1. Collect 5 different examples of technical writing documents. Describe the presentation of each document. Does it create an immediate positive impression? Are the major topics highlighted? Is the text easy to read? Is it justified or aligned to the left? Are there any grammatical errors? Do ideas flow in a logical sequence? Are the graphics clear and relevant? Is there a glossary or reference source attached? Does it reflect thoughtful visual design? Is there ample white space? Is the message clear? How is the document formatted: does it have a table of contents, executive summary or abstract, appendixes, glossary, references etc?
2. Imagine you are a professional technical writer. You have been given a brief from an architect to re-write a floor plan for a major shopping centre in a style that is easily understood by the builder and the architect’s client. Plan the document’s headings and layout (what the document will look like overall). You do not need to write any of the content.
1. List the contents of each of the documents you analysed in Set Task 1.
In each case, state your opinion as to:
- Whether or not the contents are clearly defined (easy to find)
- Whether or not the content is what you expected from the title of the document
- Whether the document helps or does not help the reader locate information in it.
- Whether it contains all the parts that are expected or required for such a document (These may include some or all of the following: table of contents, executive summary or abstract, appendixes, glossary, references etc).
Explain your reasoning.
2. Describe the presentation of each document you analysed in Set Task 1. Consider such factors as:
- Creating an immediate positive impression
- Clear identification of main ideas
- Easiness to read
- Consistency of formatting and layout
- Use of visual design
- Use of white space
- Appropriateness and clarity of fonts and formatting
- Appropriateness of tone and style of presentation.
3. Submit your Set Task 2 plan and layout.
4. What is the importance of providing a glossary of terms and a reference list?
5. Provide examples of correct referencing from a variety of different sources in a field of your choice.
6. On a subject of your choice, write a hypothetical glossary and index for a technical manual (A minimum of eight items in each list). Look up examples for correct format.
7. Briefly define an annotated bibliography. Write an example of one item from an annotated bibliography.