Technical Writing Style (Part of the Allyn & Bacon Series in Technical Communication)

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Edition: 1st
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2019-12-03
Publisher(s): Pearson
List Price: $140.33

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Summary

Advanced technical communication books are becoming more and more available. However, each book is solely devoted to a specialized topic such as technical editing, design, illustration, usability testing, and online documentation. Despite all of these introductory and advanced books, not one is available specifically devoted to the challenges of style in technical communication.KEY TOPICS:This 12-point approach offers the most current and comprehensive instruction available in achieving an effective style in technical documents. It shows that technical prose style varies from the highly formal to the colloquial, from the pretentious to the plain, and it demonstrates the many stylistic strategies writers should consider for every technical document they write.Anyone who has to write professional and technical documents, specifically, engineers, software developers/consultants, medical writers, professional technical writers.Part of the Allyn & Bacon Series in Technical communication.

Author Biography

Dan Jones is the Coordinator for the B.A. and M.A. Programs in technical communication in the English Department at the University of Central Florida. He has taught a variety of technical communication courses for the past 21 years and has done consulting for more than 20 companies including AT&T, IBM, Westinghouse, and Lockheed Martin. Dan is the editor of an anthology of essays, Defining Technical Communication, published in 1996 by the Society for Technical Communication, and the author of two other textbooks published by Longman: The Technical Communicator┬┐s Handbook and Technical Writing Style, an advanced technical communication textbook in the Allyn & Bacon Series in Technical Communication.

Table of Contents

Foreword to the Series xi(2)
Preface xiii
1 Understanding Technical Writing Style
1(18)
Chapter Overview
1(1)
The Problem with Defining Style
2(1)
A Definition of Style
3(1)
Style in Technical Writing
3(4)
The Domain of Technical Writing Style
7(3)
Why Technical Writing Is Often Ineffective
10(1)
Technical Writing as a Craft
11(1)
Chapter Summary
11(1)
Case Study 1 Three Mile Island and Ineffective Communication
12(2)
Questions/Comments for Discussion
14(1)
Exercises
14(3)
Notes
17(2)
2 Reflecting the Style of a Discourse Community
19(23)
Chapter Overview
19(1)
What is a Discourse Community?
20(2)
How Does a Discourse Community Affect Style?
22(3)
Questions to Consider Before Writing to a Discourse Community
25(1)
Case Study 2 The Space Shuttle Challenger and Different Discourse Communities
26(8)
How Does Style Relate to Subject, Purpose, Scope, Audience, and Other Elements of Writing?
34(4)
Chapter Summary
38(1)
Questions/Comments for Discussion
38(1)
Exercises
39(1)
Notes
40(2)
3 Choosing an Appropriate Style
42(20)
Chapter Overview
42(1)
On Style and Grammer
43(1)
Prescriptive and Descriptive Approaches to Style
43(1)
Good and Bad Writing
44(1)
Good and Bad Style
45(1)
Appropriate and Inappropriate Styles
46(1)
Kinds of Styles
46(10)
Chapter Summary
56(1)
Questions/Comments for Discussion
57(1)
Exercises
57(2)
Notes
59(3)
4 Persuading through Style
62(23)
Chapter Overview
62(1)
Technical Prose as Persuasion
63(1)
The Rhetoric of Science
64(3)
Some Practical Consequences of the New Rhetoric of Science
67(3)
Persuasion and Technical Prose Style
70(1)
Rhetorical Choices and Style
70(1)
Persuasive Strategies and Stylistic Choices
71(4)
Case Study 3 The Exxon Valdez and Persuasion
75(1)
Chapter Summary
75(4)
Questions/Topics for Discussion
79(1)
Exercises
80(2)
Notes
82(3)
5 Choosing Appropriate Words--Diction
85(33)
Chapter Overview
85(1)
On Diction
86(1)
Levels of Diction
87(3)
Denotation and Connotation
90(1)
Challenges Presented by Specialized Diction
90(1)
Major Diction Strategies in Technical Prose
91(6)
Common Diction Faults
97(9)
Technical Prose and a Literary Style
106(3)
On Euphemisms and Dysphemisms
109(1)
Chapter Summary
110(1)
Case Study 4 The Ruby Ridge Incident and Diction
110(3)
Questions/Topics for Discussion
113(1)
Exercises
113(1)
Notes
114(4)
6 Handling Technical Terms and Jargon
118(26)
Chapter Overview
118(1)
Using Technical Language
119(1)
Words, Terms, and Terminology
120(1)
Technical Terms as Jargon
120(2)
The Challenges of Using Technical Terms
122(3)
The Challenges of Using Jargon
125(4)
Other Specialized Languages
129(4)
Abbreviations, Acronyms, Initialisms
133(1)
Tips for Using Clear Technical Language
134(1)
Chapter Summary
134(1)
Case Study 5 Apollo 13 and Jargon
135(3)
Questions/Topics for Discussion
138(1)
Exercises
139(2)
Notes
141(3)
7 Creating Sentences with Style
144(19)
Chapter Overview
144(1)
Sentences in Technical Prose
145(1)
A Brief Review of Sentence Basics
145(5)
Sentence Combining Techniques
150(3)
Emphasis
153(2)
Rhythm
155(1)
Sentence Variety
155(1)
Sentence Elegance in Technical Prose
156(1)
Sentence Faults
156(2)
Chapter Summary
158(1)
Questions/Topics for Discussion
159(1)
Exercises
159(2)
Notes
161(2)
8 Structuring Paragraphs and Other Segments
163(24)
Chapter Overview
163(1)
Writing Technical Paragraphs
164(1)
Writing on One Topic
164(3)
Developing the Paragraph Topic
167(7)
Achieving an Effective Flow
174(3)
Providing Adequate Details
177(2)
Larger Segments in Technical Prose
179(1)
Common Paragraph Faults
179(1)
Chapter Summary
180(1)
Questions/Topics for Discussion
181(1)
Exercises
181(3)
Notes
184(3)
9 Establishing an Appropriate Tone
187(28)
Chapter Overview
188(1)
Tone in Technical Prose
188(2)
The Key Emphasis of Tone
190(12)
Strategies for Developing an Appropriate Tone
202(2)
Humor in Technical Writing
204(3)
Chapter Summary
207(1)
Case Study 6 Computer Viruses and Tone
208(3)
Questions/Topics for Discussion
211(1)
Exercises
211(2)
Notes
213(2)
10 Considering Style and Bias
215(21)
Chapter Overview
215(1)
Bias in Technical Prose
216(2)
Kinds of Bias
218(10)
Political Correctness
228(1)
Chapter Summary
229(1)
Case Study 7 Gender-Neutral Language
230(1)
Questions/Topics for Discussion
231(1)
Exercises
232(1)
Notes
233(3)
11 Determining the Ethics of Style
236(17)
Chapter Overview
236(1)
What is Ethics?
237(1)
Ethics and Technical Prose
238(1)
Ethics and the Professions
238(3)
Criteria for Judging Ethical Actions
241(1)
Unethical Language
242(3)
The Ethics of Style
245(1)
Chapter Summary
246(1)
Case Study 8 Deception and the Exxon Valdez
247(2)
Questions/Topics for Discussion
249(1)
Exercises
249(3)
Notes
252(1)
12 Editing for Style
253(17)
Chapter Overview
254(1)
Misconceptions about Editing
255(1)
Approaches to Editing
256(2)
The Challenges of Editing for Style
258(1)
Strategies to Help You Edit for Style
259(5)
Copyediting for Style
264(1)
Chapter Summary
265(1)
Questions/Topics for Discussion
265(1)
Exercises
266(3)
Notes
269(1)
Glossary 270(10)
Bibliography 280(10)
Index 290

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