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Techniques of Technical Writing and Type of Technical Report Writing (Informal)

Learning Module 4
by

Keith Feliz Banania

on 23 October 2014

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Transcript of Techniques of Technical Writing and Type of Technical Report Writing (Informal)

Special Techniques in Technical Writing
Classification
Is the systematic process of dividing materials into kind or classes
Interpretation
Is the art of establishing a meaningful pattern of relationships among a
group of facts.” (Mills & Walter, 1954)

It usually the oral translation of technical writing to another language.
However, most job listing means technical writing translation.

3 Key questions that arise in any Interpretation

1. What is to be found out?
2. How was evidence obtained?
3. How will interpretation be organized?
Description of a Mechanism
is an explanation of a system or parts of an apparatus. The characteristics and
functions of a piece of the device and the totality of the mechanism are
discussed clearly to the reader.
Definition
Formal Definition - is in the form of sentence with these three elements: :
species (the term defined)
genus (class or kind to which the term belongs)
differentia (the distinguishing characteristics that make the term diff. from other terms of the same class
Technical, scientific, and business english - ENGL301
keithfeliz.banania@ama.edu.ph

Example:
Coquina
is a
sedimentary rock
formed by accumulation
of abundant shell fossils and fragments.
species
genus
differentia
Two Methods of definition

Simple definition
. A simple definition could be formal, semi-formal or non-formal definition by giving the genus and the differentia of the term.

Extended definition
. Extended definition is by stipulation,
operation, explication, cause and effect, classification, example,
and other rhetorical functions
INFORMAL DEFINITION –consists of one or more synonymous expressions
substituted for the unfamiliar term used.

Principles Involved
Classify consistently on a single basis which points to a fundamental distinction among the members of the class.
Classification should not overlap.
Name all the pieces according to a given basis.

Organization
1. The Introduction
2. Part-by-part Description
3. The Conclusion
Description of a Process or Process Description
The arrangement of a sequence in chronological order

Process description includes sequence, instruction and procedure; however, only instruct if you expect your reader to perform the process you describe.
In like manner, process is also a discussion of equipment, materials, and procedures, graphic materials are used for detailed presentation of the process. The writer makes use of sequence markers to follow the natural or mechanical system.
Causation
Analyzes the causes and/or effects of an event or a phenomenon.
Commonly used by technical writers.
Example Patterns:
1. Single cause-effect pattern
2. Single cause - Multiple effect pattern
3. Multiple cause – single effect pattern
4. Multiple cause – multiple effect pattern
5. Domino/ Staircase effect

Analogy
An analogy is seen to be essentially an expression of relationship between two different things, but between two things which have more than one likeness.
Example:

Fish is to gills as human is to lungs
Happy is to sad as hot is to cold
Author is to story as poet is to poetry
Lion is to cage as book is to bookcase
Music is to listen as TV is to watch.
Types of Technical Report Writing (Informal)
The informal report functions to inform, analyze, and recommend. It
Memorandum Report
• A short note written as a reminder.
• A written record or communication, as in a business office.
• A business statement made by a consignor about a shipment of goods that may be returned.
• A brief, unsigned diplomatic communication.

Memos are used within organizations to report results, instruct employees, announce policies, disseminate information, and delegate responsibilities. Whether sent on paper, as emails, or as attachments to emails, memos provide a record of decisions made and actions taken. They also can play a key role in the management of many organizations because managers use memos to inform and motivate employees.
Purpose of Memorandum Report

The primary purpose of a briefing note “for decision” is to support decision making – to “help (or sometimes influence) a decision-maker to make a better decision in a particular problem situation than he might otherwise have made without the analysis” Other purposes that the briefing note can serve include: conveying information; informing decisions, making a request, providing a response to a question, making a suggestion, presenting an informal report, proposing a solution to a problem, or documenting a reference for future use.

Letter Report
• A short appraisal report with only the property description and characteristics, valuation, and recommendation, but without all the area information and without details regarding the method of reaching the valuation.

• A report by a title company regarding the condition of the title on a particular date, but without issuing any insurance.

Bulletins
• A periodical publication, especially one containing the proceeding of a society.
• A brief statement of facts respecting some passing event, as military operations or the health of some distinguished personage, issued by authority for the information of the public.
• Any public notice or announcement, especially of news recently received.

Field Reports
Field reports are set as assignments in a variety of disciplines and usually require the student to combine theory and analysis with observation and practice.
Examples field report assignments include the following:

• A field report about a practice teaching session
• A field report about a court session observed
• A field report about the developmental stage of a child who has been tested
• A field report about some historical place or thing observed
• A field report about a work experience placement that forms part of the university course
• Although the subject matter of all these kinds of field reports will vary considerably, there are similarities in them as they require both description of an observed person, place or event and an analysis of what was observed.

Periodic Report
The periodic is one which is submitted at regular intervals for the purpose of recording information of interest to the organization which authorizes it. It is a history of past transactions built around statistics which may or may not be interpreted at all. But it is always a record of results, expressed in terms of money, materials, labor, and accomplishments. It serves to show comparison and tendencies.
Non-prose Forms (Visual Aids)
The Presentation of reports is enhanced by means of using visual aids. Visual Aids summarize the data in the report. Since people are basically “visual”, retention and understanding of a report is picked up quickly because of Visual Aids. Also the skillful use of the language is not only applied in the written form. Visual Aids should have visual impact or visual rhetoric so that it would achieve its desired effect.
Kinds of Visual Aids
◦ Objects
◦ Models
◦ Photographs
◦ Drawings
◦ Graphs
◦ Charts
◦ Videotape/DVD Players
◦ Transparencies-Overhead Projectors
◦ Multimedia Presentations
◦ The Speaker

Advantages of Using Visual Aids
◦ It aids clarity of information
◦ It helps in retention of ideas
◦ It captures the interest of the audience
◦ It promotes attentiveness of the audience
◦ It helps control the nervousness of the presenter

Disadvantages of Using Visual Aids
◦ It is not effective in showing complicated tables and images
◦ it can easily overpower the presenter when he or she relies on it
◦ It requires considerable amount of time for preparation

Characteristics of Effective Visual Aids
◦ It emphasizes the key points and concepts of the topic
◦ There should be at least two points per visual
◦ It can understand without the need of further clarification
◦ Numerical information is presented through graphs and charts
◦ It can eliminate the use of lecture notes that will make you more knowledgeable and organized in presenting your topic

Guidelines in Making Visual Aids
◦ Always keep your visual aids simple and short
◦ Make your visuals clear and understandable
◦ Make them easy to read
◦ They should convey information that is relevant to the topic
◦ Use graphs and charts to present numerical information
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