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This course—along with Technical Reports for Industry, Government, and Business, User Documentation for Technology Products, Advanced Technical Communication: Recent Developments, Advanced Projects in Technical Communication, Career as a Lead Technical Writer—is available from JER Online. This and the first two courses listed here are ready and available now. The last three courses listed here will be ready end of August 2017.

This view of the course does not include links to the individual units.

Course owner: your_name
Course instructor: instructor_name
Instructor e-mail: instructor_email
Course start date: mmddyy

In Technical Communication: The Profession, Writing Style, and Format, you study format and style of technical and business documents, along with main problems involving grammar, usage, punctuation, and sentence style. You do not do any extended writing projects, but instead correct problems in existing ones according to the guidelines and rules you have studied. When you move from this course to Technical Reports for Industry, Government, and Business, you will be ready to apply what you've learned in this course to the extended writing projects you do there.

When you complete a unit, click the Completed button for that unit.

Getting Started

Please read the overview of this course to learn how it works and what the requirements are. Make sure that you understand the objectives of this course, the schedule of activities, the methods of operation, and the assessment of your work.

Due date: mmddyy

Unit 1: Grammar, Usage, Punctuation Review and Introduction to Technical writing

For this unit:

  1. Use the Writer's Bootcamp to get a review of common grammar, usage, and punctuation issues.
  2. Then begin your study of technical communication as a profession reading Chapter 1, "All about Technical Writing," in Technical Writing 101 and taking the related reading quiz.

Due date: mmddyy

Unit 2: Technical Writing Process, Headings, and Lists

In this unit:

  1. Continue your study of technical communication as a profession reading Chapter 2, "Technical Writing Process," in Technical Writing 101 and taking the related reading quiz.
  2. Use the study guides for headings and for lists to learn about two important design and style issues for technical writers.
  3. To further test your understanding of this unit and previous units, download this document, correct it, and send the corrected document to your instructor.

Due date: mmddyy

Unit 3: Doc Plans, Outlines, Toolbox; Highlighting and Notices

In this unit:

  1. Continue your study of technical communication as a profession reading Chapter 3, "Doc Plans, Outlines, Toolbox," in Technical Writing 101 and taking the related reading quiz.
  2. Use the study guides for highlighting and for notices to learn about two more important design and style issues for technical writers.
  3. To further test your understanding of this unit and previous units, download this document, correct it, and send the corrected document to your instructor.

Due date: mmddyy

Unit 4: Research, Rough-Drafting; Terminology and Style for Numbers, Symbols, Abbreviations

For this unit:

  1. Continue your study of technical communication as a profession reading Chapter 4, "Research, Rough-Drafting," in Technical Writing 101 and taking the related reading quiz.
  2. Use the study guide for technical style and terminology to learn about these two important areas for technical writers.
  3. To further test your understanding of this unit and previous units, download this document, correct it, and send the corrected document to your instructor.

Due date: mmddyy

Unit 5: Task Orientation, Visuals; Introductions and Cross-Referencing

For this unit:

  1. Continue your study of technical communication as a profession reading Chapter 7, "Task Orientation," in Technical Writing 101 and taking the related reading quiz.
  2. Also study Chapter 8, "Visuals," and take the related reading quiz.
  3. Use the study guides for introductions and for cross-referencing to learn about these two additional, important areas for technical writers.
  4. To further test your understanding of this unit and previous units, download this document, correct it, and send the corrected document to your instructor.

Due date: mmddyy

Unit 6: Editing, Indexing; Writing Style

For this unit:

  1. Continue your study of technical communication as a profession reading Chapter 9, "Editing," in Technical Writing 101 and taking the related reading quiz.
  2. Working with a Technical Editor. Jean Hollis Weber, January 9, 2012, TechWhirl.
  3. Foundations: The Role of the Technical Editor. Peter Winninger, June 2013, TechWhirl.
  4. Also study Chapter 10, "Indexing," and take the related reading quiz.
  5. Use the study guide for sentence-style problems to learn some strategies for finding and revising wordiness and clarity problems in technical writing.
  6. To further test your understanding of this unit and previous units, download this document, correct it, and send the corrected document to your instructor.

Due date: mmddyy

Unit 7: Final Production; Grand Review of Grammar, Usage, and Punctuation

In this unit:

  1. Conclude your study of technical communication as a profession reading Chapter 11, "Final Production," in Technical Writing 101 and taking the related reading quiz.
  2. Use the review of grammar, usage, and punctuation to make sure you can spot and correct errors like these in technical writing.
  3. To further test your understanding of this unit and previous units, download this document, correct it, and send the corrected document to your instructor.

Due date: mmddyy

Unit 8: Final Projects: Comprehensive Document Overhaul

For the two documents in this unit, expect to see a wide range of problems relating to the topics you have studied in this course: headings, lists, highlighting, notices, tables, graphics, terminology, introductions, cross-references, writing style.

  1. Review and correct this technical report. Watch for everything! Sections missing or out of place; punctuation errors, grammar/usage errors, capitalization inconsistencies, mismatch between TOC and text.
  2. Review and correct this user guide. Watch for everything! Highlighting inconsistencies or omissions; bad passive voice; sections missing or out of place; punctuation errors, capitalization inconsistencies, mismatch between TOC and text.

    Rename these files with some identifiable part of your name, techrep, ending with the extension your software uses: for example, davidm_techrep.docx or davidm_userguide.docx.

Due date: mmddyy

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