Technical Writing Objectives

Last Revised (04/03)


Technical Writing deals with writing that occurs on the job and allows readers to take actions. In that context Technical Writing focuses on critical thinking, rhetorical analysis, effective writing and effective document design.


As a result of taking Technical Writing the students will be able to:

  1. Act ethically in their role in the communication situation.
  2. Act critically as they apply principles taught in the course to communication situations.
  3. Evaluate the rhetorical context of a given writing situation and write accordingly. Included in this evaluation are adapting to the communication situation by analyzing the audience, the writer's role, and the appropriate ethical dimensions.
  4. Apply concepts of information design. These concepts include effective ways to design documents for print, web, and other electronic means of communication in order to construct documents meaningful to the audience.
  5. Effectively create standard formats used to construct meaningful documents. These formats include genres such as various kinds of reports, sets of instructions, letters and memos, and various electronic genres.
  6. Use visual items in effectively constructing meaning in communication situations. These items include, but are not limited to, tables and graphs, photographs, drawings and schematics, and various electronic creations such as screen captures.
  7. Effectively negotiate the process of completing technical documents. These processes include planning, drafting, editing and revising to quality standards, and, where appropriate, usability testing, research methods and appropriate citation of sources.
  8. Recognize and accommodate global concepts. These concepts include localization, translation, and globalization.
  9. Create clear, concise technical documents that effectively use style and grammar and information structure in ways that create meaning with the reader.
  10. Collaborate effectively in various writing situations, including planning, creating, managing, evaluating, editing, and revising document production.
Course Content

The following course content is typically covered to meet these objectives. Students create a variety of projects, drawn from the genres listed below, and engage in numerous discussions and group activities to facilitate their ability to create effective documents.

  • Web sites.
  • Analytical/Feasibility Reports.
  • Proposals.
  • Lab/Science Reports.
  • Manuals.
  • Instructions.
  • Memos.
  • Email.
  • Abstracts.
  • Progress reports.
  • Letters of transmittal.
  • Letters of Application.
  • Formal reports.
  • Brochures.