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Open Technical Writing: An Open-Access Text for Instruction in Technical and Professional Writing

(3 reviews)

technical writing lessons pdf

Adam Rex Pope, University of Arkansas

Copyright Year: 2018

Publisher: University of Arkansas

Language: English

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Reviewed by Joyce Bower, Part-Time Professor, Linn-Benton Community College on 8/4/20

Adam Rex Pope does a good job of covering the basics and giving cooking metaphors to help readers understand the concepts. Unfortunately, there is no glossary or index to help students with finding and defining concepts. Technical writing... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 3 see less

Adam Rex Pope does a good job of covering the basics and giving cooking metaphors to help readers understand the concepts. Unfortunately, there is no glossary or index to help students with finding and defining concepts. Technical writing documents also were not thoroughly explained and demonstrated. Pope provides brief explanations of some documents, but analytical reports were not explained. These are things that an instructor can supplement, however, so if an instructor wants a good overview of what technical writing is, this book would be a good choice.

Content Accuracy rating: 3

The content is fine, and in general, it is accurate, but sometimes Pope can be confusing: "In our examples below, we’re always conveying 'the facts,' in our messages or our boxes. And, in those examples, it would seem that no matter what we’re still conveying 'just the facts' once we cut out all the extra cruft. The essential facts never change in those examples, but when we do technical writing they very well can!" (p. 23). That doesn't make sense. Punctuation (commas) are needed for a better understanding, and what does he mean that when we do technical writing, the essential facts can change? This is not good writing or technical writing. Pope also does not reference other sources throughout. (He does cite two sources at the very end, but there are no in-text citations.)

Relevance/Longevity rating: 4

The content is a general explanation of technical writing, so it will not be obsolete quickly; however, it is almost too general to be used alone.

Clarity rating: 4

Pope explains concepts with cooking metaphors, something that many people can relate to. The tone is very casual, using terms like "folks." It may make it more accessible for some.

Consistency rating: 5

Following his own advice, Pope's terminology and framework for the text is very consistent and easy to follow.

Modularity rating: 5

The table of contents and section headings make it easy to assign readings and help readers find what they need easily.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 5

Pope organizes the topics well, moving from general topics of technical writing through more specific topics such as genres and research. (Unfortunately, the genre and research sections are not very thorough or helpful.)

Interface rating: 4

The text is available to download and is easy to navigate (other than a few blank pages here and there between pages/sections, which can be distracting).

Grammatical Errors rating: 2

Not only is the tone casual, but the editing is also casual. Several misspellings and grammatical errors distract from the content and can confuse the message. Also, when I teach technical writing, I teach correctness to ensure readability and conciseness. The author does not show this in his writing, which would undermine what I am teaching.

Cultural Relevance rating: 3

Pope does a good job of discussing audience/users in general but does not address cultures much.

technical writing lessons pdf

Reviewed by Forrest Johnson, Part-Time English Faculty, Linn-Benton Community College on 1/14/20

The text does a fine job of covering the breadth of technical writing concepts, but there is no index or glossary. Still, the table of contents is detailed enough to make the content fairly discoverable. read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 4 see less

The text does a fine job of covering the breadth of technical writing concepts, but there is no index or glossary. Still, the table of contents is detailed enough to make the content fairly discoverable.

Content Accuracy rating: 4

Pope does a good job of making it clear that he is writing from his own perspective and set of biases, but the text could be tightened up to be a better demonstration of good technical writing.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 5

Pope clearly worked hard to make a text that speaks to students currently in technical writing courses, but that also has staying power. There are references to technologies that will likely be out of date in 5 years, but the concepts and principals taught will remain relevant.

The conversational tone of the text makes it feel more accessible, but it also makes the text feel a bit bloated and, in some cases, may lead to confusion. I suspect that there are some students who struggle with traditional textbooks who will find the tone of the text helpful, while students used to formal writing may be frustrated that the tone is not more authoritative.

The text does a fine job of defining terms and using them consistently.

Modularity rating: 4

As Pope mentions in the "Note to Instructors", the chapters are long and packed with subsections. I think the content could be divided and reordered with out much confusion. However, the subsections are not always designated as clearly as they might be.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 4

The major concepts flow logically. Because it is written in a conversational tone, some of the examples of the concepts take a while to develop and connect.

Interface rating: 5

The text is just a PDF, but the table of contents is interactive and looks to be reasonably accessible to a screen reader and to other accommodation needs.

Grammatical Errors rating: 5

There are some areas where the conversational tone leads to grammatical choices that could be disputed, but it is well written overall.

Cultural Relevance rating: 5

While Pope certainly writes with a culturally situated voice, he does a good job of using examples that are inclusive and engaging.

I think this would be a particularly good text to use in an online course because of its conversational and personal tone. Pope's writing feels more like a guided discussion than a dry lecture. The text does an excellent job of giving technical writing life and a human context. There instances where the conversational tone results in modeling habits like over using adjectives that I would probably edit if/when I use the text in my own course, but the content is good enough to make this a minor issue.

Reviewed by Kelly Zepp, Assistant Professor, Community College of Denver on 11/4/19

The author of the text spends so much time on lesser important elements like X-height and too little time on more important issues like the various technical writing genres. Also, the title of the book explicitly states that it will over... read more

Comprehensiveness rating: 2 see less

The author of the text spends so much time on lesser important elements like X-height and too little time on more important issues like the various technical writing genres. Also, the title of the book explicitly states that it will over professional writing as well as technical writing. Given this, I would expect that emails, memos, letters, and resumes would be included in the genre section; however, the book doesn't discuss these at all. I also would expect a book with this title to discuss style/readability; however, this is not included.

Content Accuracy rating: 5

I did not find any inaccurate information; however, there are topics that I would prefer to be handled differently; for example, I would never reference taxonomy in the same way that Pope was. I would refer to it as chunking information and developing hierarchy.

Relevance/Longevity rating: 3

With the exception of acid wash jeans, it doesn't seem like the material will become dated quickly. The author makes use of some design tools. Overall, it doesn't seem like it would be easy to update because it is a PDF file.

Clarity rating: 3

Some people will like the author's fun, chatty style. Unfortunately, I thought it was distracting and took my focus from the material and put it on the author. The author discloses that this was an intentional choice, and I can imagine that his students might enjoy having a text that sounds like their professor. It seems, however, that this choice makes it hard for other professors to adopt this text. Also, all his asides lead to writing that is less concise than it should be, which is esp. unfortunate in a technical writing text.

Author is consistent with his references like "signposts" and "genre."

Modularity rating: 3

Here is what Pope has to say on the modularity of his book, "When it comes to daily teaching, you may notice I don’t have that many chapters. Each chapter is fairly lengthy, and they are not intended to be covered in a single day. Instead, each chapter has major chunks that can be assigned with suggested activities at the end of each major chunk. These activities are provided to give you some direction in classroom exercises to help students internalize and make use of the concepts covered in each section. You don’t have to stop each class when a chunk of text terminates with activities, but I’ve provided these spots to break up the chapters in ways that make sense in my own mind."

For me, what makes sense in Pope's mind, does not always make sense to me. This text does not seem like it lend itself well to someone who wanted to approach the content in a different way.

Organization/Structure/Flow rating: 3

Some of Pope's organizational choices do not make sense to me. For example, I would not expect to find a detailed description of the writing process in a chapter called "The User." Likewise, I would not expect to see signposting and taxonomy in the "What is Technical Writing" chapter.

Interface rating: 3

A book on technical writing ought to make good use of design; while this text is not awful, there are some elements that I wish the author addressed. For example, all headings, the info in the green boxes, and all info in the TOC is in ALL CAPS. This makes these sections more difficult to use. Also, most of the book uses large chunks of text that span the entire page. Some variety of design elements like indenting or bolding information or using small caps or title caps would have helped me navigate the text more easily. There are also a number of widows and orphans throughout the text. Lastly, the images could be integrated more effectively. For example, the image on page 149 is too far down and makes the page feel bottom heavy. This would be frustrating in any text, but it's even more so in a text that needs to teach students about effective document design. I also was disappointed that there are very few images in the visual communication section.

Grammatical Errors rating: 3

Overall, it was fairly well proofed; however, it is not error-free. For example, the following heading on page 153 made me laugh, "A table to be used to asses Objectives and time allotment" I am pretty sure the author meant "assess."

The following is a SV agreement error on the "A Note to Instructors" page, "Because of this approach, the text try to dictate exact moves that much, especially when it comes to particular genres like white papers and the like."

Cultural Relevance rating: 4

Overall, there don't seem to be many cultural references, and they generally seem to be used well and inoffensively. It would be even stronger in this area without the many references to Halloween and the Jack O'Lantern in the visual design section to discuss how to stack design elements.

In his note to instructors, Pope writes the following: "In this text, I try to present technical writing as an approach to researching and carrying out writing that centers on technical subject matter. As part of this, each and every chapter is devoted to helping students understand that good technical writing is situationally-aware and context-driven. Technical writing doesn’t work off knowing the one true right way of doing things—there is no magic report template out there that will always work. Instead, I’ve focused on offering students a series of approaches they can use to map out their situations and do research accordingly. Because of this approach, the text try to dictate exact moves that much, especially when it comes to particular genres like white papers and the like. This is entirely by design. Nothing specific that I could write here would have any amount of a lifespan with a particular genre, so I’ve opted instead to provide a research framework and some specific tips and tricks with each genre. For researching and teaching a particular genre, I would recommend focusing on the method I suggest to research the genre and then to build your class time around finding example texts and building your own image of what the genre looks like. "

If you don't agree with his approach you probably, like me, will not find this text useful. I would need to supplement this text with so many other resources, etc. that it is not worth my time adopting it.

Also, this book is only available as a PDF, which makes it more difficult for one to pull modules into one's LMS. In its current version, I'm not sure its very accessible. For example, in 5 pages of very dense text, there are only two subheadings. This would be very difficult to navigate by someone with a screen reader.

Table of Contents

  • What is Technical Writing?
  • Visual Communication & Technical Writing
  • Document Design in Technical Writing
  • Writing in Genres
  • Managing a Project
  • Research Methods for Technical Writing

Ancillary Material

  • Submit ancillary resource

About the Book

This book presents technical writing as an approach to researching and carrying out writing that centers on technical subject matter. Each and every chapter is devoted to helping students understand that good technical writing is situationally-aware and context-driven. Technical writing doesn’t work off knowing the one true right way of doing things—there is no magic report template out there that will always work. Instead, the focus is on offering students a series of approaches they can use to map out their situations and do research accordingly.

About the Contributors

Adam Rex Pope , University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

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Technical Writing 101: A Real-World Guide to Planning and Writing Technical Documentation

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Alan s. pringle.

Technical Writing 101: A Real-World Guide to Planning and Writing Technical Documentation, Second Edition

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Summary Technical Writing 101: A Real-World Guide to Planning and Writing Technical Documentation

To succeed in technical writing, you need 3rd Edition a lot more than just writing ability. covers Web 2.0 Technical Writing 101 details the skills you need as a technical writer to create both printed and online content. and DITA This valuable reference describes the entire development process—planning, writing, visual design, editing, indexing, and production. You also get tips on how to write information that is more easily translated into other languages. You’ll learn about the importance of following templates and about how structured authoring environments based on Extensible Markup Language (XML) streamline the content development process. This updated third edition features new information on the Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA) standard for structured authoring, and it explains the impact of A Real-World Guide Web 2.0 technologies—blogs, wikis, and forums—on to Planning and Writing technical communication. Technical Content by Scriptorium Press is the imprint of Scriptorium Publishing Services, Inc. PO Box 12761 Alan S. Pringle Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2761 USA [email protected] Sarah S. O’Keefe

Copyright © 2000–2009 Scriptorium Publishing Services, Inc. Please do not share or redistribute.

Technical Writing 101: A Real-World Guide to Planning and Writing Technical Content Third edition Copyright © 2000–2009 Scriptorium Publishing Services, Inc. Scriptorium Press, Scriptorium Publishing Services, and their logos are trademarks of Scriptorium Publishing Services, Inc. All other trademarks used herein are the properties of their respective owners and are used for identification purposes only. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, tap- ing, or by any information storage or retrieval system, without written permission from Scriptorium Publishing Services, Inc. Part of Chapter 13 is adapted from Scriptorium Publishing’s white paper, “Struc- tured Authoring and XML,” which was originally published at Chapter 14 is adapted from Scriptorium Publishing’s white paper, “Friend or Foe? Web 2.0 in Technical Communication,” which was originally published at Published by Scriptorium Press, the imprint of Scriptorium Publishing Services, Inc. For information, contact: Scriptorium Publishing Services, Inc. PO Box 12761 Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2761 USA Attn: Scriptorium Press [email protected] ISBN: 978-0-9704733-7-0 Copyright © 2000–2009 Scriptorium Publishing Services, Inc. Please do not share or redistribute.

About the authors Alan S. Pringle is director of publishing operations at Scriptorium Publishing Services, Inc. He implements new processes for developing and distributing technical content. His responsibilities include managing schedules and budgets for complex consulting projects, automating production and localization tasks with XML-based workflows, and working on large-scale DITA conversions. Alan guides books through the entire pub- lication process as the manager of Scriptorium’s publishing imprint, Scriptorium Press. Alan edited Publishing Fundamentals: Unstructured FrameMaker 8, Publishing Fundamentals: FrameMaker 7, and The WebWorks Publisher Cookbook. Sarah S. O’Keefe is president of Scriptorium Publish- ing. Since founding the company in 1996, Sarah has focused on efficiency—selecting the right publishing tools, creating templates, and training writers on how to use their tools. In 2002, she received her Certified Tech- nical Trainer (CTT+) accreditation from CompTIA. Her presentations at international, national, and regional conferences have consistently earned high ratings, and she is an Associate Fellow of the Society for Technical Communication (STC). Her publishing credits include Publishing Fundamentals: Unstructured FrameMaker 8, Publishing Fundamentals: FrameMaker 7 (originally pub- lished as FrameMaker 7: The Complete Reference), The WebWorks Publisher Cookbook, and numerous white papers. 5 Copyright © 2000–2009 Scriptorium Publishing Services, Inc. Please do not share or redistribute.

About the authors 6 Copyright © 2000–2009 Scriptorium Publishing Services, Inc. Please do not share or redistribute.

Acknowledgments Special thanks to the following people, who helped make this a better book: • Bill Burns for contributing to the chapter on local- ization and internationalization • Sean Byrne for drawing the illustrations • David Kelly for designing the cover • Larry Kunz for recommending updates in this edition • Sheila Loring for completing the final review • Terry Smith for reviewing the book and updating the index • The staff at Scriptorium Publishing for contributing to the section on DITA 7 Copyright © 2000–2009 Scriptorium Publishing Services, Inc. Please do not share or redistribute.

Acknowledgments 8 Copyright © 2000–2009 Scriptorium Publishing Services, Inc. Please do not share or redistribute.

Contents Preface 19 What’s in this book 19 Chapter 1: So, what’s a technical writer? 25 Knowledge of technology 26 Ignorance is bliss 28 Who treats the doctor and who documents for the writer? 29 Writing ability 29 Miss Thistlebottom was right… 30 Organizational skills 32 Strong detective (and people) skills 34 Chapter 2: The technical writing process 37 What you can expect (maybe) 37 Authoring with templates and with structure 40 Template-based authoring 41 Structured authoring 42 Are templates and structure really that important? 44 Templates and structure are good for your professional well-being 46 9 Copyright © 2000–2009 Scriptorium Publishing Services, Inc. Please do not share or redistribute.

Contents Chapter 3: Very necessary evils—doc plans and outlines 47 What’s a doc plan? 48 Who writes the doc plan? 51 Any formulas for writing doc plans? 52 Outlining—it’s not just for high school papers anymore 54 What goes into the outline? 54 How many deliverables should there be? 56 Writing the outline 57 Chapter 4: The Tech Writer’s Toolbox 61 Content/text development tools for printed content 62 Graphics software and clip art packages 65 Rich media tools 66 Help or web authoring tools 67 File conversion and single-sourcing utilities 67 Other helpful software 69 Computers and ergonomics 70 Chapter 5: Getting information 73 Technical specifications and other development content 74 The benefits of a spec 74 The drawbacks of a spec 75 Prototypes and software under development 76 The benefits of prototypes and prerelease software 78 The drawbacks of prototypes and prerelease software 79 Legacy content 81 The benefits of legacy content 81 The drawbacks of legacy content 81 10 Copyright © 2000–2009 Scriptorium Publishing Services, Inc. Please do not share or redistribute.

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Technical Writing

  • Technical Writing
  • Português – Brasil
  • For Students
  • Technical Writing Two

Technical Writing Two introduction

Technical Writing Two helps technical people improve their technical communication skills.

Target audience

We've aimed this course at people who have completed Technical Writing One and are still hungry for more technical writing training. If you've never taken any technical writing training, we recommend completing Technical Writing One before taking this class.

Learning objectives

This course focuses on several intermediate topics in technical writing. After completing this class, you will know how to do the following:

  • Choose among several different tactics to write first drafts and additional tactics for writing second and third drafts.
  • Use several techniques to detect mistakes in your own writing.
  • Organize large documents.
  • Introduce a document's scope and any prerequisites.
  • Write clear figure captions.
  • Pick the proper information density in technical illustrations.
  • Focus the reader's attention in illustrations.
  • Establish context through a "big picture" illustration.
  • Revise technical illustrations effectively.
  • Create useful, accurate, concise, clear, reusable, and well-commented sample code that demonstrates a range of complexity.
  • Identify different documentation types.
  • Describe just about anything.
  • Empathize with a beginner audience and write a tutorial for them.

It takes years of focused practice to become a great engineer or a great technical writer. This course will improve your technical writing but will not instantly transform you into a great technical writer.

Pre-class and in-class components

The course consists of the following two components:

You are currently viewing the start of the pre-class component.

The in-class component enhances the lessons taught in the pre-class components. That said, the pre-class lessons on their own still provide a valuable educational experience.

Hardware and network requirements

Although this course is optimized for a laptop or desktop, you may take the course on a tablet or phone. If you are taking the in-class component, please note that you'll type a lot.

You need an internet connection to take the course. You cannot download the course. The course is not available on tangible media.

The course contains a few short videos, all of which are optional viewing. If you want to skip the videos, then you can take the course on a low-bandwidth internet connection.

Next unit: Self-editing

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Engineer's Guide to Technical Writing

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Assessing Instructional Documents: A Comparison of Writing Faculty, Engineering Faculty and Workplace Technical Communicator Practices

Hayden Coombs

Technical writing is used in many technical and professional fields. Its goal is to accurately and concisely convey direction, explanation, or instruction to specific audiences of varying levels of technical knowledge so that each reader clearly understands the information they need. Objectives In an increasingly complex world, good technical writing is increasingly important. This course will teach you how to create and design quality communication for the professional environment. After the successful completion of the course, students will be able to: 1. Communicate using Markel's Eight Measures of Excellence: honesty, clarity, accuracy, comprehensiveness, accessibility, conciseness, professional appearance, and correctness. 2. Evaluate the communication situation: audience, purpose, and context. 3. Create effective professional memos, proposals, technical definitions, and reports. 4. Integrate visual items in technical documents, 5. Understand how to analyze, incorporate, and attribute data from research. 6. Use a cover letter, résumé, and LinkedIn profile in an effective job search. 7. Continue developing lifelong learning and self-editing skills. 8. Continue developing as a professional and leader. 9. Use Word effectively in document design. Required Course Materials • Practical Strategies for Technical Communication Mike Markel, ISBN: 978-1319261023 • Red pen • Printing funds • Internet access Class Policies: 1. Attendance-This is a face-to-face class for a reason: It is essential that all students attend class. Attendance will be taken at the beginning of every class. Written documentation for a universitysanctioned absence must be provided. Arrangements concerning absences are entirely at my discretion.

COMM 4240 Syllabus - Technical Writing

Dr Ravi Shankar Prasad

2018, Journal of Graphic Engineering and Design

Technical letters (capital) writing: A new concept

George Tchobanoglous



A capacity and taste for reading gives access to whatever has already been discovered by others”-Abraham LincolnAsEnglish is auniversal language, interaction is essential for those who aspire to grow proficientlyin the competitive world. Communication skills are playinga vital role in these days amongstthe extraordinaryenrichmentsin science and technology. Especially forengineering students, it acts like a prerequisite asthey are accountablefor the uninterruptedgrowth and innovationof a society and nation at large, theoretically. Even thoughtheprincipaltasks accomplishedby engineers are methodicalin nature and their successdependsparticularlyon the efficiencywith which they adopt. Thereforean engineer should be an incomparablein both reading and writing skills. Reading is very much important because an engineer has to read and comprehend a variety of texts –it may be a short e-mail, abook or anextensivereport. One who acquires skill in reading automatically becomes a creative writer.Similarlythe objective of any professional writing is to communicate theideas with the right usage of wordsin factualcontext.Keywords


Gayatri Mohanta

Introduction, materials & methods, results, discussion, and conclusions are the core sections of a research paper. Academics can be conservative when it comes to writing styles, but writing shouldn't be boring. Competition is high for academics looking to publish their papers, so we know you're worried about how to improve your chances. Research must be solid, the paper must be logically structured, and the manuscript sections must contain the right information. Clarity depends on correct English usage, so watch out for errors with articles, prepositions, word choice, and punctuation. Even if the grammar and sentence structure are perfect, make writing more compelling by using powerful verbs and phrases. Journal articles' titles and images attract readers. A self-contained abstract describes a broader work. Abstracts are published online and in most conference proceedings. The abstract is a key part of a research paper. Potential reviewers only read the abstract when invited by an editor to assess a paper. Abstracts should concisely describe the topic, scope, purpose, results, and conclusion of the work. The abstract is indexed by search engines, so be sure it has the words a colleague researcher will use to find publications online. Make sure it's full of data and numbers to show scient ific rigour. Results should be clear and confident. Here's an overview of different journal articles on antenna simulation, embedded system design, cyber security, PI controller, IIoT (industrial internet of things), and image processing.


Mary Jane Curry

This chapter explores how academic engineers write for publication, focusing on “invention” – that is, moments when writers identify the research results they want to present and decide on the arguments they want to make in an article. A key finding presented is that beyond the well-documented role of graphics in displaying research results, graphics also play a crucial heuristic role in invention. This finding emerged from an ethnographic study of three engineering research groups, which entailed the analysis of a range of qualitative data to offer perspectives on the experiences of academic engineers writing for publication. Drawing on this research, the chapter documents that in developing texts for publication, engineers often begin with the graphic results of data analysis to identify findings and begin to craft arguments. Further, in research group and informal meetings, engineers invoke the notion of storytelling through graphics as they socialize their group members into the practices of research dissemination via posters and articles.

Graphics and invention in academic engineers’ writing for publication

Moira Grant

2008, Canadian Journal of Medical Laboratory Science

The write stuff: part 1. An introduction to creating reports and publishable papers

Marie-Thérèse Rudolf von Rohr

2020, Journal of Academic Writing

This article focuses on how formative feedback can be used to help engineering students write precise and coherent management summaries that appeal to a mixed audience. Management summaries are especially challenging to master as students must strive for a balance between adhering to scientific standards and being intelligible for a wider non-expert readership. Students of Energy and Environmental Technology at the school of engineering (FHNW) in Switzerland write a total of six technical reports about their project work (mostly in German). By analysing two management summaries, the focus is laid on the lecturers’ approach of relying on formative feedback which supports and accompanies the students’ iterative writing processes. It is shown how in early semesters lecturers provide hands-on guidance, such as suggesting discourse markers or pinpointing vague references to sharpen students’ awareness of the need to write as concisely as possible for mixed audiences.

Technical writing as part of project management for engineers: using a writing-process approach to teach disciplinary writing requirements

Jonathan Arnett

Sexy Technical Communication, 2nd Edition

Cárlison Oliveira

Preparation of Technical Manuscripts in English

Amona Eltokhei

Writing Scientific Papers

Aviva Freedman

1998, Canadian Journal for Studies in Discourse and Writing/Rédactologie

Learning to Teach Writing to Engineers

Marilyn Washington

Technical Paper

2018, The International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences

Industries demand fresh graduate to possess technical writing skills in order to be employed. Thus, technical writing competency in engineering organization cannot be underestimated. In consequence, this study attempts to explore technical writing competency needs perceived by Malaysian polytechnic engineering students in terms of knowledge, skills, and attitudes towards technical writing in English. 207 diploma students among various engineering courses of a polytechnic have responded to a survey on students’ perceived technical writing competency needs. Results of the study indicated that the students showed low moderate agreement (mean score

Exploring the Needs of Technical Writing Competency in English among Polytechnic Engineering Students

Su-Hie Ting

Ting, S. H., & Abdullah, S. (2010, November 12-14). Report writing skills of engineering students. Proceedings of The Second International Conference on the Roles of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Engineering, Bayview Hotel, Pulau Pinang.

Nicole Amare

2005, Journal of Technical Writing and Communication


jhon jairo echeverry

2016, Ingeniería e Investigación

This article presents the design, implementation and appraisal of an educational intervention developed to explore how education, practice and feedback of cognitive elements, regarding writing summaries, have an effect on the technical writing competence of freshman engineering students. The educational intervention was designed based on the methodol-ogy of Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) and it consisted of three phases: teaching, practice and feedback. In total, 177 students participated, distributed into three groups: 54 Electronic Engineering students (year 2014), 57 Electrical Engineering students (year 2015) and 66 Electronic Engineering students (year 2015). The intervention effects were studied by quantitative and qualitative evidence. Quantitative evidence was collected through an evaluation rubric of the summaries written by the students; this rubric analyzes ten criteria of the writing competence. Qualitative evidence was collected through open-ended questions about t...

Effects of an educational intervention on the technical writing competence of engineering students

David Beams

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings

How Engineering Students Learn To Write: The Second Year Of The Engineering Writing Initiative At The University Of Texas At Tyler

David Farkas

A Course and Curriculum in Advanced Technical Communication

Nelson Cheng PhD (H.C.), SRF , Patrick Moe , Nicola Nedev

This journal focuses on the nine essential steps for publication of technical article and research paper. Writing a technical article or research paper is a challenging endeavour for students, post graduates and young researchers. Publishing your first technical article or research paper requires observation on some essential guidelines. This article provides the nine fundamental guidelines for tertiary students, post graduates and young researchers for writing an effective technical article or research paper for publication. This journal covers the quintessential fundamentals including naming the objectives, title, keywords, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, acknowledgement, and literature cited and conclusion of the scientific or research article.

Nine fundamental guidelines for Writing A Scientific and Technical Article for Publication

Cutilioux Rukhshan

How to write a technical report

shekar viswanathan

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings

Improving Technical Writing Among Engineering And Technology Students


Guide to technical report writing

Marilyn Dyrud

Design guidelines for written assignments

Timothy Hinds

An essential skill for all engineers to have is the ability to communicate scientific ideas to an array of people with various backgrounds. On a daily basis, engineers use their technical writing skills to share their knowledge through emails, technical reports, manuscripts, scope documents, technical agendas and test plans. EGR 100: Introduction to Engineering Design is a required class for all Michigan State University engineering students with an enrollment of approximately 1,700 students per academic year. The majority of the students will take this course their first year. The course focuses heavily on technical writing skills which accounts for approximately 52% of the course grade. For a majority of students, this is the first time they have been introduced, practiced and evaluated on their technical writing skills. The main issues EGR 100 faces is the level of quality the technical final reports for course projects, as well as a lack of each student contributing to the writi...

Enhancement of Technical Writing Skills Through Active Learning Methods: Peer Review And Jigsaw

Betsy Yarrison

Scientific and technical writing

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Technical Writing for Beginners – An A-Z Guide to Tech Blogging Basics

If you love writing and technology, technical writing could be a suitable career for you. It's also something else you can do if you love tech but don’t really fancy coding all day long.

Technical writing might also be for you if you love learning by teaching others, contributing to open source projects and teaching others how to do so, too, or basically enjoy explaining complex concepts in simple ways through your writing.

Let's dive into the fundamentals and learn about what you should know and consider when getting started with technical writing.

Table of Contents

In this article, we’ll be looking at:

  • What Technical writing is

Benefits of Technical Writing

  • Necessary skills to have as a Technical Writer

The Technical Writing Process

  • Platforms for publishing your articles

Technical Writing Courses

  • Technical Writing forums and communities
  • Some amazing technical writers to follow
  • Final Words and references

What is Technical Writing?

Technical writing is the art of providing detail-oriented instruction to help users understand a specific skill or product.

And a technical writer is someone who writes these instructions, otherwise known as technical documentation or tutorials. This could include user manuals, online support articles, or internal docs for coders/API developers.

A technical writer communicates in a way that presents technical information so that the reader can use that information for an intended purpose.

Technical writers are lifelong learners. Since the job involves communicating complex concepts in simple and straightforward terms, you must be well-versed in the field you're writing about. Or be willing to learn about it.

This is great, because with each new technical document you research and write, you will become an expert on that subject.

Technical writing also gives you a better sense of user empathy. It helps you pay more attention to what the readers or users of a product feel rather than what you think.

You can also make money as a technical writer by contributing to organizations. Here are some organizations that pay you to write for them , like Smashing Magazine , AuthO , Twilio , and Stack Overflow .

In addition to all this, you can contribute to Open Source communities and participate in paid open source programs like Google Season of Docs and Outreachy .

You can also take up technical writing as a full time profession – lots of companies need someone with those skills.

Necessary Skills to Have as a Technical Writer

Understand the use of proper english.

Before you consider writing, it is necessary to have a good grasp of English, its tenses, spellings and basic grammar. Your readers don't want to read an article riddled with incorrect grammar and poor word choices.

Know how to explain things clearly and simply

Knowing how to implement a feature doesn't necessarily mean you can clearly communicate the process to others.

In order to be a good teacher, you have to be empathetic, with the ability to teach or describe terms in ways suitable for your intended audience.

If you can't explain it to a six year old, you don't understand it yourself. Albert Einstein

Possess some writing skills‌‌

I believe that writers are made, not born. And you can only learn how to write by actually writing.

You might never know you have it in you to write until you put pen to paper. And there's only one way to know if you have some writing skills, and that's by writing.

So I encourage you to start writing today. You can choose to start with any of the platforms I listed in this section to stretch your writing muscles.

And of course, it is also a huge benefit to have some experience in a technical field.

Analyze and Understand who your Readers are

The biggest factor to consider when you're writing a technical article is your intended/expected audience. It should always be at the forefront of your mind.

A good technical writer writes based on the reader’s context. As an example , let's say you're writing an article targeted at beginners. It is important not to assume that they already know certain concepts.

You can start out your article by outlining any necessary prerequisites. This will make sure that your readers have (or can acquire) the knowledge they need before diving right into your article.

You can also include links to useful resources so your readers can get the information they need with just a click.

In order to know for whom you are writing, you have to gather as much information as possible about who will use the document.

It is important to know if your audience has expertise in the field, if the topic is totally new to them, or if they fall somewhere in between.

Your readers will also have their own expectations and needs. You must determine what the reader is looking for when they begin to read the document and what they'll get out of it.

To understand your reader, ask yourself the following questions before you start writing:

  • Who are my readers?
  • What do they need?
  • Where will they be reading?
  • When will they be reading?
  • Why will they be reading?
  • How will they be reading?

These questions also help you think about your reader's experience while reading your writing, which we'll talk about more now.

Think About User Experience

User experience is just as important in a technical document as it is anywhere on the web.

Now that you know your audience and their needs, keep in mind how the document itself services their needs. It’s so easy to ignore how the reader will actually use the document.

As you write, continuously step back and view the document as if you're the reader. Ask yourself: Is it accessible? How will your readers be using it? When will they be using it? Is it easy to navigate?

The goal is to write a document that is both useful to and useable by your readers.

Plan Your Document

Bearing in mind who your users are, you can then conceptualize and plan out your document.

This process includes a number of steps, which we'll go over now.

Conduct thorough research about the topic

While planning out your document, you have to research the topic you're writing about. There are tons of resources only a Google search away for you to consume and get deeper insights from.

Don't be tempted to lift off other people's works or articles and pass it off as your own, as this is plagiarism. Rather, use these resources as references and ideas for your work.

Google as much as possible, get facts and figures from research journals, books or news, and gather as much information as you can about your topic. Then you can start making an outline.

Make an outline

Outlining the content of your document before expanding on it helps you write in a more focused way. It also lets you organize your thoughts and achieving your goals for your writing.

An outline can also help you identify what you want your readers to get out of the document. And finally, it establishes a timeline for completing your writing.

Get relevant graphics/images

Having an outline is very helpful in identifying the various virtual aids (infographics, gifs, videos, tweets) you'll need to embed in different sections of your document.

And it'll make your writing process much easier if you keep these relevant graphics handy.

Write in the Correct Style

Finally, you can start to write! If you've completed all these steps, writing should become a lot easier. But you still need to make sure your writing style is suitable for a technical document.

The writing needs to be accessible, direct, and professional. Flowery or emotional text is not welcome in a technical document. To help you maintain this style, here are some key characteristics you should cultivate.

Use Active Voice

It's a good idea to use active voices in your articles, as it is easier to read and understand than the passive voice.

Active voice means that the subject of the sentence is the one actively performing the action of the verb. Passive voice means that a subject is the recipient of a verb's action .

Here's an example of passive voice : The documentation should be read six times a year by every web developer.

And here's an example of active voice : Every web developer should read this documentation 6 times a year.

Choose Your Words Carefully

Word choice is important. Make sure you use the best word for the context. Avoid overusing pronouns such as ‘it’ and ‘this’ as the reader may have difficulty identifying which nouns they refer to.

Also avoid slang and vulgar language – remember you're writing for a wider audience whose disposition and cultural inclinations could differ from yours.

Avoid Excessive Jargon

If you’re an expert in your field, it can be easy to use jargon you're familiar with without realizing that it may be confusing to other readers.

You should also avoid using acronyms you haven't previously explained.

Here's an Example :

Less clear: PWAs are truly considered the future of multi-platform development. Their availability on both Android and iOS makes them the app of the future.

Improved: Progressive Web Applications (PWAs) are truly the future of multi-platform development. Their availability on both Android and iOS makes PWAs the app of the future.

Use Plain Language

Use fewer words and write in a way so that any reader can understand the text.‌‌ Avoid big lengthy words. Always try to explain concepts and terms in the clearest way possible.

Visual Formatting

A wall of text is difficult to read. Even the clearest instructions can be lost in a document that has poor visual representation.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. This rings true even in technical writing.

But not just any image is worthy of a technical document. Technical information can be difficult to convey in text alone. A well-placed image or diagram can clarify your explanation.

People also love visuals, so it helps to insert them at the right spots. Consider the images below:

First, here's a blog snippet without visuals:


Here's a snippet of same blog, but with visuals:


Adding images to your articles makes the content more relatable and easier to understand. In addition to images, you can also use gifs, emoji, embeds (social media, code) and code snippets where necessary.

Thoughtful formatting, templates, and images or diagrams will also make your text more helpful to your readers. You can check out the references below for a technical writing template from @Bolajiayodeji.

Do a Careful Review

Good writing of any type must be free from spelling and grammatical errors. These errors might seem obvious, but it's not always easy to spot them (especially in lengthy documents).

Always double-check your spelling (you know, dot your Is and cross your Ts) before hitting 'publish'.

There are a number of free tools like Grammarly and the Hemingway app that you can use to check for grammar and spelling errors. You can also share a draft of your article with someone to proofread before publishing.

Where to Publish Your Articles

Now that you've decided to take up technical writing, here are some good platforms where you can start putting up technical content for free. They can also help you build an appealing portfolio for future employers to check out. is a community of thousands of techies where both writers and readers get to meaningfully engage and share ideas and resources.


Hashnode is my go-to blogging platform with awesome perks such as custom domain mapping and an interactive community. Setting up a blog on this platform is also easy and fast.


freeCodeCamp has a very large community and audience reach and is a great place to publish your articles. However, you'll need to apply to write for their publication with some previous writing samples.

Your application could either be accepted or rejected, but don't be discouraged. You can always reapply later as you get better, and who knows? You could get accepted.

If you do write for them, they'll review and edit your articles before publishing, to make sure you publish the most polished article possible. They'll also share your articles on their social media platforms to help more people read them.


Hackernoon has over 7,000 writers and could be a great platform for you to start publishing your articles to the over 200,000 daily readers in the community.

Hacker Noon supports writers by proofreading their articles before publishing them on the platform, helping them avoid common mistakes.


Just like in every other field, there are various processes, rules, best practices, and so on in Technical Writing.

Taking a course on technical writing will help guide you through every thing you need to learn and can also give you a major confidence boost to kick start your writing journey.

Here are some technical writing courses you can check out:

  • Google Technical Writing Course (Free)
  • Udemy Technical Writing Course (Paid)
  • Hashnode Technical Writing Bootcamp (Free)

Technical Writing Forums and Communities

Alone we can do so little, together, we can do so much ~ Helen Keller

Being part of a community or forum along with people who share same passion as you is beneficial. You can get feedback, corrections, tips and even learn some style tips from other writers in the community.

Here are some communities and forums for you to join:

  • Technical Writing World
  • Technical Writer Forum
  • Write the Docs Forum

Some Amazing Technical Writers to follow

In my technical writing journey, I've come and followed some great technical writers whose writing journey, consistency, and style inspire me.

These are the writers whom I look up to and consider virtual mentors on technical writing. Sometimes, they drop technical writing tips that I find helpful and have learned a lot from.

Here are some of those writers (hyperlinked with their twitter handles):

  • Quincy Larson
  • Edidiong Asikpo
  • Catalin Pit
  • Victoria Lo
  • Bolaji Ayodeji
  • Amruta Ranade
  • Chris Bongers
  • Colby Fayock

Final words

You do not need a degree in technical writing to start putting out technical content. You can start writing on your personal blog and public GitHub repositories while building your portfolio and gaining practical experience.

Really – Just Start Writing.

Practice by creating new documents for existing programs or projects. There are a number of open source projects on GitHub that you can check out and add to their documentation.

Is there an app that you love to use, but its documentation is poorly written? Write your own and share it online for feedback. You can also quickly set up your blog on hashnode and start writing.

You learn to write by writing, and by reading and thinking about how writers have created their characters and invented their stories. If you are not a reader, don't even think about being a writer. - Jean M. Auel

Technical writers are always learning . By diving into new subject areas and receiving external feedback, a good writer never stops honing their craft.

Of course, good writers are also voracious readers. By reviewing highly-read or highly-used documents, your own writing will definitely improve.

Can't wait to see your technical articles!

Introduction to Technical Writing ‌‌

How to structure a technical article ‌‌

Understanding your audience, the why and how

‌‌ Technical Writing template

I hope this was helpful. If so, follow me on Twitter and let me know!

Amarachi is a front end web developer, technical writer and educator who is interested in building developer communities.

If you read this far, thank the author to show them you care. Say Thanks

Learn to code for free. freeCodeCamp's open source curriculum has helped more than 40,000 people get jobs as developers. Get started

Writing Technical Instructions

Writing Technical Instructions

  • Resources & Preparation
  • Instructional Plan
  • Related Resources

Learning to write technical instructions is challenging. Writers must consider audience, purpose, context, length, and complexity—plus the specific content of the instructions, such as the steps in using a stapler. In this lesson, students walk through the process of creating technical instructions by first analyzing existing instructions. They then select an item and an audience for which they will write technical instructions. After writing their own instructions, students conduct usability tests of each other's instructions, providing user feedback. Finally, students use this user feedback to revise their instructions before publishing them.

Featured Resources

Analyzing Technical Instructions : Students can use the questions on this handout as a guide when they analyze sample technical instructions. Technical Instructions Planning Sheet : This handout explains the process for working with a partner to plan the technical instructions they will write. Conducting a Usability Test : This handout includes instructions for testing the technical instructions students have written.

From Theory to Practice

Teaching students how to write technical instructions helps them see that "to write, to engage in any communication, is to participate in a community; to write well is to understand the conditions of one's own participation-the concepts, values, traditions, and style which permit identification with that community and determine the success or failure of communication" (Miller 22). Similarly, in discussing finding meaningful writing activities for the English classroom, Weber writes: "The technical writing approach is one of many avenues to this goal. It engages my students in the total communications process: creating, planning, writing, editing, presenting, listening, sharing, and evaluating." Understanding discourse communities requires students to analyze the audience for a written work, and learning to write instructions is one such way students can learn about both audience analysis and technical writing. This lesson works toward building students' understanding of the importance their writing has on real audiences. Further Reading

Common Core Standards

This resource has been aligned to the Common Core State Standards for states in which they have been adopted. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, CCSS alignments are forthcoming.

State Standards

This lesson has been aligned to standards in the following states. If a state does not appear in the drop-down, standard alignments are not currently available for that state.

NCTE/IRA National Standards for the English Language Arts

  • 1. Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.
  • 4. Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
  • 5. Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes.
  • 6. Students apply knowledge of language structure, language conventions (e.g., spelling and punctuation), media techniques, figurative language, and genre to create, critique, and discuss print and nonprint texts.
  • 8. Students use a variety of technological and information resources (e.g., libraries, databases, computer networks, video) to gather and synthesize information and to create and communicate knowledge.
  • 9. Students develop an understanding of and respect for diversity in language use, patterns, and dialects across cultures, ethnic groups, geographic regions, and social roles.
  • 11. Students participate as knowledgeable, reflective, creative, and critical members of a variety of literacy communities.
  • 12. Students use spoken, written, and visual language to accomplish their own purposes (e.g., for learning, enjoyment, persuasion, and the exchange of information).

Materials and Technology

  • Sample technical instructions (Manuals, user guides, etc.)
  • Household items for writing instructions
  • Access to computer with Internet connection, Microsoft Word or Publisher, and printer
  • Large white paper (Chart-sized sticky notes work well for hanging items on wall)
  • Digital camera (optional)
  • Analyzing Technical Instructions
  • Sample Technical Instructions Rubric
  • Technical Instructions Planning Sheet
  • Visually Drafting Your Instructions
  • Using ReadWriteThink Notetaker to Draft Instructions
  • Conducting a Usability Test


  • Collect a variety of written technical instructions for household items for students to use to analyze. Try to collect both effective and ineffective examples. Examples are also available online, at the Websites listed in the Resources section . Review the examples to familiarize yourself with their features and effectiveness.
  • Prepare three or four examples of effective and ineffective written technical instructions, using those you gathered or online examples, to be shown on an overhead or a document camera.
  • Make sure students have access to computer labs during sessions two through five.
  • Prepare copies of all handouts for distribution in class.
  • Test the Notetaker on your computers to familiarize yourself with the tool and ensure that you have the Flash plug-in installed. You can download the plug-in from the technical support page.

Student Objectives

Students will

  • analyze technical instructions to learn what makes them effective or ineffective for an audience.
  • analyze and describe the audience for a set of instructions, noting what that audience needs from that document.
  • understand the difference between technical writing and other genres of writing.
  • use document and audience analysis, drafting, peer response/user feedback, and revision to create effective technical instructions.
  • reflect on their writing process, noting how this assignment will be useful to them in future writing.

Session One

  • Ask students to talk about their experiences reading and using different types of written texts.
  • How are these different?
  • How do these genres speak to different audiences?
  • How do these types of writing work toward different purposes?
  • Ask students to focus on technical writing as a genre and to brainstorm the different kinds of written instructions they have seen or used in the past. Record their responses on the board or an overhead transparency.
  • What were they using the instructions for?
  • How helpful were they?
  • What were the best parts of the instructions?
  • What parts were difficult or hard to use?
  • What did they do if they had trouble using the instructions?
  • Arrange the class in groups of two to four students each, and give each group a set of instructions from those that you gathered. If the class meets in a computer classroom, share the links to instructions included in the Resources section.
  • Pass out copies of the Analyzing Technical Instructions , and ask students to analyze their instructions and record their observations on the handout.
  • When students complete their analysis, bring the class together and have each group report on their set of instructions.
  • On a sheet of chart paper, make a list of the top five effective and top five ineffective things students noticed about the instructions.
  • Hang this paper on the wall in the classroom for reference during the next three class sessions.
  • Ask students to bring one common household item to the next class session. Explain that students will write their own instructions for the item, so they should bring items that do not already have written instructions.
  • Brainstorm and discuss with students what would make good items and what would be too complex.
  • Encourage them to bring items that are not overly complex but not too simple either. Examples may include a stapler, clock, paper punch, flashlight, mechanical pencil, etc. Students should be able to write instructions for operating 2–3 features of the item. (For example, how to use a stapler and how to replace staples when cartridge is empty.) Encourage students to be creative in their choices.
  • Gather some extra items from the classroom or your home before the next session so you have options for students who forget to bring items.

Session Two

  • Review the top five effective and ineffective things about technical instructions from previous session with the class.
  • Spend more time with this topic, asking students to create a rubric determining what makes technical documents effective or ineffective. Use the Sample Technical Instructions Rubric as a model or starting point for the task.
  • Ask students to take out their household item, and spend five minutes freewriting about why they chose that item and how difficult it may or may not be to write instructions for it.
  • Arrange students in pairs, and ask them to share the item they brought and their thoughts from the freewriting.
  • Have students interview each other, using the Technical Instructions Planning Sheet to take notes about each other’s items.
  • Once interviews are complete, have students begin drafting their instructions. Give them large pieces of white paper for them to design, or mock up, their rough drafts.
  • Pass out copies or share an overhead transparency of the Visually Drafting Your Instructions sheet. Explain that students will draw separate boxes for each part of the item they want their instructions to cover, following the information on the handout.
  • Demonstrate how to use the ReadWriteThink Notetaker to document the steps in instructions, sharing the Using ReadWriteThink Notetaker to Draft Instructions handout with the class.
  • Have students use their notes on the Planning Sheet and their copies of the Visually Drafting Your Instructions handout to begin writing. Students can use the Notetaker to draft their instructions.
  • After students have outlined their instructions using Notetaker , ask them to print their work. Work cannot be saved in the Notetaker .
  • For homework, ask students to continue drafting their outlines using the Notetaker . Students should bring printed copies of Notetaker outlines to next session.

Session Three

  • Review outlines created using ReadWriteThink Notetaker with students.
  • Ask students to discuss how they will organize their notes into instructions, how many pages they will need, whether they need to include pictures to illustrate instructions.
  • The Process of Writing a Technical Manual
  • Instructions: How to Write for Busy, Grouchy People
  • After students review the site, ask them to write down three things they learned that they will consider as they write their own instructions.
  • Invite students to share their observations and discuss the advice as a whole class.
  • Review the expectations for the project using the rubric students created during the previous session. Answer any questions that students have about the project.
  • Explain the options that students have for creating polished drafts of their work. Point out the available software (e.g., Microsoft Word, Publisher) that students can use to type and format their instructions. (Depending on the class, instructors may need to instruct students on using the software to do this).
  • inserting Clip Art images.
  • drawing diagrams of their items using the computer or drawing by hand.
  • labeling parts or connecting the diagrams to the instructions.
  • importing images taken with a digital camera.
  • Ask students to print copies of their instructions when finished.
  • If additional time is needed, ask students to finish drafting their instructions for homework.
  • Remind students to bring a copy of their instructions and the related item to the next class.

Session Four

  • Students will bring a copy of their printed (complete) instructions and their household item.
  • Pass out copies of the instructions for Conducting a Usability Test and review the instructions with students.
  • Ask students to use the remaining class time to conduct at least two usability tests. Ensure that students understand that two different students will read and test their instructions for using the household item.
  • If time allows, students can begin revising their instructions in class and consult with the testers as appropriate.
  • For homework, students can continue working on revising their instructions. Students will finish revisions during the next session and submit their work.

Session Five

  • Have students revise their instructions, using the available resources—word processing software, clip art, and so forth.
  • Encourage students to consult the notes from their usability testing as they revise.
  • As students revise, circulate through the room, meeting with student to discuss revisions and offer suggestions.
  • Ask students to print their technical instructions, staple or attach pages as needed, and present final products to the class or school by the end of the session.
  • Spend additional time exploring document design by exploring alternative publishing options such as pamphlets, brochures, and different-sized documents.
  • Rather than writing instructions for operating a common household item, ask students to write instructions for completing a basic task, such as making a sandwich or addressing an envelope.
  • For a humorous break, share this Wendy’s training video and ask students to discuss what was effective and ineffective about those instructions. Be sure to discuss when the video was produced and how the video fit (or didn’t) the needs of the audience at the time it was produced.

Student Assessment / Reflections

  • Collect students’ worksheets, including the Analyzing Technical Instructions and the Technical Instructions Planning Sheet , and the notes taken during the Usability Test . Review the work for completion and understanding of the basic goals of the lesson, including comprehension of the role that audience and purpose play in effective technical writing.
  • During class discussion and students’ work in pairs, listen for comments that show students can think critically about the goals and effective strategies for technical writing in general and specifically for instructions.
  • For a formal assessment, use the rubric created by the class during Session Two, which was based on the the Sample Technical Instructions Rubric .
  • Student Interactives
  • Lesson Plans

Useful for a wide variety of reading and writing activities, this outlining tool allows students to organize up to five levels of information.

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State of Climate Action 2023

The State of Climate Action 2023 provides the world’s most comprehensive roadmap of how to close the gap in climate action across sectors to limit global warming to 1.5°C. It finds that recent progress toward 1.5°C-aligned targets isn’t happening at the pace and scale necessary and highlights where action must urgently accelerate this decade to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, scale up carbon removal and increase climate finance.

Cover image.

Published under Systems Change Lab , this Report features analysis from Climate , Climate , Energy , Food , Forests , WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities , Finance , Clean Energy , and Buildings . Reach out to Sophie Boehm for more information.

  • Sophie Boehm

State of Climate Action

Methodology underpinning the state of climate action series: 2023 update.

  • Methodology Underpinning the State of Climate Action Series
  • State of Climate Action 2022
  • State of Climate Action 2021: Systems Transformations Required to Limit Global Warming to 1.5°C
  • State of Climate Action: Assessing Progress toward 2030 and 2050

Published ahead of the final phase of the Global Stocktake, the State of Climate Action 2023 offers a roadmap that the world can follow to avoid increasingly dangerous and irreversible climate impacts, while minimizing harms to biodiversity and food security. It translates the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit into 2030 and 2050 targets across sectors that account for roughly 85% of global GHG emissions — power, buildings, industry, transport, forests and land, food and agriculture — as well as those focused on the scale-up of technological carbon removal and climate finance. The report then assesses collective global progress and highlights where action must urgently accelerate this decade to limit warming to 1.5°C.

The State of Climate Action 2023 finds that global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C are failing across the board, with recent progress made on every indicator — except electric passenger car sales — lagging significantly behind the pace and scale that is necessary to address the climate crisis.

Key Findings

This year’s State of Climate Action finds that progress made in closing the global gap in climate action remains woefully inadequate — 41 of 42 indicators assessed are not on track to achieve their 2030 targets. Progress for more than half of these indicators remains well off track, such that recent efforts must accelerate at least twofold this decade. Worse still, another six indicators are heading in the wrong direction entirely.

Within this set of laggards, efforts to end public financing for fossil fuels, dramatically reduce deforestation and expand carbon pricing systems experienced the most significant setbacks to progress in a single year, relative to recent trends. In 2021, for example, public financing for fossil fuels increased sharply, with government subsidies, specifically, nearly doubling from 2020 to reach the highest levels seen in almost a decade. And in 2022, deforestation increased slightly to 5.8 million hectares (Mha) worldwide, losing an area of forests greater than the size of Croatia in a single year.

But amid such bad news, several bright spots underscore the possibility of rapid change. Over the past five years, the share of electric vehicles in passenger car sales has grown exponentially at an average annual rate of 65% — up from 1.6% of sales in 2018 to 10% of sales in 2022. For the first time in this report series, such progress puts this indicator on track for 2030.

Global efforts are heading in the right direction at a promising, albeit still insufficient, pace for another six indicators, and with the right support, some could soon experience exponential changes.  And among all indicators heading in the right direction, those focused on increasing mandatory corporate climate risk disclosure, sales of electric trucks and the share of EVs in the passenger car fleet saw the most significant gains in a single year, relative to recent trends. 

Still, an enormous acceleration in effort will be required across all sectors to get on track for 2030. For example, the world needs to:

  • Dramatically increase growth in solar and wind power. The share of these two technologies in electricity generation has grown by an annual average of 14 percent in recent years, but this needs to reach 24 percent to get on track for 2030.
  • Phase out coal in electricity generation seven times faster than current rates. This is equivalent to retiring roughly 240 average-sized coal-fired power plants each year through 2030. Though continued build-out of coal-fired power will increase the number of plants that need to be shuttered in the coming years.
  • Expand the coverage of rapid transit infrastructure six times faster. This is equivalent to constructing public transit systems roughly three times the size of New York City’s network of subway rails, bus lanes and light-rail tracks each year throughout this decade.
  • The annual rate of deforestation — equivalent to deforesting 15 football (soccer) fields per minute in 2022 — needs to be reduced four times faster over this decade.
  • Shift to healthier, more sustainable diets eight times faster by lowering per capita consumption of meat from cows, goats and sheep to approximately two servings per week or less across high-consuming regions (the Americas, Europe and Oceania) by 2030. This shift does not require reducing consumption for populations who already consume below this target level, especially in low-income countries where modest increases in consumption can boost nutrition.

Published under Systems Change Lab, this report is a joint effort of the Bezos Earth Fund, Climate Action Tracker (a project of Climate Analytics and NewClimate Institute), ClimateWorks Foundation, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champions and World Resources Institute.

Preview image by Karsten Würth/Unsplash

Connected to this report

Tracking climate action: how the world can still limit warming to 1.5 degrees c, we’re not on track for 1.5 degrees c. what will it take, climate action must progress far faster to achieve 1.5 c goal.

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