Power Tools for Technical Communication:
Planning for Audiences

Study the following project descriptions, and think about what sorts of information the audiences would need, what sorts of information they would not need, how the information should be arranged and presented in order to maximize their understanding of that information and their ability to use it. explain your ideas in the boxes beneath each description. When you've completed these explanations, you can e-mail your work to your instructor, yourself, or both.

  1. Health effects of power-line expansions

    You've been commissioned to develop a report that summarizes and presents your professional perspective on the health risks of electromagnetic fields stemming from a proposed power-line expansion by an electric company. The town zoning commission will be paying you for this report. They need to understand electric-utility systems, scientifically proven and unproven health effects of electromagnetic fields, and other such information inorder to cast informed votes on the proposed electric company's power-line expansion.

  2. Super-string theory

    An association of statewide physics teachers at the high school level has approved your proposal to develop a high-school teacher's guide to super-string theory. You realize that you have two audiences: the teachers (the primary audience) but also the students (a secondary audience). As you plan for these audiences, take a spin of the World Wide Web, and do some introductory reading on the string theory.

  3. Pool maintenance

    A major national pool supply company has accepted your proposal to develop a guide for pool maintenance for ordinary pool owners. This company wants to offer this guide to the great volumes of customers who come to its stores with questions about how to keep their pools clear and clean. While their questions and problems are complicated, they are also generally the same questions and problems over and over—which cost store attendants much time.

  4. Manufacturing specifications

    For printed circuit board (PCB) designers, design engineers, and manufacturing engineers at the OurTech Corporation, you are writing report on manufacturability specifications for printed circuit board layout. Your goal with the report is to help PCB designers increase the time to market of new PCB designs by documenting all of the manufacturing specifications. The specifications in this report will be incorperated in to every design. Any deviations from these specifications must be approved by the Manufacturing Department.

  5. Screen readers for the visually impaired

    Your proposal to write a recommendation report on screen reader technology has been accepted by the National Employers Association. Screen-reader software enables the blind and visually impaired people to use computers for personal, social, and business purposes. Employers may soon be required to provide accessible computers using technology like this in the workplace. Your audience is employers in generally: you must give them an overview of the technology, comparisons and recommendations on currently available software, and other such essential information.

    Your name:
    Your e-mail address:
    Instructor's e-mail address (optional):

Information and programs provided by hcexres@prismnet.com.