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Technical Writing Training

technical writing course

Writing Made Easy as Pi: Effective Written Communication for Science, Healthcare, and Other Technical Fields

Course Outcomes

This technical writing course will:

  • Show participants graphic options for presenting highly complex information in an easily understood way.
  • Emphasize the need to pick an organizational strategy that best suits the purposes of a document.
  • Provide tips on making complicated information understandable to a variety of readers.

Available Formats

  • Two-Day Course

Course Overview

No matter how brilliant an idea, if it isn't conveyed clearly, its value is never realized. This technical writing training course is designed for scientific, medical, and technical professionals who must produce technical documents as part of their work.

Covering a comprehensive list of topics, this onsite technical writing program will teach participants how to communicate complex information with clarity, conciseness, and force.

Program Objectives

At the program's conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain what distinguishes technical writing tasks from those required in other professions.
  • Identify the purpose for a writing task.
  • State in one sentence what the main idea is in a written text.
  • Understand the connection between audience awareness and a writer's stylistic choices.
  • Select the most appropriate form in which to present information.
  • Transform complex information into readable, understandable prose.
  • Organize information in a logical sequence.
  • Eliminate jargon, redundancy, wordiness, and the passive voice from written texts.
  • Minimize word, sentence, and paragraph length without sacrificing clarity or substance.
  • Understand when and how to use graphics in written texts for maximum effectiveness.

The following outline highlights some of the course's key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Technically Speaking: Defining the Features of Technical Writing
In this introductory discussion, participants will discover the features that set technical writing apart from other kinds of professional writing. Despite the complexity of the subject matter, technical writing, like all writing, should adhere to the basic conventions of standard written English. This introduction will provide a review of what those conventions are and how they should be applied to technical writing tasks.
Put It in Writing: When Written Communication Is the Best Alternative
This unit covers several ways technical information may be disseminated. Following an explanation of these options, participants will determine situations in which writing is the most efficient and productive way to transmit complicated ideas.
Get to the Point: Discovering the Main Idea
At this point in the session, participants will have the opportunity to become decoders as well as creators of main ideas in written texts. After examining several technical writing samples for the purpose of identifying the main idea in each, participants will have the chance to practice the technique of narrowing broad topics into manageable thesis statements. The exercises included at this point in the training are designed to help participants overcome writer's block and discover exactly what point they want to make.
It Takes Two: The Importance of Audience Awareness
With the exception of diary or journal entries, the act of writing is based on the participation of at least two people: the writer and the reader. This component focuses on the vital role audience awareness plays in the choices writers make, especially in terms of word choice, tone, and amount of detail they need to include. Participants will see the necessity for putting themselves in the position of their readers before they begin to draft a technical document. 

Linking the Chain: Arranging Details in Logical Sequence
In this lesson, participants will learn how to organize information that supports the main idea in a written text. By having a clear purpose statement at or near the start of a document, they will have a controlling idea on which to base all subsequent sentences.
Rock, Paper, Scissors? Choosing the Best Format to Convey Information
Although a large amount of writing in technical, scientific, and medical fields is formulaic, there are times when writers must choose how best to present their ideas. In this segment, participants will see the connection between function and form.
Precise Prose: Removing Jargon, Redundancy, Wordiness, and the Passive Voice
This portion of the session is designed to help participants learn to eliminate some of the most distracting features of technical writing. These bad writing habits are barriers to clear dissemination of information and may lead to disastrous outcomes, especially in procedural documents.
Measure Twice, Cut Even More: Knowing When Less Is More
Although by its very nature technical writing includes sophisticated and sometimes obscure language, this fact alone should not prevent technical writing from being clear, to the point, and understandable to even lay readers. This lesson is designed to help participants learn to measure and shorten the length of words, sentences, and paragraphs for the purpose of clarity.
Graphic Details: Punching Up the Presentation
This final unit of instruction will include information on how participants might use graphics to illustrate and enhance their documents. Used not only for clarification of complex information, graphics can also save time, space, and money. Participants will learn how to assess material to determine its suitability for placement in a graphic representation.
At the program's conclusion, participants will appreciate the difference between technical writing and that required in other professions. They will understand the key considerations of content, audience awareness, organization, and style. Also, they will know the goals of clarity, conciseness, and accuracy and the ways to achieve all three in their own writing.

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