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Cover

Reporting Technical Information

Eleventh Edition

the late Kenneth W. Houp, Thomas E. Pearsall, Elizabeth Tebeaux, and Sam Dragga

Publication Date - July 2005

ISBN: 9780195178791

648 pages
Paperback
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

Retail Price to Students: $189.99

A classic in the field for more than 30 years, in a new edition featuring an extensive companion website

Description

BETTER WRITING AND SUCCESS AT WORK BEGIN IN YOUR CLASSROOM WITH REPORTING TECHNICAL INFORMATION, ELEVENTH EDITION, A CLASSIC TEXT WITH THOROUGHLY CONTEMPORARY CONTENT.

One of the leading texts in technical writing, Reporting Technical Information introduces students to all aspects of effective professional communication, including letters, proposals, progress reports, recommendation reports, research reports, instructions, and oral reports.

FEATURES OF THE ELEVENTH EDITION:

* A fully integrated companion website--www.oup.com/us/houp--that offers:
Additional practical resources for students: chapter overviews, sample writings, self-tests, "current topic" annotated links and additional resources, interactive tutorials, key terms and concepts, downloadable versions of important question checklists from the book, and a collaborative network
Resources for instructors: an Instructor's Manual and downloadable PowerPoint files for use as lecture aids (also available on CD), links to online resources, and writing assignments instructors have shared for "Better Writing--Success at Work"
Three different types of icons throughout the book that direct students to the website for additional resources: sample documents, exercises, and further reading
* New, broader approach that prepares students in a variety of science, health, business, engineering, and technical majors to develop the types of documents they will need to write in their prospective work environments
* Strong focus on the rhetorical nature of writing, helping writers to understand their readers and the contexts in which their documents will be read and used, define their purpose in writing, and design documents using these issues as critical guidelines
* Updated and additional coverage of current technology, including thoroughly revised chapters on document design and usability that take into account web-based documents and platforms
* New opening scenarios for each chapter that demonstrate the impact of technical communication in the real world
* New chapters on content management, versatility and creativity for reports, and using design and format to achieve clarity in documents
* Increased coverage of ethics and international and global workplace issues
* Many new example documents--more than half of the sample documents in the text are new--and more illustrative figures
* More end-of-chapter exercises, including projects that encourage student interaction and collaboration, several of which are linked to an online component on the companion website

Previous Publication Date(s)

August 2001
June 2000

Table of Contents

    Preface
    A New Direction
    Our Approach and Organization
    What's New in the Eleventh Edition
    Ancillaries
    A Final Note
    Acknowledgments
    1. An Overview of Technical Writing
    The Matter of Definition
    Writing at Work versus Writing at School
    Eight Basic Differences
    Writing and Communicating at Work
    The Foundations of Effective Technical Writings
    The Qualities of Good Technical Writing
    Exercises
    PART ONE. FOUNDATIONS
    2. Composing
    The Basic Parts of the Composing Process
    Analyzing the Writing Situation: Audience and Purpose
    Choosing/Discovering Content
    Arranging Content
    Drafting and Revising
    Revision
    Document Design
    Editing
    Using the Composing Process in a Workplace Environment
    Understanding the Composing Process: Why Bother?
    Exercises
    3. Writing for Your Readers
    Goals of Communication
    The Planning Process
    Determining Your Readers
    Asking Questions to Analyze Your Readers
    Determining Your Purpose
    Understanding Your Role as a Writer
    Planning the Content
    Anticipating the Context in Which Your Writing Will Be Received
    Thinking about Your Readers: A Summary of Considerations
    Exercises
    4. Achieving a Readable Style
    The Paragraph
    Basic Principles of Effective Style
    Determine Readers' Knowledge of the Subject
    Determine Whether a Particular Style Will Be Expected
    Anticipate Readers' Comprehension Level in a Given Context
    Know Your Relationship to the Readers and How You Want to Sound
    Adjust the Style to the Reader, the Purpose, and the Context
    Select Your Level of Language; Adjust the Density of Information
    The Sentence
    Watch Sentence Length
    Keep Subjects and Verbs Close Together
    Omit Verbiage; Use Concrete Verbs
    Write "Clean" Prose
    Avoid Ponderous Language
    Avoid Excessive Use of Is/Are Verb Forms
    Use Active Voice for Clarity
    Define When Necessary
    Avoid Impersonal Language
    Exercises
    5. Writing Ethically
    Ethical Perspectives
    Your Professional Obligations
    Codes of Conduct
    Recognizing Unethical Communication
    Plagiarism and Theft of Intellectual Property
    Deliberately Imprecise or Ambiguous Language
    Manipulation of Numerical Information
    Use of Misleading Illustrations
    Promotion of Prejudice
    Anticipating Consequences
    Applying Principles
    Handling Unethical Situations
    Exercises
    PART TWO. TECHNIQUES
    6. Writing for International Readers
    Establishing a Perspective on International Communication
    Understanding Readers from Various Cultures
    Individualism versus Collectivism: Valuing Either Individuals or Groups
    Separation of Business and Private Relationships
    Power Distance between Social Ranks
    Universal or Relative View of Truth
    Whether the Entire Message Is Contained in the Text
    Whether Uncertainty Is to Be Avoided or Accepted
    The Power and Value of Time
    Masculine versus Feminine
    Considering Culture in the Planning Process
    Example International Documents
    Writing Business Communications to Readers in Other Cultures
    Culture and Graphics
    Format Strategies in Other Cultures
    A Final Word
    Guides to Doing Business in Cultures around the World
    Exercises
    7. Gathering, Evaluating, and Documenting Information
    Asking Productive Questions
    Looking for Answers
    Interviews
    Newsgroups
    World Wide Web
    Libraries
    Evaluating Answers
    Interviews
    Newsgroups
    Web Sites
    Books and Articles
    Citing Sources
    Exercises
    8. Designing and Formatting Documents
    Understanding the Basics of Document Design
    Know What Decisions Are Yours to Make
    Choose a Design That Fits Your Situation
    Plan the Design from the Beginning
    Reveal the Design to the Readers
    Keep the Design Consistent
    Designing Effective Pages and Screens
    Use Blank Space to Frame and Group Information
    Space the Lines of Text for Easy Reading
    Set the Line Length for Easy Reading
    Use a Ragged Right Margin
    Choosing Readable Type
    Choose a Legible Type Size
    Choose a Font That Suits Your Document
    Use Special Typefaces Sparingly
    Use Highlighting Effectively
    Use a Mixture of Cases, Not All Capitals
    Use Color Cautiously and Consistently
    Helping Readers Locate Information
    Write Descriptive Headings
    Design Distinctive Headings
    Use Page Numbers and Headers or Footers
    Designing Web Sites
    Creating the Site
    Designing the Pages of the Site
    Maintaining the Site
    Testing Your Design
    Planning the Usability Test
    Conducting the Test
    Interpreting and Revising
    Exercises
    9. Creating and Managing Text
    Collecting and Grouping Information
    Planning Content Development
    Reports with Standard Arrangement Patterns
    Reports Designed for Specific Reader Needs
    Persuasive Arrangement and Development
    Strategies for Developing Content
    Organization and Content Development
    Other Types of Development
    Exercises
    10. Developing the Main Elements of Reports
    Prefatory Elements
    Letter of Transmittal
    Title Page
    Submission Page
    Table of Contents
    List of Illustrations
    Glossary and List of Symbols
    Abstracts and Summaries
    Informative Abstract
    Descriptive Abstract
    Summary
    Discussion or Body of the Report
    Parts of the Discussion
    Strategy for Presenting the Discussion
    Conclusion
    Recommendations
    Appendixes
    Online Reports
    Exercises
    11. Creating Tables and Figures
    Choosing Illustrations
    Consider Your Purpose
    Consider Your Audience
    Consider Your Audience Again
    Consider Your Purpose Again
    Creating Illustrations
    Designing Tables
    Designing Bar and Column Graphs
    Designing Circle Graphs (Pie Charts)
    Designing Line Graphs
    Designing Flowcharts
    Designing Diagrams
    Editing Photographs
    Designing Illustrations Ethically
    Exercises
    PART THREE. APPLICATIONS
    12. Planning Correspondence and E-mail
    Determining Your Purpose
    Analyzing the Audience
    Composing Letters, Memos, and E-mail
    Finding the Appropriate Style
    Direct versus Indirect Style
    Conversational Style
    Special Considerations for E-mail
    Special Considerations for International Correspondence
    Keeping Copies of Correspondence
    Exercises
    13. Creating Reports for Any Occasion
    The Variable Nature of Reports
    Liability and Report Writing
    General Report Requirements
    Determining Report Structure
    Determining Internal Report Development
    Importance of the Introduction and Summary
    The Online Report
    The Slide/Visual Presentation Report
    Exercises
    14. Developing Analytical Reports: Recommendation Reports and Feasibility Studies
    Analytical Reports
    Recommendation Reports
    Feasibility Studies
    Purpose
    Environmental Impact Systems
    Exercises
    15. Developing Empirical Research Reports
    Major Sections of Empirical Research Reports
    Abstract
    Introduction and Literature Review
    Summary
    Materials and Methods
    Results
    Conclusion
    Acknowledgments and References
    Other Examples for Analysis and Comparison
    Example 1
    Example 2
    Example 3
    Exercises
    16. Writing Proposals and Progress Reports
    The Relationship between Proposals and Progress Reports
    Proposals
    The Context of Proposal Development
    Effective Argument in Proposal Development
    Standard Sections of Proposals
    Progress Reports
    Structure by Work Performed
    Structure by Chronological Order
    Structure by Main Project Goals
    Physical Appearance of Proposals and Progress Reports
    Style and Tone of Proposals and Progress Reports
    Other Forms of Proposals and Progress Reports
    Exercises
    17. Formulating Instructions, Procedures, and Policies
    Planning Instructions and Procedures
    Structure and Organization
    Introduction
    Theory Governing the Procedure or Instruction
    Warnings, Cautions, Hazards, and Notes Regarding Safety or Quality
    Conditions under which the Task Is to Be Performed
    Steps in Performing the Task
    Name of Each Step
    Procedures
    Format Considerations for Instructions and Procedures
    Policies
    Procedures and Policy Manuals
    Exercises
    18. Writing Collaboratively
    Issues in Collaboration
    Value of Collaboration
    Techniques for Developing Collaborative Documents
    The On-site Collaborative Group
    The Distributed Collaborative Work Group
    The Lead Author Work Group
    Making Collaborative Projects Work
    Collaborative Projects in Action
    Exercises
    19. Preparing Oral Reports: The Basics
    Understanding the Speaking/Writing Relationship
    Analyzing the Audience
    Analyzing the Context
    Determining the Goal of Your Presentation
    Choosing and Shaping Content
    Deciding How to Arrange and Organize Content
    Designing Each Segment: Guidelines
    Choose an Interesting Title
    Develop Your Presentation about Three Main Divisions
    Plan the Introduction Carefully
    Design the Body to Help People Comprehend Your Ideas
    Design the Conclusion to Reinforce Your Main Ideas
    Choosing an Appropriate Speaking Style
    Speaking to Multicultural Audiences
    Using Techniques to Enhance Audience Comprehension
    Planning Visuals to Enhance Your Purpose and Your Meaning
    Designing and Presenting the Written Paper
    Structuring the Written Speech
    Writing the Speech
    Practicing the Presentation
    Speaking Effectively: Practice, Practice, Practice
    Exercises
    20. Understanding the Strategies and Communications of the Job Search
    Preparation
    Self-Assessment
    Information Gathering
    Networking
    The Correspondence of the Job Search
    Letter of Application
    The Résumé
    Follow-up Letters
    Interviewing
    The Interview
    Negotiation
    Before and after the Interview
    Exercises
    Appendix A. Handbook
    Index

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