Power Tools for Technical Communication:
Technical Background Reports—Planning Guide



Use this planning guide to define the key details for your technical background report. When you are through, you can e-mail this planning information to yourself, your instructor, or both.
  1. Find a project requiring a background report. Describe that project in the input box below:

  2. Describe the purpose and audience. Describe the purpose and audience of your technical background report in the input box below:

  3. Do some initial research on the topic. List the information sources you've found for this project in the input box below:

  4. Narrow the report topic. In the input box below, take some notes on ways you can narrow the topic of your technical background report:

  5. Use the infrastructures to develop a tentative outline. In the input box below, list the parts of your technical background report as best you can and identify which infrastructure (description, process, cause-effect, etc.) each will use:

  6. Choose the "packaging" for the report. In the input box below, explain which packaging you'll use for your technical background report and why:

  7. Plan and develop graphics and tables. In the input box below, take some notes on the graphics and tables you think your technical background report will require:

  8. Start a sources list. In the input box below, take some notes on the key details of the information sources you'll use in your technical background report (see Chapter 21 in Power Tools for Technical Communication if necessary):

  9. Sketch the headings you'll use. List the headings you would use in this classification and briefly describe the contents of those sections:

  10. Plan an introduction. In the input box below, try rough-drafting an introduction in which you indicate the topic and purpose and provide an overview of the rest of technical background report:

  11. Plan the conclusion. Take a look at the ideas for conclusions in Chapter 5 of Power Tools for Technical Communication and sketch your ideas for your own in the input box below:

  12. Review and revise your rough draft. When you've written the rough draft of your technical background report and reviewed it, use the input box below to describe the problems you find:

Your name:
E-mail this planning information to me:
E-mail this planning information to my instructor:


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