Technical Communication: Strategies for College and the Workplace

Technical Communication: Strategies for College and the Workplace

Technical Communication: Strategies for College and the Workplace by Dan Jones & Karen Lane Chapter 7: Achieving an Effective Style Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved.

Style Style is your manner of writing Style is determined by your audience The genre of the document also shapes the style & level of formality Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved. Plain Style

short, commonly used words concise, simple sentences second-person you style a friendly tone, rather than an impersonal one dominant style in technical prose Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved.

Complex Style technical vocabulary complex or compound-complex sentence structure long paragraphs describing complex concepts a distant, more impersonal tone Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved.

Improving Writing Style at the Word Level Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved. Diction Your choice of words

Four levels include: formal informal colloquial slang

Choose the level that best suits your audience Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved. Denotation & Connotation Denotation is the dictionary meaning of the word Connotation deals with other associated meanings

Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved. Usage Choose appropriate & accurate language Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved. Abbreviations, Acronyms,

Initialisms Consider your readers knowledge Define the unfamiliar Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved. Action Verbs Good writers use action verbs Action verbs make your writing

more direct and forceful Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved. Active Voice places the actor in the subject position Example: The chemist analyzed the samples in less than three hours.

Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved. Passive Voice weakens the impact of the verb can be useful when appropriate Example: The samples were analyzed in less than three hours. Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved.

Noun Strings too many modifiers often a problem in technical prose Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved. Nominalizations occur when a verb is used as a noun occur when nouns do the work of other parts of speech

Example: The production of the technical documentation is on schedule. Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved. Jargon Avoid jargon unless you are certain that your audience is familiar with the specific terms

Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved. Improving Writing Style at the Sentence Level Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved. Technical Terms

Readers will understand a technical term better if it is placed at the end of a sentence Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved. Emphasis Create emphasis by: trimming the end of the sentence shifting less important ideas to the front

of the sentence shifting more important ideas to the end of the sentence Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved. Improving Writing Style at the Paragraph

Level Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved. Graduate GraduateSchool School of ofJournalism: Journalism: Second

Secondbullet bullet deleted deleted paragraph paragraph In general . . . Replace

Replaceuse use with ensure with ensure Write on one topic per paragraph Develop that topic Ensure cohesion and coherence continued

Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved. In general . . . Provide adequate details Consider your audience and genre Avoid ambiguous references This, they, and these are common offenders

Copyright 2002 by Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Longman publishers. All rights reserved.

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