Course Syllabus (wgtd)

This is a short syllabus for Writing Great Technical Documents. Please contact me for a more complete syllabus:

Lesson 1

Get acquainted with the difficulties and benefits of writing great technical documents.

Lesson 2

Learn how to classify the different types of people who read your documents, what they expect and need, and writing strategies for fulfilling their needs and expectations. In addition, learn how to conduct three types of reader analysis that ensure you’re writing more effectively for your readers.

Lesson 3

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to determine the purpose and scope of a document, how to choose the format of your document, how to gather information more effectively, and how to organize your document.

Lesson 4

Learn about the importance of style guides and how to create your own. You’ll also learn about different technical writing styles, and how to discover your personal writing style.

Lesson 5

This lesson is all about choosing the words you use when writing. You’ll explore ways to be more precise in the words that you use and ways to use technical terminology in your documents.

Lesson 6

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to write powerful sentences, different sentence constructions you can use, and how to correct common sentence mistakes.

Lesson 7

This lesson focuses on strategies for writing paragraphs that flow and achieve the results you want. You’ll learn several ways to organize your paragraphs and when you should use each construction. You’ll also learn how to correct common paragraph problems and avoid logic problems when writing.

Lesson 8

This lesson teaches you punctuation and mechanical conventions you should use in business and technical writing. It also teaches you how to organize your overall document by using the inverted pyramid, headings, lists, and more.

Lesson 9

This lesson outlines the different types of graphical elements you can use in your technical documents and tells you when you should use each one.

Lesson 10

In this lesson, you learn the elements of good document design, including page size, effective use of white space, typefaces, in-text highlighting, special notices, page numbers, and headers and footers. You’ll also take a close look at three different sizes of documents and sample layouts for them.

Lesson 11

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to put all of the pieces together in three common types of technical documents: instructional documents (such as user manuals), reports, and proposals. In addition to learning what components you can include in different types of documents, the writing style to use, etc., you’ll also learn how to use Rogerian Argument principles to write more persuasively.

Lesson 12

Before you publish your document, you need to edit and proofread it to make it the best it can be. In this lesson, you’ll learn about a highly effective method of editing technical documents (called “Levels of Edit”), how to analyze the pace and tone of your document, how to assess your sentence variety, and how to get the most from your document reviews.

Course Cost

$197.00 for 12 lessons, critiques of two documents you’ve written, tests, certificate of completion, and personal instruction. New sessions start the second Monday of each month.

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