Being technically knowledgeable is a good start for anyone wishing to write about a particular technology. However, it is not a guarantee that what is written will achieve its ultimate goal. In fact, some of the greatest technical experts find it very challenging to write effectively on technical matters. While it is important to understand the subject matter, it is equally important to understand the audience and its needs. There are steps that all technical writers should follow before putting pen to paper, including defining scope, determining the objectives of the project, understanding the target audience, and planning the overall structure of the document. This course explores steps writers should take when embarking on a new writing project.
- recognize a document's purpose in given examples
- select an appropriate delivery medium in given scenarios
- analyze a writing segment to determine the document’s appropriate audience
- sequence the steps in planning a document in example form
- identify how to integrate other authors' work into your draft
- establish the purpose and an appropriate delivery medium in a given scenario
- analyze the audience in a given scenario
- prepare a document's structure in a given scenario
Once you have planned the structure of a writing project, you need to plan your writing approach based on your target audience. You must take a different approach, for example, if instructing technical students how to implement a technology from the approach you would use to describe a technology's benefits to the general population. A different approach again will be appropriate if you want to explain the unique nuances of your invention to a group of peers. When you've clarified your audience, you begin writing in earnest, carefully avoiding common pitfalls such as using jargon inappropriately.
This course explores basic writing techniques, page layout and design, and common writing mistakes to avoid. It also teaches fundamental underlying concepts of instructional, persuasive, and reference writing.
- improve page design in given scenarios
- recognize the appropriate visual aid in given examples
- identify common writer pitfalls
- recognize common writer pitfalls in a given example
- enhance page design and layout to improve readability and visual appeal
- rectify common writing mistakes in a given example
- recognize guidelines for writing instructions
- follow guidelines for creating training materials in given scenarios
- recognize guidelines to follow when writing to persuade
- recognize tips for writing technical reference materials
- implement guidelines for writing instructions
- implement guidelines for writing teaching materials
- implement tips for writing documents that persuade
- implement tips for writing reference materials
Certain professions are inextricably tied to writing under pressure, such as the newspaper journalist or the magazine columnist. Indeed, there's a broad spectrum of professions where writing under pressure is an essential skill with direct consequences – financial or otherwise. Professionals are often required to complete multiple writing tasks in a limited time frame. This course provides professionals with effective ways to prepare for writing successfully under pressure, including how to reduce stress and prepare a suitable writing environment, as well as how to reduce distractions.
- identify three considerations for optimizing your ability to write under pressure
- recognize how to reduce stress when writing under pressure
- optimize your environment for writing under pressure
- reduce distractions when writing under pressure
- optimize factors in your environment to enable you to write successfully under pressure
When a writing project is time sensitive, it becomes all the more valuable to have a reliable, systematic writing process. Otherwise you may end up overwhelmed and frustrated, or so rushed that you produce less than your best work. Even when you're under pressure to complete your writing assignment, you can still achieve great results with a communication that's clear and concise, and achieves its purpose.
This course provides you with a step-by-step process for producing a quality document under a tight schedule. It explores how to streamline your writing process by determining why and for whom you're writing, and what the reader needs to know. It then moves through the steps of generating ideas, gathering information, and organizing those ideas into an outline. This course also offers strategies for overcoming writer's block, getting the words to flow, and ultimately revising the written piece into a polished final product.
- recognize how to generate ideas as a first step in the writing process
- recognize the pattern and significance of a completed outline in a writing scenario
- recognize practices that will help you begin writing a draft with confidence
- recognize basic structural elements in a sample written draft
- identify good practices for revising and editing your draft
- apply key steps in the writing process