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Technical Writing

Communication is one of the most important elements of any business, and in many industries, employees rely heavily on written instructions and procedures. Technical writers advance and improve both internal and external communications by writing for websites, emails, proposals, technical instructions, and more. Professionals with these skills are in high demand throughout the business world, in schools and government agencies, and more. This technical writing course is the best way to get started learning everything you need to know about this exciting and diverse field.

Our technical writing course is for you if you want to develop your technical writing abilities or are seeking a professional career as a technical writer. It will improve your understanding and use of written communications, making you an asset in any administrative, management, or technical writer role. Within the course, you will learn research methods, audience considerations, various writing styles, drafting and revision techniques, working in a collaborative environment, and more. This course will also introduce you to a variety of media and formats, such as Microsoft Word and Adobe PDF, and the different writing standards typically required for each.

 

6 Months / 80 Course Hrs
Open enrollment

Offered in Partnership with your Preferred School

George Mason University

Why this school? It's been chosen based on your location or if you've visited this school's website. Change School

Learning Method

Instructor-led

Self-Paced. Study on your own schedule

Contact Us for additional information

Technical Writing

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Details + Objectives

Course Code: GES217

What You Will Learn
  • Differences between academic and technical writing.
  • Advanced grammar rules and effective research methods.
  • Writing to meet the needs of your audience, including writing with clarity and utility.
  • Ethical issues in technical writing.
  • How to master a variety of technical documents, including memos, analyses, letters, executive summaries, and reports.
  • How to develop proposal documents.
How the course is taught
  • Self-paced, online course
  • 6 months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 80 course hours
How you will benefit
  • You will have a professional writing portfolio to show your work to current and potential employers.
  • You will receive a certificate of completion and will have access to your facilitator for a professional reference and career advice.
  • You will be prepared for technical writing jobs such as management analyst, marketing manager, project manager, technical writer, and more.

Outline

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Details
  1. Introduction to Technical Writing
    1. Defining Technical Writing
    2. Types of Writing
    3. Taking a Writing Inventory
    4. Engaging in Critical Thinking Situations to Facilitate Writing On-Demand
  2. Understanding Your Role as a Technical Writer
    1. Establishing Common Ground with an Intended Reader
    2. Knowing Your Ethical Obligations
  3. The Communication Triangle: The Recipe for Establishing Common Ground With the Audience
    1. Choosing a Topic
    2. Determining the Purpose for Writing
    3. Analyzing an Audience
    4. Evaluating Common Ground
  4. Types of Technical Correspondence: Writing for an Intended Audience
    1. Analyses
    2. Memos
    3. Letters
    4. Reports
    5. Manuals
    6. Abstracts
    7. Proposal
  5. Writing a Professional Portfolio
    1. Audience Analysis
    2. Informative Abstract
    3. Business of Letter Transmittal
    4. Extended Proposal
  6. The Seven Principles of Effective Writing
    1. Appropriating Content to the Audience
    2. Focus & Unity
    3. Organization
    4. Development
    5. Sentence Structure
    6. Diction & Word Usage
    7. Mechanics
  7. Writing as a Process: Learning to Write in Stages
    1. Prewriting
    2. Researching
    3. Organizing
    4. Creating a Rough Draft
    5. Revising
    6. Editing
  8. The Final Word on Technical Writing

Instructors & Support

Lynn Atkinson

Lynn Atkinson earned a B.A. in English from the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) in 1993 and an M.A. in English with an emphasis in rhetoric in 1996. A published writer and editor, including contributions to college textbooks, she considers her greatest accomplishment educating thousands of students at UTA, DeVry, Tarrant County College, Southeast Career Institute, and Everest College. She has also been nominated for and awarded “Outstanding Teacher” at several of these institutions. Lynn has developed or co-developed several writing curriculums, won writing contests, and conducted over 10,000 hours of tutoring.

Requirements

Prerequisites / Requirements

Prerequisites:

There are no specific prerequisites for this course, but before enrolling you should have a good grasp of the English language, grammar, and punctuation, and you'll need to be comfortable using e-mail and the Internet.

Requirements:

Hardware Requirements: 

  • This course can be taken on either a PC or Mac device.

Software Requirements: 

  • PC: Windows XP or later.
  • Mac: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6 or later.
  • Browser: The latest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are preferred. Microsoft Edge and Safari are also compatible.
  • Microsoft Word.
  • Adobe Flash Player. Click here to download the Flash Player.
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader. Click here to download the Acrobat Reader.
  • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.
  • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.
Instructional Materials

The instructional materials required for this course are included in enrollment. The following textbooks will be shipped to you approximately 7-10 business days after enrollment: 

  • Technical Writing for Success
  • Technical Communication

More About

Earning your certificate as a technical writer will open up a world of opportunities to you in facilitating and managing business communications. You might be responsible for any of the following job duties in your day-to-day operations:

  • Assist scientists, engineers, computer specialists, and software developers in managing the flow of information.
  • Conduct studies or surveys that will improve the design of a product.
  • Determine how technical information should be delivered in printed and online media.
  • Create operating instructions and procedure manuals.
  • Know how to establish common ground with any audience.
  • Make any document highly useful to any reader.
  • Be able to proof-read and edit a variety of texts.

Reviews

FAQs

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Can I register for a course if I am an international student?

Yes, ed2go courses are online, so you never have to actually travel to the school. Most schools offer telephone or online registration.

Does this course prepare for a certification?

No.

When can I start the course?

This course is open enrollment, so you can register and start the course as soon as you are ready. Access to your course can take 24-48 business hours.

How long does it take to complete this course?

This course is self-paced and open enrollment, so you can start when you want and finish at your own pace. When you register, you'll receive six (6) months to complete the course.

What if I don't have enough time to complete my course within the time frame provided?

The time allotted for course completion has been calculated based on the number of course hours. However, if you are unable to complete the course, contact your Student Advisor to help you work out a suitable completion date. Please note that an extension fee may be charged.

What kind of support will I receive?

You may be assigned with an instructor or team of industry experts for one-on-one course interaction. Your support will be available (via e-mail) to answer any questions you may have and to provide feedback on your performance. All of our instructors are successful working professionals in the fields in which they teach. You will be assigned to an Advisor for academic support.

What happens when I complete the course?

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

Am I guaranteed a job?

This course will provide you with the skills you need to obtain an entry-level position in most cases. Potential students should always do research on the job market in their area before registering.

Can I get financial assistance?

ed2go courses are non-credit, so they do not qualify for federal aid, FAFSA and Pell Grant. In some states, vocational rehab or workforce development boards will pay for qualified students to take our courses. Additionally, some students may qualify for financial assistance when they enroll, if they meet certain requirements. Financing is available from select schools. Learn more: https://www.ed2go.com/career/financial-assistance

How can I get more information about this course?

If you have questions that are not answered on our website, please feel free to contact us via LIVE CHAT or by calling us at (855) 520-6806. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please feel free to send us a question using the Contact Us form.

What will I do as a technical writer?

Technical writers, sometimes referred to as technical communicators, are responsible for making complicated subjects easier to understand. As a technical writer, you’ll write content for journal articles, instruction manuals, how-to-guides, and other documents designed to help communicate complex, technical topics.

How do you become a technical writer?

The first step to becoming a technical writer is to familiarize yourself with the profession and take an introductory course that will show you the ropes. You don’t necessarily need to find a technical writing school near you—our online certificate course can provide all the instruction you need. When you are ready to apply for jobs, you will also need a professional portfolio that features your writing. We help you create your portfolio, so you’re ready for the job search.

Why do I need to professional training to be a technical writer?

Technical writing requires you to be an excellent writer and communicator. Professional training can help you hone these skills and make you better prepared to handle mass amounts of complex, technical information that needs to be communicated in simple, easy-to-understand pieces. It is also helpful to have some experience or knowledge of the field in which you will be performing the technical writing job such as engineering or computer sciences. Many potential employers will want to see examples of your technical writing work, so having a portfolio (which can be developed during your training and added to on-the-job) of writing samples is a must.

What education do I need to become a technical writer?

Some organizations will encourage you to have a bachelor’s degree, though it isn’t necessarily a requirement. It is a good idea to get some training whether in a traditional setting or an online course to help you understand how to properly produce technical documents. Having a good technical writing portfolio, which you will develop in this Technical Writing course, will go a long way in helping you obtain the technical writing career you want.  

What are the skills of a good technical writer?

A good technical writer should have excellent writing skills including the ability to write clearly and concisely about complex subjects. You should also possess the ability to conduct good research and work systematically within a team or alone. You must be able to communicate with other department to obtain and disseminate the information you need as you complete your projects. You should also have critical thinking skills and the ability to use single-sourcing. (Single sourcing is creating multiple documents using the same written source document.)  

What is the average salary of a technical writer?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that technical writers have a median salary that is currently just under $71,000 per year. This salary can vary widely depending on your experience level, education, location and the type of organization you work for. The most concentrated industries for technical writers are in computers and engineering, though technical writers can be found in almost any industry.

Are technical writers in demand?

Yes, technical writers are in demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook is very good for this profession. Employment is projected to grow by 11% through 2026 which is considered faster than average. Growth in jobs will be driven by continuing scientific and technological expansion. Job opportunities will also be high because of increased web-based product support.    

What kind of hours do technical writers work?

Because of the complex nature of their work and the need to be closely aligned with product development teams, most technical writers work full time in offices. Some however, may be able to work remotely or travel between several different offices at a large organization.

Where do technical writers work?

Because of the complex nature of their work and the need to be closely aligned with product development teams, most technical writers work full time in offices. Some however, may be able to work remotely or travel between several different offices at a large organization.

What qualities should a good technical writer have?

In order to be a good technical writer, you need to be a good communication first. You will need to communicate complex topics in easy-to-understand ways through your writing, but you will also need to communicate with others in your organization including team members, other departments, and management. You will need patience and a love of exploration and discovery. You will also need to be able to adapt easily and have a willingness to continually learn new things. In smaller organizations, the ability to do some design will also be helpful and could help set you apart from other candidates.

What is the difference between a copywriter and a technical writer?

In the most basic terms, the difference between copywriters and technical writers can be clarified as such: technical writers explain while copywriters persuade. The job of a copywriter is to provoke some sort of action or response from an audience with their writing. They fulfill a marketing role within an organization. A technical writer is responsible for breaking down complex technical concepts into language that can be understood by a specific reader. They are often part of the product development team rather than the marketing team.

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