Technical Writing Courses and Classes Overview
Technical writing courses are offered at the undergraduate and graduate level. It's possible to earn an associate, bachelor's or master's degree in technical writing or technical communications. Some colleges and universities offer non-credit courses in technical writing. Below are some examples of courses found within a program in this field.
Introduction to Technical Writing
This undergraduate course addresses the creation of a variety of print and electronic documents, including brochures, reports, websites, software documents and scientific reports. Students learn how to organize and express facts and ideas through the written word. Coursework focuses on the production of technical documents that may be used in industry, government, business and academia.
Technical Manual Writing
Designed for people working in a variety of fields, this course teaches the basics of creating and revising end-user manuals. Curriculum covers both print and online formats. Topics include product learning, drafting, document design and task analysis. Students use online tools and desktop publishing software to create technical manuals that they can use for their portfolios.
Formal Report Writing
Students learn the protocol for proper technical and scientific report writing. Subjects include punctuation, grammar and research techniques, as well as the creation of title pages, tables of contents, format pages, glossaries and appendices. Courses emphasize style, tone and the importance of writing in plain, comprehensible English.
Technical editing is a part of technical writing, though it is often treated as a stand-alone job in practice. In this graduate-level course, students learn how to edit professional and technical documents for grammar, punctuation, spelling, usage, format and style. Courses typically address the job duties of the business and scientific technical editor. Topics include establishing positive working relationships with both writers and upper-level management, in addition to the use of copyediting marks and style guides.
This graduate-level course focuses on the design elements of technical and professional documents. Typography, color and page layout are addressed as students use software programs to design documents. Projects encompass both print and electronic media design, including manuals and online help sites. Professional development is emphasized.
Technical Writing Management
Those who start out as technical writers may find themselves managing other writers. This course addresses the organization of technical writing departments, with examples ranging from small, independent businesses to the communications divisions of large organizations. Students go into the field to observe practicing managers in order to learn about techniques and strategies in this field.
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