Technical Communication Strategies for Today (with NEW MyTechCommLab w/ eText)

Technical Communication Strategies for Today (with NEW MyTechCommLab w/ eText)

by Richard Johnson-Sheehan

Other Format(Older Edition)



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Technical Communication Strategies for Today offers students all of the topics and genres they need for their technical communication course—in fewer pages and at a significantly lower price.

Students want their textbooks to cost less, and they want comprehensive topical coverage presented in a succinct and clear writing style. Technical Communication Strategies for Today offers both and speaks to today's students. Instructional narrative is “chunked,” so that portions of text are combined with graphics. The chunked presentation also integrates an awareness of how documents are read—often skimmed by readers seeking the information they need, and it models the way today’s technical documents should be designed.

The contemporary writing style is matched by an approach that accurately reflects the modern day computer-centered technical workplace: Technical Communication Strategies for Today presents computers as thinking tools that powerfully influence how we develop, produce, design, and deliver technical documents and presentations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780321851765
Publisher: Longman
Publication date: 06/13/2012
Edition description: Older Edition
Product dimensions: 7.80(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents



Chapter 1 Communicating in the Workplace

How Important is Technical Communication?

What is Technical Communication?

Technical Communication: Actions, Words, Images

Technical Communication is Interactive and Adaptable

Technical Communication is Reader Centered

Technical Communication Relies on Teamwork

Technical Communication is Visual

Technical Communication Has Ethical, Legal, and Political


Technical Communication Is International and Cross Cultural

Your Career and Technical Communication

Help: How to Learn New Software Quickly

Exercises and Projects

Chapter 2 Readers and Context of Use

Profiling Your Readers

Identifying Your Readers

Profiling Your Readers’ Needs, Values, and Attitudes

Help: Profiling Readers with Search Engines

Profiling Contexts of Use

Identifying the Context of Use

International and Cross-Cultural Communication

Differences in Context

Difference in Organization

Differences in Style

Differences in Design

Listen and Learn: The Key to International and Cross-Cultural


Exercises and Projects

Chapter 3 Working in Teams

The Stages of Teaming

Forming: Strategic Planning

Step 1: Define the Project Mission and Objectives

Step 2: Identify Project Outcomes

Step 3: Define Team Member Responsibilities

Step 4: Create a Project Calendar

Step 5: Write Out a Work Plan

Step 6: Agree on How Conflicts will be Resolved

Storming: Managing Conflict

Running Effective Meetings

Mediating Conflicts

Firing a Team Member

Norming: Determining Team Roles

Revising Objectives and Outcomes

Help: Virtual Teaming

Identifying Team Roles

Using Groupware to Facilitate Work

Performing: Improving Quality

The Keys to Teaming

Exercises and Projects

Chapter 4 Ethics in the Technical Workplace

What are Ethics?

Where do Ethics Come From?

Personal Ethics

Social Ethics

Conservation Ethics

Help: Stopping Cyberbullying and Computer Harassment

Resolving Ethical Dilemmas

Confronting an Ethical Dilemma

Resolving an Ethical Dilemma

When You Disagree with the Company

Copyright Law in Technical Communication

Asking Permission

Copyrighting Your Work


Exercises and Projects

Chapter 5 Starting Your Career

Setting Goals, Making a Plan

Setting Goals

Using a Variety of Job-Seeking Paths

Preparing a Résumé

Types of Résumés

Chronological Résumé

Functional Résumé

Designing the Résumé

Help: Designing a Scannable/Searchable Résumé

Writing Effective Application Letters

Content and Organization


Revising and Proofreading the Résumé and Letter

Creating a Professional Portfolio

Collecting Materials

Organizing Your Portfolio

Assembling the Portfolio in a Binder

Creating and Electronic Portfolio

Interviewing Strategies

Preparing for the Interview

At the Interview

Writing Thank You Letters and/or E-mails

Exercises and Projects


Chapter 6 Researching and Managing Information

Beginning Your Research

Defining Your Research Subject

Narrowing Your Research Question

Formulating a Research Question or Hypothesis

Developing a Research Methodology

Mapping Out a Methodology

Describing Your Methodology

Using and Revising Your Methodology

Triangulating Materials

Using Electronic Sources

Using Print Sources

Using Empirical Sources

Managing Information and Taking Notes

Managing Information

Careful Note Taking

Documenting Sources

Help: Avoiding Junk Science on the Internet

Appraising Your Information

Is the Source Reliable?

How Biased is the Source?

Am I Biased?

Is the Source Up to Date?

Can the Information Be Verified?

Avoiding Plagiarism

Exercises and Projects

Chapter 7 Designing Documents and Interfaces

Five Principles of Design

Design Principle 1: Balance

Weighting a Page or Screen

Using Grids to Balance a Page Layout

Using Other Balance Techniques

Design Principle 2: Alignment

Design Principle 3: Grouping

Using Headings

Using Borders and Rules

Design Principle 4: Consistency

Choosing Typefaces

Labeling Graphics

Creating Sequential and Nonsequential Lists

Inserting Headers and Footers

Help: Using Styles and Templates

Design Principle 5: Contrast

Adding Shading and Background Color

Highlighting Text

Using Font Size and Line Length

Cross-Cultural Design

Exercises and Projects

Chapter 8 Creating and Using Graphics

Guidelines for Using Graphics

Guideline One: A Graphic Should Tell a Simple Story

Guideline Two: A Graphic Should Reinforce the Written Text, Not Replace It

Guideline Three: A Graphic Should be Ethical

Guideline Four: A Graphic Should be Labeled and Placed Properly

Displaying Data with Graphs, Tables, and Charts

Line Graphs

Bar Charts


Pie Charts

Gantt Charts

Using Pictures, Drawings, and Screen Shots


Help: Making Visuals with a Spreadsheet Program

Inserting Photographs and Other Images


Screen Shots

Using Cross-Cultural Symbols

Exercises and Projects

Chapter 9 Websites and Social Networking (Web 2.0)

Creating a Website

Planning and Researching a Website

Organizing and Drafting the Website

Using Style in a Website

Designing the Website

Help: Using Web-Authoring Software

A Warning about Copyright and Plagiarism

Websites for International and Cross-Cultural Readers

Using Social Networking (Web 2.0)

Starting a Social Networking Site

Blogging and Microblogging

Updating Videos and Podcasts

Contributing to a Wiki

Exercises and Projects

Chapter 10 Preparing and Giving Presentations

Choosing the Right Presentation Technology

Organizing the Content of Your Presentation

Building the Presentation

The Introduction: Tell Them What You’re Going to Tell Them

Help: Giving Presentations with Your iPod, MP3, PDA, or Smartphone

The Body: Tell Them

The Conclusion: Tell Them What You Told Them

Preparing to Answer Questions

Choosing Your Presentation Style

Creating Visuals

Designing Visual Aids

Using Graphics

Slides to Avoid

Delivering the Presentation

Body Language

Voice, Rhythm, and Tone

Using Your Notes

Practicing and Rehearsing

Practice, Practice, Practice

Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse

Working Cross-Culturally with Translators

Exercises and Projects


Chapter 11 Letters, Memos, and E-Mail

Basic Features of Letters and Memos

Basic Features of E-Mail

Planning and Researching a Correspondence

Determining the Rhetorical Situation

Organizing and Drafting Letters, Memos, and E-Mails

Introduction with a Purpose and a Main Point

Body that Provides Need-to-Know Information

Conclusion that Restates the Main Point

Types of Letters, Memos, and E-Mails



Transmittal Letters and Memos

Claims or Complaints



Using Style in Letters, Memos, and E-Mails

Strategies for Developing an Appropriate Style

Designing and Formatting Letters and Memos

Formatting Letters

Formatting Envelopes

Formatting Memos

Help: Using E-Mail Internationally

Revising, Editing, and Proofreading

Exercises and Projects

Chapter 12 Technical Descriptions

Basic Features of Technical Descriptions

Planning and Researching Technical Descriptions


Addressing ISO 9000/ISO 14000 Issues


Partitioning the Subject

Organizing and Drafting Technical Descriptions

Specific and Precise Title

Introduction with an Overall Description

Description by Features, Functions, or Stages in a Process

Description by Senses, Similes, Analogies, and Metaphors


Using Style in Technical Descriptions

Designing Technical Descriptions

Designing a Page Layout

Using Graphics

Revising, Editing, and Proofreading

Revising for Conciseness

Help: Using Digital Photography in Descriptions

Editing and Proofreading for Accuracy

Exercises and Projects

Chapter 13 Instructions and Other Documentation

Basic Features of Documentation

Planning and Researching Documentation



Planning for Cross-Cultural Readers and Contexts

Verbal Considerations

Design Considerations

Organizing and Drafting Documentation

Specific and Precise Title


List of Parts, Tools, and Conditions Required

Sequentially Ordered Steps

Safety Information

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