As with any type of writing, successful technical writing involves careful consideration of one’s audience, scope, and purpose. As you move through the material in Week One, you will learn about these concepts within the context of the work environment. In addition, you will decide on a topic for your Final Project, which may align with your stated career goals.
Possible topics for final projects
- Environmental Cleanup Recommendation Report
- New Energy Resource Recommendation Report
- Senior Healthcare Facility Recommendation Report
- Telecommuting Recommendation Report
- School Nutrition/Fitness Recommendation Report
- Business Market Recommendation Report
- Educational Grant Recommendation Report
- Topic of your choice Recommendation Report (needs approval from instructor)
Week one Discussions
1. Post Your Introduction and Outline the Course’s Relevance to Your Stated Goals. 1st Post Due by Day 1. Introduce yourself to the class by stating your name, major, career objectives, and personal goals and hobbies. Then, explain how you hope to use the information offered in this course within the scope of your current and/or future academic studies or employment. Be as specific as possible. Focus on at least two different scientific and technical writing documents you wish to produce efficiently and effectively.
2. What is Technical Writing? 1st Post Due by Day 3. Technical writing is a clear and concise form of writing with a specific methodology and purpose. After researching the Ashford University Library (accessible by clicking the Library link located within the left navigation toolbar, in your online course) and the Internet for additional information about what technical writing is and how it differs from other types of writing, define technical writing and its various uses or applications. Include specific examples to support your definition. Your evidence/examples should include, but is not limited to, documents, subject fields, websites, etc. Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7. Each response is required to meet or exceed 125 words.
3. Target Audience. 1st Post Due by Day 3. Understanding the facets of an audience and how to meet its needs is critical for technical writers. For example, writers would develop a technical document much differently for a team of scientists than they would for an audience without a background in the same subject matter. In preparation for your contributions to the course discussion on audience, read pages 41-42, 84-101, and 114. Then, explain why it is important to identify the target audience of a document or presentation. Finally, describe at least four techniques that you would use to learn about your audience.
Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7. Each response is required to meet or exceed 125 words.
week one Assignment
1. Proposal for Final Project – Recommendation Report. Due by Day 7. This week you will write a proposal that will help you to prepare the Recommendation Report draft that is due in Week Four, and then the final version of the Recommendation Report that is due in Week Five. Your Proposal this week requires you to identify your Final Project – Recommendation Report topic (see the list of topics below) and complete an Audience Analysis. Guiding questions and suggestions about audience are located on pages 87-93 of the textbook. Your Audience Analysis should be one page in length and your Proposal should be three pages in length, excluding the title page and a references page.
While different audiences will require alternative formats, your Proposal should mimic the traditional example of an “internal proposal” on pages 435-442 of Technical Communication. It is important to note that proposals are preliminary documents written to gain management’s approval (pages 109-110) for the writer to engage in tasks that lead to a Recommendation Report. A proposal also promises “deliverables” (pages 422-424) that a Recommendation Report must produce.
To complete your Proposal for this week, you are required to include the following sections in the order presented below:
- APA Cover Page.
- Audience Analysis: Address all of the questions on pages 87-91. Insert this document at the beginning of your Proposal in order to justify your proposal’s objective, direction, and constraints.
- Purpose: In the most concise terms, explain the purpose of your Proposal, which is to introduce your Recommendation Report topic to your audience.
- Summary: Include a summary, which serves “as an advance organizer” (page 454) of the information contained in the full Proposal.
- Introduction: Provide an explanation of the problem or question you hope to eventually answer in your Final Project. The Introduction section of your Proposal is where you will provide context and background for what gave rise to the need to produce these documents.
- Proposed tasks: Includes the methodology of the Final Project broken down into clear and measurable segments. In this section of your Proposal, you must anticipate all tasks that will lead to the completion of the Recommendation Report. It is recommended that you review Chapter 18, pages 515-532 to help you complete this section.
- Schedule: Provide a timeline for the completion of the above tasks and the entire Final Project – Recommendation Report (Gantt charts on pages 434-442).
- Experience: Include your credentials or future goals in relation to the subject matter References in APA format. This section should be at least 150 words in length.
- Include at least four sources in addition to the course textbook that are amply and appropriately cited in the text of the document and listed on the Reference page. Two sources must be scholarly journal articles from the Ashford University Library.