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...

6 Months / 80 Course Hrs
Open Enrollment
Offered in partnership with your preferred school

George Mason University

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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 you will benefit

  • You will have a professional writing portfolio to show your work to current and potential employers.
  • You will be prepared for technical writing jobs such as management analyst, marketing manager, project manager, technical writer, and more.

How the course is taught

  • Self-paced, online course
  • 6 Months to complete
  • Open enrollment, begin anytime
  • 80 course hours
  1. Introduction to Technical Communication
    1. Defining Technical Writing
    2. The Technical Communication Triangle
    3. What Is Technical Writing?
    4. Audience
    5. Purpose
    6. Ethics
    7. Medium
    8. Research
    9. The Seven Principles of Effective Writing
    10. Distinguishing Technical Writing From Other Types of Writing
    11. Assessing Your Relationship to Writing
  2. Your Role as a Technical Writer
    1. Introduction
    2. Ethics
    3. Codes of Conduct
    4. The Communication Dilemma
    5. Using Outside Sources
  3. The Communication Triangle
    1. Principles of Communication
    2. Establishing Common Ground
    3. Conditions Under Which Common Ground Fails
    4. Accommodating Your Audience's Needs
    5. Common Ground and the Communication Triangle
  4. Types of Technical Correspondence
    1. Part 1: Email, Memorandums, and Letters
    2. Part 2: Step-by-Step Instructions Memos
    3. Part 3: Reports
  5. Seven Principles of Good Writing
    1. Introduction
    2. Appropriateness
    3. Focus/Unity
    4. Development
    5. Organization
    6. Sentence Structure
    7. Right Word Usage
    8. Mechanical Conventions
    9. Summary
  6. Writing as a Process
    1. Introduction
    2. Working in Stages
    3. Stage 1: Prewriting
    4. Stage 2: Outline
    5. Stage 3: The Rough Draft
    6. Stage 4: Revision
    7. Stage 5: Editing
    8. Summary
  7. Preparation
    1. Introduction
    2. Applying the Communication Triangle
    3. Prewriting
    4. Brainstorming
    5. Freewriting
    6. Journaling
    7. Analyzing the Rhetorical Situation
    8. Summary
  8. Research
    1. Introduction
    2. Starting the Research Process
    3. Data
    4. Documentation and Plagiarism
    5. Finding Secondary Data
    6. Documenting Secondary Sources
    7. Taking Notes From Sources
    8. Collecting Primary Data
    9. Surveys
    10. Interviews
    11. Observation
    12. Experimentation
    13. Summary
  9. Organization
    1. Introduction
    2. Methods of Development
    3. Writing Pattern
    4. Common Organization Patterns
    5. Outlining
    6. Thesis Statements
    7. Claims
    8. Factors of the Thesis and Claims
    9. Topic Sentences
    10. Self-Check
  10. Rough Draft
    1. Introduction
    2. Writing the Introduction Paragraph
    3. Writing Body Paragraphs
    4. Voice and Tone
    5. Writing the Conclusion Paragraph
    6. Summary
  11. Revising and Editing
    1. Introduction
    2. Developing Revision Vision
    3. Writing Ailments and Cures
    4. The Revision Process
    5. Editing
    6. Self-Check
  12. Conclusion
    1. Course Conclusion
  13. Final: Writing Assignment: Conclusion Essay
    1. Details

    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.


    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 email and the Internet.


    Hardware Requirements:

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

    Software Requirements:

    • PC: Windows 8 or newer.
    • Mac: macOS 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 (not included in enrollment).
    • Adobe Acrobat Reader.
    • Software must be installed and fully operational before the course begins.


    • Email capabilities and access to a personal email account.

    Instructional Material Requirements:

    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

    Yes, ed2go courses are completely online. However, keep in mind that not all certifying bodies or industry-specific certifications are recognized internationally. Please review your country's regulations prior to enrolling in courses that prepare for certification.


    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.

    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.

    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.

    You may be assigned with an instructor or team of industry experts for one-on-one course interaction. Your support will be available (via email) 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.

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

    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.

    This course is non-credit, so it does 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 about financial assistance.

    If you have questions that are not answered on our website, representatives are available via LIVE chat. You can also call us at 1-877-221-5151 during regular business hours to have your questions promptly answered. If you are visiting us during non-business hours, please send us a question using the "Contact Us" form.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.)

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.