1. Conducting Primary Research
  • A good report is based on solid, accurate, verifiable facts. Primary research, the process of creating and discovering information, can take various forms, such as interviewing, surveying, experimenting, taking notes at meetings, and recording personal experiences.
  • Typical sources of factual information for reports include:
  • interviews
  • observation & experimentation
  • surveys, questionnaires, and inventories
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

2. Phase 2. Gathering Information

      • 2.1.1. Conducting Primary Research
  • Interviews:
  • Technical writing may require you to interview with experts in the field. Talking with individuals directly concerned with the problem produces excellent firsthand information. For example, if you are researching whether your company should install wireless technology, you could interview an expert in wireless technology about the pros and cons. Interviews are usually conducted in person, because much information is conveyed through nonverbal means such as facial expressions, hand gestures, and posture. Interviews also allow for one-on-one communication, thus giving you an opportunity to explain your questions and ideas to elicit the most accurate information. However, it is possible to conduct an interview over the phone or even by mail.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

2. Phase 2. Gathering Information

      • 2.1.1. Conducting Primary Research
  • Observation and experimentation
  • Some kinds of primary data can be obtained only through firsthand observation and experimentation. If you determine that the questions you have require observational data, then you need to plan the observations carefully. One of the most important questions to ask is what or whom you are observing and how often those observations are necessary to provide reliable data. For example, if you want to learn more about an organization’s customer-service phone service, you probably need to use observation techniques, along with interviews and perhaps even surveys.
  • You will want to answer questions such as, How long does a typical caller wait before acustomer-service rep answers the call? and Is the service consistent?
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

2. Phase 2. Gathering Information

      • 2.1.1. Conducting Primary Research
  • Observation produces rich data, but that information is especially prone to charges of subjectivity. One can interpret an observation in many ways. Thus, to make observations more objective, try to quantify them.
  • For example, record customer telephone wait-time for 60-minute periods at different times throughout a week. This will give you a better picture than just observing for an hour on a Friday before a holiday. If you were writing a report on the need for a comprehensive policy on the use of digital media, you might observe how employees are using e-mail and the Web for personal errands or whether they spread potentially damaging company information in their blogs.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

2. Phase 2. Gathering Information

      • 2.1.1. Conducting Primary Research
  • Experimentation produces data suggesting causes and effects. Informal experimentation might be as simple as a pretest and posttest in a college course. Did students expand their knowledge as a result of the course? More formal experimentation is undertaken by scientists and professional researchers who control variables to test their effects.
  • Assume, for example, that the Hershey Company wants to test the hypothesis (which is a tentative assumption) that chocolate lifts people out of the doldrums. An experiment testing the hypothesis would separate depressed individuals into two groups: those who ate chocolate (the experimental group) and those who did not (the control group). What effect did chocolate have? Such experiments aren’t done haphazardly, however. Valid experiments require sophisticated research designs and careful attention to matching the experimental and control groups.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

2. Phase 2. Gathering Information

      • 2.1.1. Conducting Primary Research
  • Surveys, Questionnaires, and Inventories:
  • Surveys collect data from groups of people. For example, if you were part of a committee investigating the success of an employee carpooling program, you might begin by using a questionnaire. When companies develop new products, for example, they often survey consumers to learn their needs. The advantages of surveys are that they gather data economically and efficiently. Surveys can be mailed to participants, or they can be administered online. Both mailed and online surveys reach big groups nearby or at great distances. Moreover, people responding to mailed and online surveys have time to consider their answers, thus improving the accuracy of the data.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

2. Phase 2. Gathering Information

      • 2.1.2. Conducting Secondary Research
  • Secondary data are easier and cheaper to develop than primary data, which might involve interviewing large groups or sending out questionnaires. Moreover, secondary data is where nearly every research project should begin because, very often, something has already been written about your topic. Reviewing secondary sources can save time and effort and prevent you from “reinventing the wheel.” Most secondary material is available either in print or electronically.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

2. Phase 2. Gathering Information

      • 2.1.2. Conducting Secondary Research
  • Printed Materials: Although we have observed a steady movement away from print to electronic data, print sources are still the most visible part of most libraries. Much information is available only in print. Print sources include books, newspapers and periodicals, such as magazines and journals.
  • Books: Even though they quickly outdate, books provide excellent historical, in-depth data on a large variety of subjects. They can be located through print catalogs or online catalogs. Most automated systems today enable you to learn not only whether a book is in the library but also whether it is currently available. Therefore, it is much easier to search for a book now.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

2. Phase 2. Gathering Information

      • 2.1.2. Conducting Secondary Research
  • Periodicals. Magazines, pamphlets, and journals are called periodicals because of their recurrent, or periodic, publication. Journals are compilations of scholarly articles. Articles in journals and other periodicals will be extremely useful to you because they are concise, limited in scope, and current, and can supplement information in books.
  • Bibliographic indexes. The Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature is a valuable index of general-interest magazine article titles. It includes such magazines as Time, Newsweek, The New Yorker, and U.S. News & World Report. More useful to business writers, though, will be the titles of articles appearing in business and industrial magazines and newspapers (such as Forbes, Fortune, The Economist,BusinessWeek, Barron’s, and The Wall Street Journal). For an index of these publications, consult the Business Periodicals Index. Most indexes today are available in print, CD-ROM, and Web versions for easy searching.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

2. Phase 2. Gathering Information

      • 2.1.2. Conducting Secondary Research
  • Electronic Resources: An extensive source of current and historical information is available electronically by using a computer to connect to the Web, electronic databases, and other online resources. From a computer you can access storehouses of information provided by the government, newspapers, magazines, nonprofit organizations, and businesses. Business researchers are also using such electronic tools as mailing lists, discussion boards, and blogs to conduct research.
  • Electronic (online) Databases
  • A database is a collection of information stored electronically so that it is accessible by computer and digitally searchable. Databases provide both bibliographic (titles of documents and brief abstracts) as well as full-text documents. Most researchers prefer full-text documents. Various databases contain a rich array of magazine, newspaper, and journal articles, as well as newsletters, business reports, company profiles, government data, reviews, and directories.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

2. Phase 2. Gathering Information

      • 2.1.2. Conducting Secondary Research
  • Electronic (online) Databases

ISI- Emerging Markets -EMIS

ScienceDirect

ASEE (American Society of Engineering Education)

ASTM Standards and Engineering Digital Library

Blackwell Journal Archives

Economist Historical Archive

Elsevier Electronic Books

Global Market Information Database/Passport GMID

LISTA

EBSCO Business Source Premier

Factiva

ABI/Inform

LexisNexis

DOAJ- Directory Of Open Access Journals

ERIC

Humanities International Complete

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

2. Phase 2. Gathering Information

      • 2.1.2. Conducting Secondary Research
  • The Web
  • The best-known area of the Internet is the World Wide Web. It includes an enormous collection of Web sites around the world. With trillions of pages of information available on the Web, chances are that if you have a question, an answer exists online. The Web is unquestionably one of the greatest sources of information available to anyone who needs simple facts quickly and inexpensively. Web offerings include online databases, magazines, newspapers, library resources, sound and video files, and many other information resources. You can expect to find such items as product and service facts, public relations material, mission statements, staff directories, press releases, current company news, government information, selected article reprints, collaborative scientific project reports, stock research, financial information, and employment information. The Web is indeed a vast network of resources at your fingertips
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

2. Phase 2. Gathering Information

      • 2.1.2. Conducting Secondary Research
  • The Web
  • Even though, the Web is easy to use and cheap, it has some disadvantages, as well:
  • Finding relevant, credible information can be frustrating and time consuming. The constantly changing contents of the Web and its lack of organization irritate the researchers.
  • Content isn’t always reliable. Anyone posting a Web site is a publisher without any quality control or guarantee.
  • The problem of gathering information is complicated by the fact that the total number of Web sites recently surpassed 100 million, growing at a rate of about 4 million new addresses each month.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

2. Phase 2. Gathering Information

      • 2.1.2. Conducting Secondary Research
  • Company Records:
  • Many business reports begin with an analysis of company records and files. From these records you can observe past performance and methods used to solve previous problems. You can collect pertinent facts that will help determine a course of action.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 3. Planning & Arranging

  • After collecting your facts, you need coherent plan for presenting them. Many organizational patterns are available in parallelism with the purpose of the report and the materials collected:
  • chronological,
  • geographical,
  • alphabetical,
  • sequential,
  • topical,
  • Problem-solution
  • and so forth
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 3. Planning & Arranging

1. Chronological order. :

Information sequenced along a time frame is arranged chronologically.

This plan is effective for presenting historical data or for describing a procedure.

are usually organized by time.

A description of the development of a multinational company, for example, would be chronological.

Often topics are arranged in a past-to-present or present-to past sequence.

minutes of meetings,

progress reports, and

procedures

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 3. Planning & Arranging

2. Geographical or spatial arrangement:

Information arranged geographically or spatially is organized by physical location.

For instance, a report analyzing a company’s national sales might be divided into sections representing geographical areas such as the East, South, Midwest, West, and Northwest.

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 3. Planning & Arranging

3. Topical or functional arrangement:

Some subjects lend themselves to arrangement by topic or function.

A report analyzing changes in the management hierarchy of an organization might be arranged in this manner. First, the report would consider the duties of the CEO followed by the functions of the general manager, business manager, marketing manager, and so forth.

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 3 . Planning & Arranging

4. Order of increasing difficulty

Computer manuals often start with the easiest material and move on to more complex operations or functions

5. Sequential order

The installation of equipment must be done in a certain order, and the instructions must be presented in this certain order.

6. Alphabetical order

A booklet on vitamins (A, B, B1,) is usually arranged in this way, or this is logical to use for the directory of company employees

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 3 . Planning & Arranging

7. Problem-Solution

This format begins with the statement of the problem and ends with the solution applied. Case histories, proposals and user success stories are written in this format.

8. Inverted pyramid

Newspaper style of news reporting: summary of the story is given in the leading paragraph, then, the events are presented in order of decreasing importance in the following paragraphs. Applicable for journal articles, letters, memos, reports.

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 3 . Planning & Arranging

9. Deductive order

Starting with a generalization, & supporting it with facts, research results, etc. later. Scientists use this format in research papers that begin with the findings and move on with the supports.

10. Inductive order

Starting with one or more examples or stories, then, lead the reader to the main conclusion or principle. Useful approach in trade-journal feature stories.

11. List

Divide your discussion into a series of distinct points, & separate the points using subheads, bullets, or numbers. Present the points on order of priority.

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

Writing begins with your thesis. Although the thesis is not always a proposition or argument in technical writing, a specific message usually takes precedence over all others in the document.

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

In the case of a status (progress) report, for instance, the focal point might be simply that all the projects are on schedule and are progressing according to the plan.

In the case of a proposal, your main point might be that the contract should be awarded to your firm because it is best equipped to handle the complex job.

A user’s manual might convey the primary message that “using IBM PC XT can help you increase productivity”, whereas the mechanism description may point out the many ways in which the Honeywell DPS 88 computer system is fault-tolerant.

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

Guideline 1.Develop Topic Sentences for Paragraphs

The outline you have developed is the ideal platform from which to launch your writing activity.

As you develop the outline, you consider your primary message (thesis / purpose statement) and arrange supporting information in ways that would meet the needs of your audience.

From that outline, you can develop skeletal paragraphs as you continue writing.

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

Guideline 2. Develop Support for Topic Sentences

A paragraph is a distinct portion of a document dealing with a particular, single idea.

An individual paragraph should not cover more than one topic. The supporting sentences you create should be linked to the topic sentence.

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

Guideline 2. Develop Support for Topic Sentences

Working from the outline and topic sentences you create, you can develop supporting sentences in several ways:

By answering the implied question “Why is this true?” and supplying your answers as a support

By recognizing the whole-to-parts relationship between bits of information and making those connections clear to reader

By moving from general statement in the topics sentence to successively more specific points in the body of the paragraph

By recognizing a chronological or sequential pattern ( working forward or backward from the topic sentence)

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

Guideline 3. Select appropriate sentence structure

Each of four basic sentence structures shows their strengths and effects. Once you are aware of the impact of each type of sentence, you can select the best structure for your message.

The sentence types are appropriate:

Simple sentence: when your reader needs to concentrate on a single, unelaborated point.

Compound sentence: used to demonstrate a dynamic equality between two or more ideas.

Complex sentence: -the most common structure- to demonstrate a dependent relationship of one idea to another

Compound-complex sentence: useful for balancing two complex ideas.

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

  • Guideline 3. Select appropriate sentence structure
  • Simple sentence: when your reader needs to concentrate on a single, unelaborated point.
  • To determine if a simple sentence is best, ask these questions:
  • Does the reader need to concentrate on a single, unelaborated idea?
  • Should the idea be the focal point of the paragraph?
  • Is an arresting beginning required for the paragraph in order to catch the reader’s eye?
  • Will rhythmic alternation of sentence patterns help drive home information?
  • Is the subject sufficiently complex to be broken into smaller, more manageable units?
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

  • Guideline 3. Select appropriate sentence structure
  • 2. Compound sentence: used to demonstrate a dynamic equality between two or more ideas.
  • To determine if a compound sentence is best, you need to ask only one question:
  • Should a dynamic relationship of equality, sequence, or tension between two or more ideas be stressed?
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

  • Guideline 3. Select appropriate sentence structure
  • 3. Complex sentence: -the most common structure- to demonstrate a dependent relationship of one idea to another
  • To determine the effectiveness of a complex sentence in a situation, you should ask these questions
  • Will information be clarified if ideas are combined?
  • Do natural or logical relationships exist between two or more ideas that are important to readers?
  • Will the message be more concise if such relationships are pinpointed?
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

Guideline 3. Select appropriate sentence structure

Compare the effectiveness of these two samples:

Zeolites make extra gasoline yield possible. Some countries depend on extra gasoline yield in order to survive oil shortages

Some countries survive oil shortages because of the extra gasoline yield that zeolites make possible.

While writing complex sentences, be sure to place the more important information in the independent portion of the sentence.

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

  • Guideline 4. Select appropriate language
  • After revising the sentence structure, you can concentrate on words and phrases within the sentences. A common problem is wordiness. To avoid this, you may identify these by circling them:
  • Repetition: the use of same words or phrases several times in a single passage
  • Prepositional phrases: used to indicate such relationships between a subject and an object, such as “after, at, before, by, from, in, of, to, with”.
  • Relative clauses: complete ideas that modify another part of the sentence, beginning with “that, which, who, whom”
  • Expletives: words acting as fillers that add no meaning to the sentence, such as “there is, there are”.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

Guideline 4. Select appropriate words

To improve word choice in your draft, you may identify the following elements by circling them:

Noun phrases: groups of words that function collectively as nouns ( all those participating = participants ; individuals being trained = trainees)

Modifiers: words, phrases, or clauses that describe another part of the sentence (the temperature dropped extremely fast)

Passive constructions

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

Guideline 4. Select appropriate words

Jargon: technical terminology, generally understood only by those schooled in a specific discipline ( end-user computer, biomimetics, debug, embolism, vascularization)

Highly connotative words and phrases: emotionally charged, judgmental, or manipulative language rather than objective language (fluff = extraneous material , despicable methods = suspect methods)

Generalities: vague, nondescriptive language that can cause confusion (thing, seemed, something)

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

Guideline 5. Check the logic and completeness

Each paragraph of your draft should prepare the way for the next paragraph; it should create the context for understanding what follows. Likewise, sentences in each paragraph should unfold logically. And each point you bring up should be discussed thoroughly enough for your readers.

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

Guideline 5. Check the logic and completeness

To achieve completeness, relationships between the ideas – sentences- should be clear. This relationship is provided mostly by transitional words or phrases that move the reader from point to point. Another method to use is integrating certain indicators of relationship into sentences. They help the reader follow the development of ideas.

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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

  • Guideline 5. Check the logic and completeness
  • You can employ following techniques:
  • Repeat a key word or idea
  • Use synonym of the keywordUse an antonym of the keyword
  • Use words that are commonly paired
  • Use a pronoun ( with clear reference to the noun it replaces)
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

  • Guideline 6. Check the mechanics
  • You must be certain that your draft is correct in spelling, punctuation, and grammar. You can check the most common grammar mistakes:
  • Subjects and verbs do not agree
  • Nouns and pronouns do not agree in number and gender
  • Verb tense shifts. ( if you are using past tense, you must maintain it throughout the document)
  • Voice shifts without reason form passive to active and back again
  • Modifiers ( adjectives, adverbs, and relative clauses) are nor places as close as possible to the part of sentence they describe
  • Sentence fragments occur
  • A comma is used when a conjunction, semicolon, or period is appropriate
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

  • Guideline 6. Check the mechanics
  • You must adhere to format specifications concerning
  • length,
  • order,
  • use of headings,
  • indentation,
  • pagination,
  • type requirements,
  • content,
  • style,
  • dimensions,
  • margins,
  • captions,
  • fonts,
  • figures, and tables.
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PROCESS OF TECHNICAL WRITING

Phase 4. Writing & Revising

The Review Cycle

After writing the draft, you circulate it among your colleagues, technical experts, or supervisors to ensure its accuracy and completeness. Because reading your document is a legitimate part of their job, and because it is their responsibility to ensure your accuracy, these reviewers pay attention to every word.

If you have gathered enough information, planned its exposition, and revised your draft into a clear document, you will take pleasure in this experience. Your document will come back to you with remarks like “Excellent job, see my notes on page 15” or “Okay as written” .

In the worst case, your reviewers tell you about the problem and suggest changes. Then, it is your responsibility to evaluate and implement them as soon as possible. If necessary, you send your document to a second technical review to ensure that the changes you have made are satisfactory. Then, you can submit it for approval to the proper authority.