Technical Writing

Our Writing for the Technical Professions programme provides real world support and solutions for composing a wide variety of technical communication documents.

Technical communicators must develop a wide range of skills, among them problem solving and critical thinking, the ability to apply viable, effective, intelligently determined strategies and understandig of communications situations. courses and seminars contain practical advice on understanding audience, purposes and situation and putting that understanding into practice in writing specific types of technical documents.

What is Technical Communication?

Technical Communication is writing that gets things done. It can convey useful information and implement specific actions, or it can provide updates on new developments and the progress of experiments and ermerging technologies.

For example, engineers and scientists must be able to communicate their technologies whilst it is not unusual for technical professionals to work on a project with colleagues from several international branch offices, keeping in touch via email, fax, telephone, or vidoe conferencing, and to be called upon by the media to provide commentary or explanations about certain technical advances.

Technical communication plays a major role in this dynamic environment. Professionals in this field may spend up to 50 per cent of their time in communication tasks that fall broadly into these categories:

  • communicating expertise to clients, customers and the general public
  • reporting technical activities to supervisors and others
  • writing proposals to gain funding for technical projects or to win contracts
  • instructing lay people on how to use technical products
  • corresponding with business colleagues, clients and customers around the world

Who is the typical Technical Communicator?

Anyone who works with technology communicates information about it in several ways. Although there are specialists who are hired solely for technical communication (technical writers, documentation developers, information specialists etc.), a significant portion of every technical professional’s job is presenting technical information in both written and oral form. For example:

An engineer working in R&D sends email to her supervisor and colleagues several times a day, followed by hardcopy memos, business letters, and faxes. She is also responsible for submitting progress reports on the project she is assigned, and she is a major contributor to the final project report that her team must produce when their task is completed.

A plant manager is responsible for writing not only the typical reports and studies required by the executives at head office, but also the performance evaluations for his employees and the policies and procedures needed for daily operations.

An environmental engineer is part of a team collaborating on several proposals. If his company wins the bid for any of the projects, he will be responsible for submitting field reports as work progresses.

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