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Course Description

Technical writing is the art and science of translating technical information into readable, accessible writing usable by a wide audience. If you have ever read the user's manual for a piece of software or equipment you've purchased, you've seen technical writing in action. Creating manuals, help and technical support systems, online help systems, and instruction manuals are some of the main projects technical writers take on. Since nearly every business in every industry imaginable has at least an occasional need to bring technical information to its users and customers, technical writing is found in nearly every business, government agency, and non-profit organization.

If you work in a high tech industry, technical writing may be a part of your job description and daily duties. If you love to write, enjoy learning, and have an interest in technology, technical writing can be an exciting, rewarding career in itself. Job opportunities in the field are expected to grow as technology continues to advance.

Whether you are called upon to communicate technical information to clients and coworkers, or you are thinking of technical writing as a new and interesting career, this course is designed to help you get started. We'll talk more about the kinds of products technical writers get involved in, and discuss the kinds of skills that successful technical writing requires. We'll talk about ways to approach and organize a technical writing project, and look at the kinds of materials technical writers produce, from written manuals to video tutorials. For those looking at technical writing as a new career, we'll discuss ways of improving your skill set, getting training, making contacts, and breaking into the field.
Instruction Manual

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Course Lessons

  • Lesson 1. What is Technical Writing?

    Technical writing is the art and science of translating technical information generated by subject matter experts into readable, accessible information usable by a wider audience.
  • Lesson 2. Projects for Technical Writers

    As we've discussed before, nearly every industry involves some technical writing, especially if we include marketing materials under the technical writing umbrella.
  • Lesson 3. The Technical Writing Process

    Whether you're writing software manuals, online help, brochures, or scripting a video, the core goals of technical writing remain the same.
  • Lesson 4. How to Write Effectively

    At its core, good technical writing is simply good writing about technical topics.
  • Lesson 5. Teaching an Alien to Drive

    The challenge in delivering usable information is in knowing what level of detail and complexity is appropriate, and what elements of a given process you can assume that your reader knows and which ones you'll have to explain.
  • Lesson 6. The First End User, You

    In this lesson, we'll look at this part of the process in greater detail, and we'll see how the technical writer can add value to the company's product by evaluating its usability as it is being developed.
  • Lesson 7. Getting It Done. Project Management and the Technical Writer

    Technical writers often need to manage more than one large project at a time. Developing good project management skills is as important (or more so) than good writing skills.
  • Lesson 8. Words, Pictures, and Links. The Growing Array of Deliverable Formats

    As we've seen in earlier lessons, a technical writer's output is not just written manuals anymore. Let's look further at the types of deliverables you as a technical writer could be called upon to produce.
  • Lesson 9. Breaking into Technical Writing

    Is a career in technical writing for you? By now we've talked enough about the kind of work that you'd be doing to give you a sense of whether it is the kind of work you might enjoy.
  • Lesson 10. The Tech Writer's Toolbox

    What tools do you need to succeed as a technical writer? Often, you need to know whatever tools your company chooses to use.
  • Lesson 11. Staying in Touch

    What is the future of technical writing? The answer is interactivity. The phenomenon of Web 2.0 has converted Web surfers into Web content providers. People don't just browse the web anymore, they get involved.
Average Lesson Rating: (703 votes)
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"Extraordinarily Helpful"
Online CEU Certificate
1.1 CEUs
11 Contact Hours
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Course Title: ABCs of Technical Writing
Course Number: 7550201
Languages: English - United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, and other English speaking countries
Course Type: Professional Development
CEU Value: 1.1 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CEU Standard: Course Adheres to the ANSI/IACET 1-2007 Standard
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), 1760 Old Meadow Road, Suite 500, McLean, VA 22102.
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $40.00 (no CEU Certification) || with CEU Certification: $65.00

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Identify what technical writing is.
  • Identify the types of projects that require technical writers.
  • Summarize the technical writing process.
  • Write technical materials more effectively.
  • Write with the end-user in mind, and not the product owner.
  • Demonstrate time management skills to complete a project.
  • Evaluate your technical writing.
  • Identify the best resources for finding technical writing projects, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
An IntroductionAssignment5
Assignment - Lesson 1Assignment20
Lesson 1: What is Technical Writing?Exam10
Assignment - Lesson 2Assignment30
Lesson 2: Projects for Technical WritersExam9
Lesson 3: The Technical Writing ProcessExam10
Assignment - Lesson 4Assignment40
Lesson 4: How to Write EffectivelyExam10
Lesson 5: Teaching an Alien to DriveExam10
Assignment - Lesson 6Assignment15
Lesson 6: The First End User: YouExam9
Assignment - Lesson 7Assignment25
Lesson 7: Getting It Done: Project Management and the Technical WriterExam10
Lesson 8: Words, Pictures, and Links: The Growing Array of Deliverable FormatsExam9
Assignment - Lesson 9Assignment25
Lesson 9: Breaking into Technical WritingExam10
Lesson 10: The Tech Writer's ToolboxExam10
Assignment - Lesson 11Assignment15
Lesson 11: Staying in TouchExam10
Technical Writing - Final ExamExam540
Total Points:822

Student Testimonials

  • "Everything was great." -- Nancy M.
  • "It was a good overview, which is exactly what I was looking for. I enjoyed your classes. Thank you." -- Beth B.
  • "Excellent!" -- Jeannine S.
  • "I really enjoyed working with the instructor. I found the writing assignments most helpful. Practicing specific writing skills is the best way to learn technical writing." -- Paul S.
  • "The instructor was so helpful." -- Anchal N.

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