Introduction To Technical Report Writing Technical report writing is a practical writing that people do as a part of their jobs. It is a different form of writing, both different from and similar to other forms of writing. Technical writing both analyzes and explains in order to communicate with the reader. Definitions: 1. Technical Report Writing aims to get work done, to change people by changing the way they do things. (Killingsworth and Gilbertson) 2. The most critical skill required in today’s business world is the ability to communicate, both verbally and in writing.
Effective communication has a direct impact on one’s potential within an organization. ” (Bob Collins) 3. Document that records the procedure adopted and results obtained from a scientific or technical activity or investigation. 4. Technical Writing is a specialized, structured way of writing, where information is presented in a format and manner that best suits the psychological needs of the readers, so that they can respond to a document as its author intended and achieve the purpose related to that document.
The process of gathering information from experts and presenting it to an audience in a clear, easily understandable form is called technical writing. 5. Technical Writing is the presentation of information that helps the reader solves a particular problem. Technical communicators write, design and edit proposal, web pages, lab reports, newsletters and many other kinds of professional documents. Purpose of TRW Technical report wring is intended to communicate to a specific audience for a specific purpose. Its purpose is to link in you and your boss, you and clients, you and vendors and you and co-workers.
Technical writing creates action. When you write successfully a technical correspondence, someone on the other end responds. The purpose of your report and your sense of audience creates tone. PURPOSE (Document) + AUDIENCE (Technical Supervisor / Reader) = TONE (Objective) According to Killingsworth and Gilbertson The purpose of TRW is to enable its reader to act in three ways: By informing 2. By instructing3. By persuading By Informing * To inform * To carry out job responsibilities * People supply or receive information constantly They need to know or explain the schedule time for meeting * The physical description of a new machine * The step in a process * The results of an experience By Instructing TRW instruct when they give readers directions for using equipment and for performing duties. It enables consumers to use their new purchase. Writing tells medical personnel exactly what to do when a patient has a heart attack. By Persuading Technical writers persuade readers to follow a particular course of action. Importance Of Technical Report Writing
Technical Writing is a very important part of our work experience for several reasons. * Technical Writing conducts business * Technical Writing takes time * Technical Writing costs money * Technical Writing is an extension of our interpersonal communication skills 1. Technical Writing Conducts Business TW is not a minor but a major part of the work environment because through TW employees: a) Maintain good customer-client relations e. g. Follow-up-letters b) Ensure that work is accomplished on time e. g. Directive memos c) Provide documentation that work has been accomplished e. . Status reports d) Generate income Technical Writing also: a) Keeps Machinery working e. g. maintenance instructions b) Ensures that correct equipment is purchased e. g. Technical descriptions and specifications c) Gives bosses the information they require for persuasive briefings e. g. Summaries d) Gets us jobs e. g. Resumes and e) Informs the world about our company’s product e. g. Sites on the World Wide Web 2. Technical Writing Takes Time * Average employees spend approximately 20% of their work time just writing memos, letters and various reports. This 20% of work week equals 8 hours spent just writing. * Corporate supervisors not only spend their time writing but also reviewing and revising their subordinates’ writing. 3. Technical Writing Costs Money * Time is money * As employees, if we spend 20% of our work time just writing, means we are paid 20% of our salary just for writing. * Good writing has additional monetary values i. e. if we write good proposals we generate income. * A confusing writing, however, wastes both time and money…. it costs the company even if your writing is faulty. 4.
Technical Writing is an extension of our interpersonal Communication Skills * When we write a memo, letter or report to convey technical information simultaneously we reveal something about ourselves to our audience. * Therefore, if we write well, we tell them that we can think logically and communicate our thoughts logically. * But if we write poorly we reveal to our audience that we can neither think clearly nor communicate our thoughts effectively. Therefore, TW is an extension of our interpersonal communication skills at work. Our co-workers judge our competence from our writing.
Through TW we not only can compose well constructed memos, reports, letters and proposals to our readers to reveal that we know our technical field of expertise and can communicate our knowledge thoroughly, accurately, clearly and concisely but also can motivate the personnel to do particular courses of action. Characteristics of TRW 1. Clarity * A good report is one which is drafted in a simple, clear and lucid language. * There should be no ambiguity as regards the statements made in the report. * A reader should be able to understand the entire report easily, exactly and quickly. Unclear Technical Writing is expensive. 2. Accuracy * The data given and statements made in the report must be based on facts and must be verified carefully. * Report writing is a responsible job as report is used as a reliable document for taking decisions and framing policies. * Thus, report writing should be always accurate, factual and reliable. 3. Comprehensiveness * A lengthy report is not necessarily a good report. * Report should be a brief and compact document. * It should give complete picture of the problem under investigation.
In this sense the report writing should be comprehensive but compact. 4. Accessibility * It means the ease with which the readers can locate the information they seek. * To increase Accessibility * Headings * Lists in the report * A table of contents * Glossary and * Index. 5. Conciseness * The report should be as long as its need of information is necessary * A longer document gets more of the user’s time * Conciseness creates a balance between the requirements of clarity and comprehensiveness * It must give the audience purpose and object but no extra details. Technical writing can be shortened by eliminating unnecessary phrases and choosing short words and sentences in order to make report effective. 6. Correctness * Good Technical Report must also be correct. * It must be free from grammatical errors like punctuation mistakes…. * If a report contains grammatical errors, the reader will doubt the accuracy of the information in the report. * Technical writing is meant to convey information and to persuade the audience. * To accomplish these goals it must be clear, auccurate, easy to access and must be economical and correct. . Objectivity * A good report should be drafted in an impersonal manner. * Avoid personal feelings. * The report writing should be in third person. * This is necessary as the report is prepared for the benefits of a person who needs it and not for the benefit of the person who prepares it. 8. Complete * A good report should be complete and self-explanatory document. * Repetition of facts, figures, information, conclusions and recommendation should be avoided. * It should give complete information to the readers in a precise manner. All essentialities should be mentioned. The Components of A Research based Technical Report 1. A Descriptive Title * The title must be short, accurate, descriptive and grammatically correct. * It should not be like “CMSC 44 Course Project” because it is not descriptive. * Avoid cute titles that violate these criteria. * It is better to use two-part titles e. g. An “Experimental Study using Real and Unreal Approach. ” 2. Author name and Affiliation and date * Your Affiliation might be “Department of Management ;amp; Computer Sciences, ISRA University, Hyderabad. * You might also like to include the city and state of your affiliation, your email address, and URL (Uniform Resource Locator). * Note if there is any punctuation. 3. An informative Abstract * An informative abstract of approximately 200 words * Make sure that your abstract is informative * It should serve as a substitute for your paper * Briefly summarize your main findings * Concretely summarize, do not introduce * Immediately get to the point in the first sentence * Do not give any reference in the abstract * Do not begin the abstract with weak or boring phrase Abstract should be informative yet understandable to the most researchers in your general field. 4. A List of Appropriate keywords * These keywords should identify the field of your report and its major topics. * Make it too clear, what words and phrases should someone use to find your report. * Be specific, and use only standard phrases. * Many journals use THREE levels of keywords: a) General Terms b) Subject Descriptors ;amp; c) Implicit Terms (phrases that act as proper names). 5. Body of Technical Report * Write a clear, informative and thoughtful description and critique of what you did. Where appropriate, include carefully drawn graphs and diagrams * Be sure to motivate, present and interpret your findings. * Focus on the scientific content of the project. * Identify and explain interesting and important phenomena. * Emphasize what is new about your project 6. Acknowledgements * Acknowledge any help you received including the use of equipment if any. * Be specific 7. Complete and accurate list of references * Give a complete and accurate list of references cited in the technical report. * There are THREE reasons for citing works: ) To give credit where credit is due b) To be helpful to the reader to identify useful related work and c) To identify the context and background of your work. * List and number references by alphabetical order of author name. * When citing references in the body of the report, always explain why the reference is being cited. * Do not cite previous work without critically explaining how it relates to your work. * Better mention the author name in the textual citation, followed by the corresponding reference number e. g. “In 1976, Diffie ;amp; Helmen proposed the concept of X. Y. Z