Chapter 2 Communicating in a Technical Environment

Technical writing gives practical information to a specific audience, which will enable that audience to understand the topic well enough to make a decision or perform a task. This chapter introduces the steps to planning technical documents that meet the needs of the audience and industry standards. There are many types of technical documents that range in the amount of detail provided depending on the audience. Here are some examples

The sentence definition is the most basic form of technical writing. It is used to define a term in its simplest form in one sentence. The art in writing sentence definitions is to define the term so clearly that it can only mean on object or process. Sentence definitions form the backbone of all technical writing. Sentence definitions are used on their own when the audience has minimal or no technical knowledge and they just want to know what the word means.

A description is used to provide the reader with some technical detail about a device or process including what it is, what it looks like and how it works. The art in writing descriptions is knowing just how much technical detail the reader needs to make a decision. Graphics are often used to help the reader visualize the process or device. Descriptions are used when the audience has some technical knowledge and they wants to gain a general understanding of the device or process usually to make a decision.

Instructions are used to provide the reader with enough technical detail use a device or perform a process. The art in writing instructions is being able to break everything down into simple steps without leaving out any detail. Graphics are often used to help the reader visualize the process or device. Instructions are used when the audience has the technical knowledge needed to perform the job

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NSCC Communication Skills for Trades by NSCC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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