TECHNICAL WRITING 1
OUTCOME 1: Define technical writing, its purposes andhow it differs from other forms of communication.
The term “technical writing” is used to refer to a form ofcommunication that involves sharing of information related todirections, explanations, and instructions. The learning theory isadapted and use by technical writers to guide them in communicatingeffectively to their target audience. This theory holds thatknowledge needs to be absorbed, processed or analyzed and then storedduring learning (Hogan, 2013). The application of the learning theoryis based on the fact that readers of technical documentation read inorder to do what is written, which involves the extraction ofinformation for instant action. Research shows that technical writingis mainly applied in factories and technology companies, wherespecific and actionable instructions are requited (Hogan, 2013). Theaccomplishment of this goal is dependent on the approach that hasbeen used to develop and design the documentation.
The two major principles that are required in the field of technicalwriting include constructivism and cognitive load. The principle ofcognitive load entails contextual relevance, and working as well aslong-term memory (Adaboh, 2016). It helps technical writers tobalance the quantity of information, maintain relevance, and ensurethat delivery is done in manageable chunks. The principle ofconstructivism holds that knowledge is constructed, and not acquired.Therefore, a technical writer should be able to construct knowledgethat is going to be communicated to the readers.
There is no specific state as well as national guidelines fortechnical writing. However, the technical writers are guided by codesof ethics that are established by different professionalorganizations. For an instant, Crabbe (2012) outlined values(including honesty, fairness, confidentiality, and professionalism)that should be observed in technical writing. For an instant, thehonest technical writers should avoid plagiarism at all costs.
OUTCOME 2: Describe the characteristics of effectiveresearch and effective technical writing.
An effective research provides the scientific evidence that isneeded in order to address issues affecting the modern world. Itshould have at least four characteristics. First, the topic should bebased on a specific problem that the research intends to resolve.Secondly, an effective research should aim at achieving a specificpurpose (Derntl, 2014). Third, the research process should be guidedby a pre-determined hypothesis or a question. Fourth, an effectiveresearch should acknowledge the existence of some assumptions.Similarly, an effective technical writing has severalcharacteristics. Technical writing is considered to be effective whenit is clear, concise, appropriate, and accurate (Derntl, 2014).
There are two theories that are required in order to achieveeffective research and technical writing. The first one is deductivetheory, which holds that one should be able to reason from onestatement to reach a conclusion that is logically certain (Worster,2014). This helps researcher to come up with an effective researchdesign and interpret results in a way that they respond to thehypothesis. The inductive theory helps technical writers andresearchers to come up with new concepts and theories using data.
The national as well as state guidelines that must be followed ineffective research are provided by different institutions, includingthe Agency for Health Care Research and Quality (Atkinson, 2013). Themain focus of these guidelines is the protection of human subjectsfrom possible risks. Similarly, the codes of ethics for effectiveresearch and technical writing are provided by a professionalorganization. Some of the ethical concerns included in these codesinclude the protection of human subjects and prevention ofplagiarisms. Therefore, observing integrity, being honest, logicalreasoning, and originality are some of the best practices in researchand technical writing.
OUTCOME 3: Identify the requirements, options, andstrategies for defining terms and organizing information.
Organization of information is a process that involves putting intocontexts and the format that will enhance the understanding of thetarget users. One needs to understand the purpose of the informationand the target audience. Some of the key options and strategies forinformation organization include categorization by time, location,hierarchy, and alphabet (Lambert, 2015).
There are three theories that facilitate the adoption of the bestpractices in the process of information organization. The first oneis the theory of classification. This theory guides people inorganizing information on the basis of their similarities as well asdifferences. The theory of classification holds that the principleused in classification of items is dependent on their own nature(Sanchez, Perrnin, Mensink & Verbeek, 2013). Therefore, pieces ofinformation should be organized and classified on the basis of theirown similarities and differences. Secondly, theory of coding holdsthat codes can be used to facilitate the compression and networkingof the data. The theory can guide individuals in organizinginformation by reducing large data into a small one, which isachieved by the application of codes.
There are no specific national as well as state guidelines and codesof ethics to guide studies. The observation of best practices ininformation about organization requires an individual to classify andmanage data with the needs of the audience in mind. Research showsthat effective organization of information enhances understanding andthe ease of retrieval (Korde, 2012). This is attributed to the factthat the process of organization makes information more comprehensivewhile, which enables the audience to put it into perspective andapply it.
OUTCOME 5: Explain the requirements and options forselecting and designing technical materials and visual information.
There three key requirements for the selection as well as thedesigning of technical materials and visual information. First, therelevance of material and visual information should be confirmed.They should be relevant to the topic and the issue that one wants tocommunicate. Secondly, the clarity of visual information is a basicrequirement since it enhances the audience`s understanding of theinformation (Land, Tenenbaum, Ward & Marquardt, 2013). Third, theinformation and material should be able to facilitate the achievementof the purpose that one wants to pursue. The options for theselection of technical material as well as information depend on thepurpose that one wants to achieve when communicating.
The visual image theory can be used to guide people in the processof selecting technical material and visual information. The theoryholds that the use of visual images to communicate a given piece ofinformation enhances understanding, recall, and comprehension(McWhirter & Goetz, 2014). The effectiveness of visualinformation is determined by different factors, which include color,placement of objects, and shading. A combination of theaforementioned factors ensures that visual images are able tocommunicate meaning. The increase in the recall rate is attributed tothe fact that visual images are considered as the sensory expressionof the meaning that one wants to communicate.
There are no specific state and national guidelines and codes ofethics that must be followed when selecting visual information andtechnical material. Recent research indicates that a properselection of objects and colors when preparing visual informationenhances learning since people’s attention is caught more by whatthey see than what they hear (Shabiralyani, Hasan, Hamad & Iqbal,2015). In addition, the use of visual instructions makes complexinformation appear simple.
OUTCOME 9: Evaluate ethical dilemmas faced by technicalcommunicators and the strategies for making ethical decisions.
There are two major ethical dilemmas that technical communicatorsface. First, technical communicators face the challenge of providingtruthful information. The dilemma results from the fact that theprovision of falsified information attracts more audience, but itdamages the image of the communicator in the long-run (Masic, 2012).The second dilemma results from the choice of words. The mainobjective that technical communicators intend to achieve is provisionof factual information, but they may influence the response of theaudience in a negative way.
The selection of the strategies for making ethical decisions can beguided by two theories. First, the theory of utilitarian holds that amoral decision should be able to maximize the wellbeing of thelargest percentage of the stakeholders (Marques, 2015). Theapplication of this theory requires the decision makers to considerthe consequences of an action. For example, the technicalcommunicator should weigh between the outcomes of giving false andtruthful information. Secondly, the deontological theory holds thatethical decisions are the ones that are taken on the basis of theobligation of an individual (Marques, 2015). For an instant,technical communicators have a duty to remain truthful and factual.Therefore, the most effective strategy for making ethical choices isto weigh the competing options, which is based on the outcomes andthe duty of decision making.
There are no state as well as national standards and ethical codesfor addressing moral dilemmas. Current research and trends indicatethat there is a significant increase in unethical practices in thefield of technical communication (Savage, 2013). These practicesresult from plagiarism and ghost writers who can steal or falsifyinginformation in order to achieve different goals.
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