Online Technical Writing

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In addition to the mix of genres that it discusses, the book is also effective in its coverage of different aspects of writing such as audience, context, ethics, etc.

read more see less The book has a strong balance of topics.

It is not at the cutting edge of technical writing technologies or software, but it is the sort of book that would have (and probably has) helped students a decade ago and will still be useful in another decade owing to its coverage of general topics and its emphasis on writing fundamentals.

The book seems to have been designed for modular use, and indeed that is how I plan to use it in my future classes.

Almost none of the content has references to original sources, and far too little theory is made explicit.

Too much of the writing is chatty and conversational to provide a model of technical writing for university students.The first section includes both platforms and genres.However, currently relevant platforms like Twitter are excluded from this section. Later chapters jump between concepts and genres with no obvious logic to the order.As I mentioned above, the book starts by covering genres with relative swiftness, then it digs into essential writing topics, and then it covers larger genres in more detail.It ends with a section on "Thinking About Writing" that is pretty clearly designed for more advanced readers, and I think that's an effective choice.Basically, I find that students seem to flourish when a class (and a textbook) regularly comes back to explicitly stated themes, and the book didn't necessarily have those.They were there (audience, genre, etc.), but they weren't really up-played in a way that students will definitely get.Unfortunately, the book consistently raises questions about whether these authors/editors have worked in technical contexts recently.Their advice seems to be off-base, including comparing omitting a conclusion to slamming down a phone on a caller.Many phrases such as "as seen in the last section," make it difficult for students to follow what's happening.The videos address students in a single section writing a specific assignment and the content of the videos is not transferable to other contexts.


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