Writing Policies and Procedures

Contrary to popular belief, policies and procedures are worth the paper they are written on. A good set of policies and procedures forms the foundation from which an organization operates, they help people determine what’s appropriate behaviour, they help the organization improve its quality and effectiveness, and they help ensure consistency.

Writing Policies and Procedures Micro-site

Portfolios for technical writers

Portfolios can be excellent tools for technical writers seeking employment. Examine various types and discuss the process of developing a portfolio, including deciding which technical writing documents to include/exclude, organizing work samples and assessing there value from an employer’s point of view. Discuss how a portfolio supports other job search tools.

Porfolios for technical writers micro-site

Rewriting for our reader’s sake

This course focuses on some key aspects of the third stage of writing; rewriting. The goal of this course is to help your writing become clearer, more concise, and more readable by polishing up your rewriting and editing skills. During this course we will examine spelling, grammar and punctuation challenges frequently encountered in technical and business writing; we will consider word choices and phrasing that reduce ambiguity and bloated writing; and we will work with sentence structure and organization to improve readability and support the points we are making.

Rewriting for our user’s sake micro-site

If you ever struggle with when to use a comma or a semicolon, are vague about using which or that, or find you use too many words to make your point; this course is for you.

We recommend that you take the Effective Writing for Business and Technology course before taking this course. This rewriting course focuses on one aspect of writing and builds on the concepts discussed in the effective writing course.

Effective Writing for Business and Technology

Technical and business professionals spend a lot of time reading and writing, and yet few have much formal training in this area. A survey from 1986-1998 found that engineers spent an average of 280 hours a year reading and 221 hours a year writing. That’s about 25% of their time. These averages are even higher for scientific and medical professionals.

Effective Writing for Business and Technology micro-site

Writing Summaries and Abstracts

Writing Summaries and Abstracts is a short course that examines the similarities and differences between summaries and abstracts and outlines strategies for developing each effectively.
Writing Summaries and Abstracts micro-site

Indexing Technical Documents

A well-crafted index is the best retrieval tool we can provide to our readers.

Our index must meet the needs of all of readers of our publication: those who are experienced with the product or technology, those who are familiar with similar products and technologies, and those who have no experience with the product or technology.

Most technical writers have to create an index sometime during their career, yet preparing an effective index is a complex process. This practical, hands-on course presents a systematic indexing method for technical documents.

Indexing micro-site

Preparing Software Specifications

Functional requirements and design specifications are vital to software development projects.  Explore the role these and other technical documents play in developing a software product, and discover the how to describe a software product properly using Use Cases and other specification documents.  Prepare representative documents using MS Word.

Preparing Software Specifications micro-site

Writing Engineering Specifications

Writing Engineering Specifications is a short course that applies the principles and practices of technical writing to preparing Engineering Specifications. The practical, hands-on, approach of this course is designed to assist technical and engineering specialists prepare effective engineering specifications.

By the conclusion of this course you will have:

  • reviewed the structure and use of MasterFormat 2004
  • examined some common mistakes made by writers when preparing engineering specifications
  • practised many of the writing skills necessary to prepare effective, unambiguous specifications

This course uses MasterFormat 2004 as the framework for preparing specifications, however the techniques discussed are equally applicable to any method of specification organization.

Writing Engineering Specifications micro-site