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Technical Communication 1

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1 Technical Communication 1
ENGR 1181 Class 4

2 Technical Communications in the Real World
Communication, both oral and written, is extremely important in the business world. The best communicators are often the most successful people. Steve Jobs was an excellent communicator. Image:

3 Why do engineers need to communicate?
Living in a “sound bite” world, engineers must learn to communicate effectively … If we place our trust solely in the primacy of logic and technical skills, we will lose the contest for the public’s attention—and in the end, both the public and the engineer will be the loser. -Norman Augustine, chair of the Human Space Flight Committee

4 Today's Learning Objectives
After today’s class, students will be able to: Define technical communication, especially in engineering. Explain at least three differences between technical communication and high school writing. Discuss at least two specific uses for technical communication in engineering. Describe written forms of technical communication.

5 What is Technical Communication?
A method of sharing information about specialized subjects Examples include: Laboratory reports and memos Project contract or bid proposal Assembly instructions for a toy User guide for software Drug prescription Patents Technical articles and publications Be sure to support the idea that it is a way to present and share information and the our different written forms of technical writing we will be using. Will review the four types later.

6 Written Communication In This Class
Four types of written documents: Executive Summary Lab Memo Lab Report Project Notebook Start simple and gradually increase in detail, content sections, and overall size Executive Summary Lab Memo Lab Report Project Notebook Completing these different types of technical writing and speaking will prepare you for your future careers and possible post-graduate research

7 Written Communication
Executive Summary: This short document (1-2 pages) provides a brief overview of the lab and contains key facts, results, and conclusions. Lab Memo: This document is formatted like a standard business memo. Its purpose is to report the data, observations, and results obtained in lab. Lab Report: This document is more formal than a Memo and contains additional sections with more detailed information. Project Notebook: This large document serves to record your team’s activities and progress through completion of an extensive design/build task. Executive summary: provides an overview of a larger project or study, gives a synopsis of a large document in a brief and concise form Lab memo: a little larger than a summary; contains data, observations and results in a brief format Lab reports: prepared for team projects and procedures which require extensive processes and tasks Project notebook: The project notebook serves as a way of documenting your team’s activities and progress through completion of an extensive design/build task.

8 Key Techniques Technical Communication Style: Use 3rd Person
Use Past Tense Avoid Emotional Statements Use Passive Voice Deliberately Use Short Sentences Use Bulleted and Numbered Lists Introduction To Ethics

9 Using the Technical Communication Guide
The Technical Communication Guide aids students and contains: An introduction to technical communication An explanation of the different types of written and verbal presentation assignments in the class A description of helpful software tools and grammatical rules Can be found on the ENGR 1182 ‘Content’ page. Navigate it by using the index and clicking on the section you wish to go to.

10 Technical Communication vs. High School Writing
Expository Informative Double spaced Often Single Spaced Essay format Professional format Descriptive Concise and precise Length requirement Short is preferred Instructors should take time to stress the difference between the writing the students did in high school versus the writing they will be doing now. No more trying to reach a certain length, using fluff and adding and exuberant amount of detail, or taking into account the users emotion when performing the lab. Optional Question to Class: Has anyone written other documents in other contexts beside those I’ve just described? Handle as responses vary. Science fairs, Robot Competitions, Eagle Scout projects all come a bit closer to being Technical Communications. Technical communication should be thought of as “workplace writing.” It is VERY different from the writing many of you have done for school. It is also VERY different from blogging on the Internet, Instant Messaging with friends, Tweeting, Texting and so on!! Those who write for work are in a formal, for-pay environment. They would NEVER write a workplace document in the style or format of a TEXT. Optional Question to Class: How many of you , text or tweet? To Whom are you sending these messages? How are those audiences different from “workplace writing?” Professional engineers at work are intent upon solving a problem, conveying information or persuading another person at work based upon facts and data. No one at work has time to read “essays” and they would be offended by casual or informal communication because their time is valuable to them and to the organization. Informality is just not acceptable at work. So Technical Communication style, format and conventions were developed to help professionals transmit their message using precise language and very specific formats, like memos that are acceptable to everyone concerned with work. Memos are usually short, internal documents that people at work use to convey message for many purposes and on many topics.

11 Written Communication in the Form of Emails
Consider your audience. Content and phrasing needs to be adjusted according to the audience’s expectations. At OSU, professors, GTAs, and UTAs should be considered a formal audience. Consider the many people with whom you communicate daily. Do you adjust the method (channel) of your communication and the words you use based upon the receiver of your message? Would you deliver the same message to your closest friends that you would give to your boss at work, your teachers, or your parents or grandparents? Each time you communicate with someone, you need to adjust the content and phrasing of the message and how you communicate it to “match” your perception of that person’s expectations. You get clues about how to make these adjustments from experience and advice from others. These adjustments need to be made for your communication at Ohio State University as well.

12 Guidelines Include a brief, informative subject line in your . Example: Question about the homework for the Technical Communication Class

13 Email Guidelines Include a greeting to open your Email. Examples:
Dear Instructor Corrigan: Dear Dr. Abrams: It is important to use the proper title for the person(s) you are addressing in the .

14 Email Guidelines Your message should be written in a formal style.
Use regular sentence capitalization and punctuation. Use full sentences. Check spelling. Use formatting to divide your message. Use short paragraphs. Include headings. In your message, use a more formal style rather than a “text-message” style. Write using regular sentence capitalization and punctuation. Write your message in full sentences. Always check your spelling and eliminate any typos or misspellings. Use formatting to divide your message if it is complex or longer than three sentences. Use short paragraphs. Include headings such as Background, Need Extra Review Sheet, or Request an Appointment to organize the message for easier reading.

15 Guidelines Include a Closing with your full name and your contact information. Example: Thanks for your help, Lauren Corrigan,

16 Example 1 Dear Instructor Corrigan: Hello, I'm Mi Yang from your ENGR 1181 in Spring I have been admitted by the University of Houston, University of Texas at Dallas, and Fordham University at New York, I have accepted the offer from University of Houston.  I am really grateful for your kindness and help. I will always remember and be thankful for how you inspired me in your class and how you supported me to pursue a higher education in a Master’s program. Sincerely, Mi Yang The Ohio State University


18 Important Takeaways Different from High School Writing
concise and precise contains bulleted and numbered lists, as needed Specifically styled and formatted (e.g. lab memo) 3rd person, past tense, and passive voice free of emotional statements Used for written and verbal communication Use the Technical Communications Guide  Resources Page

19 Preview of Next Class Excel - Graphing!

20 What’s Next? Review today’s lecture. Then, start working on homework.

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