Power Tools for Technical Communication:
Welcome to the Website


You may find this website rather different from the obligatory websites for other textbooks. I've packed in nearly 200 exercises, quizzes, projects, and other sorts of activities that will keep your students busy all semester! Specifically, you'll find these features (click the links in the left column to see examples; use the Back button on your browser to return here):

Feature Description
Multiple-choice quizzes One for each chapter—students have their answers checked can e-mail results to themselves and/or their instructors.
Short-answer quizzes One for each chapter—students write out answers and can e-mail those answers to themselves and/or their instructors.
Document-formatting projects Plenty of practice in formatting text and graphics for every application in the book—descriptions, specifications, informal reports, process explanations, instructions, policies and procedures, cause-effect discussions, primary research reports, comparisons, recommendation reports, extended definitions, background reports, persuasion, proposals, progress reports, resumes, application letters, complaint and inquiry communications, memos, and formal reports—both for print documents as well as web pages.
Formatting activities Plenty of practice formatting text to include headings, lists, notices, tables, graphs, charts, highlighting—both for print documents as well as web pages.
Practice for key concepts This website offers practice materials for key concepts in the book, such as formal sentence definitions, persuasive appeals, sources of description, sources of definition, points of comparison, types of conclusions, scenerios for proposals and reports, passive voice.
Special-section practice Many technical documents have special sections such as the executive summary, the list of conclusions, introductions, tables of contents, and glossaries. This website offers practice materials for these as well.
Problem identifying Get practice recognizing problems like stacked or lone headings, lack of parallelism in lists and headings, bad passive voice in instructions, and more.
Supplementary chapters To keep the printed textbook small, we yanked out chapters on finding topics, narrowing topics, outlining, content ideas, transitions, organization, and sentence-style problems.
Online instructor manual The entire thing, complete with ideas for classroom activities, ideas for semester schedules, and assignment handouts!
Sentence diagnostic A 50-item diagnostic that checks students' ability to recognize grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling (similar-sounding words), and wordiness problems, the results of which they can e-mail to themselves and/or their instructors.
Extra examples Loads of annotated examples are available—covering all the applications in Power Tools for Technical Communication.
Special goodies This website also makes available materials for practicing the executive summary, converting an oral-report script using presentation software (such as Microsoft Powerpoint), creating report templates (including character and paragraph "style").
Web page practice Nearly every chapter of Power Tools for Technical Communication contains related material on creating web pages. This website supports that with related practice materials: for example, exercises in using HTML to create web pages, web pages with frames, tables, lists, headings, and so on.
Graphics Take a look at the materials available for practice including graphics in print and web documents!
Links in the printed textbook No doubt a good fifth of the links in Power Tools for Technical Communication are now dead. To resolve this problem and keep people from having to type those URLs, those links are available at this website. We'll gray out the dead ones and add new ones!
And coming soon!
"Puzzles" You can practice selecting and arranging the pieces of technical documents and adding headings—all online!
Online formatting practice You can practice adding headings, reformatting with lists or tables, and including highlighting—all online!
Planning guides Fill-out forms that ask people essential planning questions about their writing projects—which they can then e-mail to themselves and/or their instructors.


Information and programs provided by hcexres@prismnet.com.