FW: Developing a technical writing class

Subject: FW: Developing a technical writing class
From: "Delaney, Misti" <ncr02!ncr02!mdelaney -at- UCS01 -dot- ATTMAIL -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 28 Jul 1995 13:32:00 -0500

From: Price, Becca
Subject: RE: Developing a technical writing class
Date: Thursday, July 27, 1995 1:46PM

my response probably won't be popular. What I would teach would not be
writing, per se (well, ok, do a section or two or two on types of documents
and their contents, etc.)

what I find more a problem than a writer not knowing how to write is a
writer not knowing how to *think* - or to analyze information, or to ask the
right questions.

I'd want to see sections on information gathering: sources and interviewing
techniques. I'd also like to see sections on how to chunk information down
into units that are meaningful to the user. This will also be invaluable
when the writer has to develop on-line help.

There are a million ways to analyze information and to organize it, and
usually several of those ways are "right". But the manuals that I've
struggled and struggled with are the ones that i didn't have the right
structure for the information, and had to go back and rethink my structure
and plan. Often this is because a critical piece of information was not
discovered until late in the game...
Our community college recently introduced a pre-engineering track, in
cooperation with local universities, for students who want to earn a
university degree. The tech writing class would be primarily, though not
exclusively, for these students.

Considering your daily experiences as technical writers, what do you think
students need to learn in an entry level class?

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