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Kelley School of Business

Technical Writing Strategies – Technical Writing Program Course

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Are you interested in improving your technical writing and developing a logical process? Technical Writing Strategies is the first course in a two-part series designed for technical writers, delivered in partnership with NSWC Crane. Participants can attend both the Technical Writing Strategies course and Managing Proposal Writing course, or choose to attend Technical Writing Strategies course only. Participants who want to attend both courses must first attend the Technical Writing Strategies course.

Develop your technical writing ability so you're ready for any assignment.

Technical reports, proposals, white papers, abstracts, and executive summaries are among the most common types of projects that technical writers prepare. These technical projects may be to a solicited or non-solicited audience, for a technical or non-technical audience, and/or to a receptive or nonreceptive audience. A competent technical writer not only knows the differences and the commonalities among the various technical projects, but also is skilled in clear, concise, coherent, reader-focused writing.

Sharpen your writing by following a logical process.

In this one-day course, you will learn how to:

  • analyze the impact of effective writing,
  • provide extensive proven strategies to help quickly produce clear, easy-to-read technical reports including abstracts and executive summaries,
  • evaluate personal writing strengths and opportunities,
  • provide hands-on practice, and
  • receive feedback.

This workshop’s logical sequence—understand, analyze, and practice “best writing” strategies—is applicable for everyone who writes technical reports.

You will learn the importance of following a logical process, of adapting writing to a variety of audiences, and of evaluating best writing practices. You will be challenged to follow a logical thinking and writing sequence. The hands-on practice will personalize the program, giving you valuable tips for making the process your own. Follow-up checklists and templates will enable you to continue to write with a reader-focused mindset after the course.

Learning outcomes: what you'll take back to the office

After completing this course you will be able to:

  • Identify common communication breakdowns/miscommunication
  • Analyze causes and consequences of communication breakdowns
  • Discuss reader-focused writing vs. writer-focused writing
  • Demonstrate the importance of the writing process
  • Know the difference between passive and active writing
  • Analyze the required standards of effective business writing: clear, concise, complete, correct,
  • coherent, considerate, (industry) conventions, and credible
  • Understand Readability Indices—importance of word choice and sentence/paragraph development
  • Analyze the impact of the “Curse of Knowledge”
  • Understand and utilize the Pyramid Principle
  • Focus on methods to emphasize/de-emphasize key points
  • Understand impact of formal vs. informal tone
  • Focus on the need to analyze each word
  • Understand the purpose of abstracts and executive summaries
  • Determine the similarities and difference of abstract and the executive summary
  • Focus on Abstracts: descriptive vs. informative
  • Focus on Executive Summaries: preface to a report vs. stand-alone document
    • Analyze how each benefits the reader
    • Determine various readers’ expectations and use of each
    • Analyze how to synthesize the information for each
    • Consider language formality of each

Who should attend

This course is ideal for technical writers or anyone in a technical field who wants to improve their writing and communications skills.


Academic Degrees ABD, Indiana University MS, Business Education, Indiana University BA, Oakland City University Professional Experience Indiana University, 1975-2005, Lecturer Indiana University, 2005--current, Senior Faculty Lecturer
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