OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

Writing in the Technical Fields: A Practical Guide (2nd edition)

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Author: 
Thorsten Ewald
Pub date
Apr 2017
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Now in its second edition, Writing in the Technical Fields is a concise and straightforward guide that introduces students to the practical elements of technical writing. Using clear language, logical principles, and easy-to-follow rules, Ewald teaches students how to approach a wide range of fundamental concepts - including planning and editing documents, collaborative writing, and delivering engaging presentations. Taking the fear and mystery out of the writing process, this practical guide helps students develop the skill and confidence they need to succeed as effective writers and communicators in the workplace. The second edition has been expanded to include more example documents and reports as well as a greater number of exercises. In addition to being updated to reflect current practice and documentation, the second edition has also been updated to include a more thorough description of the use of headings, expanded information on copyright, a sample functional resume, and additional coverage on recent trends such as effective use of internet technology (Google Docs, DropBox, etc.).

Index: 

Checklists
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1. Why Technical People Needn't Fear Writing
Writing in the Technical Workplace
Why Technical People Can Master Technical Writing
Attributes of Technical Writing
The Writing Process
Exercises: Writing in the Workplace
2. Technical Sentences
Introduction
Find the Real Subject
Find the Real Verb (Avoid Nominalizations)
Edit for Conciseness
Edit for Clarity
Check for Gender-Neutral Language
Check the Grammar and Mechanics
Exercises: Editing Technical Sentences
3. Technical Paragraphs
Keep Paragraphs Short
Begin Paragraphs with a Topic Sentence
Make Every Paragraph Unified
Make Every Paragraph Complete
Make Every Paragraph Cohesive
Exercises: Editing Technical Paragraphs and Reports
4. Parallelism, Lists, and Layout
Parallelism in Sentences
Lists
Headings
Exercises: Creating Parallel Sentences and Lists
5. Routine Correspondence
Letter Format
Memo and Email Formats
Email Etiquette ("Netiquette")
Professional Correspondence: Style and Tone
Exercises: Standard Correspondence
6. Technical Reports and Documents
Report Structure
Documents that Report on Past Events or Completed Tasks
Documents that Report on Ongoing Tasks: Progress Reports
Documents that Recommend Future Actions
Documents that Define Standards: Specifications
Lab Reports
Exercises: Writing Different Kinds of Reports
7. Formal Reports
Parts of a Formal Report
Formal Report Pagination
Exercises: Formal Reports
8. Intercultural Communication, Collaborative Writing, and Document Control
Intercultural Communication
Writing in Teams
Document Sharing and Control
Exercises: Intercultural Considerations
9. References and Citations
The Common Knowledge Exception
Terminology
Types: MLA, APA, Turabian, Chicago, IEEE, ACS, Vancouver
Citing Sources
Creating References Sections
Autogenerating Reference Entries
Sample IEEE Reference Entries
Exercises: References and Citations
10. Technical Graphics
Types and Uses
Putting Graphics into Reports
Rules for Incorporating Report Graphics
Avoiding Graphical Misrepresentation
Exercises: Technical Graphics
11. Job Application Packages
The Myth of the Experience Trap
Résumés
Application Letters
Finding Job Openings
Exercises: Job Application Packages
12. Technical Definitions and Descriptions
Technical Definitions
Technical Descriptions
Exercises: Technical Definitions and Descriptions
13. Instructions, Procedures, and Manuals
The Introduction
The Step-by-Step Instructions
The Conclusion
Notes, Cautions, Warnings, and Danger Alerts
Usability
Manuals
Exercises: Editing Instructions and Writing Instructions
14. Oral Presentations
Planning the Presentation
Making Speech Notes
Using Presenter View
Designing and Using Slides
Practising the Presentation
Overcoming Stage Fright and Answering Questions
Exercises: Oral Presentations
APPENDIX A Punctuation and Grammarr
Apostrophes
Colons
Commas
Dashes (En Dash and Em Dash)
Hyphens
Modifiers
Pronouns
Quotation Marks
Semi-colons
APPENDIX B Mechanics and Conventions
Acronyms and Abbreviations
Capitals
Numbers
Units of Measurement
APPENDIX C Ethics
Ethics in the Professions
Ethics for Students
Ethics in Technical Writing
Exercises
Glossary of Commonly Misused Words and Phrases
References
Bibliography
Index

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