Presentation on theme: "1 Purpose / Audience and Content Organization Follow the Writing Process Know your Audience Use an organizational strategy."— Presentation transcript:
1 Purpose / Audience and Content Organization Follow the Writing Process Know your Audience Use an organizational strategy
2 The Writing Process PrewritingWritingRewriting Examine your purpose Determine your goals Consider your audience Gather your data Determine how the content will be provided Organize the draft according to some logical sequence that your readers can follow easily Format the content to allow for ease of access Revise o Add missing details o Delete wordiness o Simplify word usage o Enhance the tone of your communication o Reformat your text for ease of access Proofread o Correct errors
3 Know your Purpose Provide facts or information about a product or service? Data sheet White paper (report) Proposal Website content Provide instructions to use a product or service? User Manual Tutorial Procedures
4 Know your audience Who will read the document? What do they know about the subject? Why will they read the document? How will they read the document?
5 Who will read the document? Self-directed Want a reason Have prior experience Goal oriented Internally motivated Busy Adults What attitude is your reader likely to have?
6 What do they know about the subject? Are you writing to….. High-tech readers? Low-tech readers? Lay readers? Multiple readers with varied levels of knowledge?
7 Types of Readers LaymenNon-specialists who lack background (knowledge or experience) in the subject matter. TechniciansReaders who use a document to assemble, operate, maintain, or repair equipment or to run complex processes. May or may not have required background. ExecutivesReaders who use technical information to make decisions. May or may not have technical background. ExpertsReaders who know everything about the technology – design, construction, uses, operations, and theory.
8 Why will they read the document? How effective and informative your technical writing is depends on how you select, reject, and arrange your details. Determines the level of detail…. Too many…. you put readers to sleep Too few…. you leave readers uninformed In the wrong order…. readers are confused How much detail will you include? Which words will you define? What kind of illustrations will you use?
9 How much detail…. Inverse relation between size of group and amount of detail Largest audience gets the least amount of detail
10 How much detail…. DetailsAudience SizeAudience A Motor Trend magazine Manufacturer’s engineering specs A showroom brochure The owners manual A Time magazine advertisement The shop manual
11 How much detail… Have a specific person in mind as your audience Place yourself in his/her position Ask: what does he/she want to know?
12 How will they read the document? How will the content be delivered? How should the document be organized?
13 How will the content be delivered? E-mail Cell phone e-mail PDA e-mail Letter/memo User Manual Report Brochure Newsletter Website PowerPoint Which communication channel will you use?
14 How will the content be delivered? The type of communication channel determines the size and shape of the content. The communication channel determines the technological requirements of the writer and reader(s).
15 How should the document be organized? Sequential / Chronological—good for instructions Order of Importance—good for reports, presentations General to Specific—good for “big picture” Division/Spatial—good for technical descriptions Task analysis—good for user manuals Problem/Solution—good for proposals Comparison/Contrast—good for showing alternatives Organize the draft according to some logical sequence that your readers can follow easily
16 Sequential / Chronological Reader moves through information from beginning to end in a linear fashion Numbered lists to indicate sequence Transitional words to identify movement through the sequence – first, next, finally Sequence guide words – step, part, phase, segment Numbers Images to clarify sequence Chronological – use of a timeline or flowchart Good for instructions
17 Order of Importance Place most important point last. Leaves audience with most important information fresh in mind – PowerPoint presentation. Start with the most important point. Presenting numerous points and want to ensure reader is attentive to most important information. Memos, reports, emails Websites (pyramid approach) Allows you to emphasize or de-emphasize information. What do you want the reader to remember?
18 General to Specific General information provides background, scope and context for more specific information. Make general statements, then support them with specific facts. Introduction, Overview Provides the reader with the “big picture” first. Gives them something to relate the specifics to.
19 Division Divide and subdivide a whole idea, object or phenomenon into its various parts. Documents that: Include a parts lists – specification or data sheet Describe the parts of a process, procedure, policy or event. Some things can best be understood by treating them as a series of smaller parts.
20 Spatial Helps reader visualize what you see Layout of the land, placement of components within a system Describe what you see as it appears in space ─ left to right, top to bottom, inside to outside, clockwise. Good for technical descriptions
21 Spatial Description At the basements north wall, I will build a window seat 7’ long by 2’ wide by 2’ high. To the right of the seat, on the east wall, I will build a desk 4’ high by 5’ long by 3’ wide. On the south wall, to the left of the door, I will build an entertainment unit the height of the wall including four, 4’ high by 4’ wide by 2’ deep shelving compartments. The west wall will contain no built-ins. You can use this space to display pictures and to place furniture.
22 Task Analysis What tasks do they need to accomplish? What types of information do they need to make a decision? First step in most technical writing projects. Focuses on what kind of information the reader needs. Good for User Manuals
23 Parallel: Headings should be alike. If first section is a noun phrase, all should be; if participle phrase all should be. Descriptive: Not vague. Allows reader to scan through and jump to information of interest. Headings indicate where information can be found. Use headings to reveal your strategy. Noun PhraseParticiple Phrase Mining StageMining the Coal Transportation StageTransporting the Coal Combustion StageBurning the Coal
24 They should be descriptive and parallel. Non-Parallel Non-Descriptive Introduction Background Marx Generators Line Pulse Beam Generation Transporting Beam Pellets Results Conclusions Introduction Background Marx Generators Line Pulse Beam Generation Transporting Beam Pellets Results Conclusions Parallel and Descriptive Introduction Past Designs for Particle Beam Fusion New Design for Particle Beam Fusion Charging Marx Generators Forming Line Pulse Generating Particle Beam Transporting Particle Beam Irradiating Deuterium-Tritium Pellets Results of New Design Conclusions and Recommendations Introduction Past Designs for Particle Beam Fusion New Design for Particle Beam Fusion Charging Marx Generators Forming Line Pulse Generating Particle Beam Transporting Particle Beam Irradiating Deuterium-Tritium Pellets Results of New Design Conclusions and Recommendations
25 Organization is hidden without secondary headings Performance of the Solar One Receiver Introduction Steady State Efficiency Average Efficiency Start-Up Time Operation Time Operation During Cloud Transients Panel Mechanical Supports Tube Leaks Conclusion Performance of the Solar One Receiver Introduction Receiver’s Efficiency Steady State Efficiency Average Efficiency Receiver’s Operation Cycle Start-Up Time Operation Time Operation During Cloud Transients Receiver’s Mechanical Wear Panel Mechanical Supports Tube Leaks Conclusion
26 Format to provide easy access Use highlighting techniques, such as White space Headings Bullets Graphics Font changes Color
27 Rewriting Revise Add missing details Delete wordiness Simplify word usage Enhance the tone of your communication Reformat your text for ease of access Practice the speech or review the text Proofread Correct errors