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The Fundamentals

Use animations to illustrate processes, to entertain, and to engage readers' attention.

An animation can be as simple as a GIF file that blinks on and off and as complicated as online screen movie. Many of the clever animations you see online today are for amusement or artistic purposes. In time, more prosaic uses may be employed--as people become more comfortable with the software needed to created an animated images.

However great…natural talent may be, the art of writing cannot be learned all at once. --Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Read, read, read…Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. --William Faulkner

You only learn to be a better writer by actually writing.--Doris Lessing

 Learning Outcomes

  • Apply and adapt professional/technical writing conventions, including genre, tone, and style for particular writing situations.
  • Compose professional/technical documents and oral presentations for multiple audiences and specific purposes by using current technologies.
  • Design and implement information literacy strategies.

Now that you are familiar with some generally useful library and internet resources, here are some important journals in the field of professional and technical communication.

The term "professional writing" commonly refers broadly to texts written for business purposes such as business letters, reviews and recommendations, feasibility studies, progress reports, and application materials.  In turn, "technical writing" refers to documents that often explain technical processes or explain how to do something, such as technical descriptions and instructions and process reports.

Professional and Technical Writing texts share many similarities with traditional academic writing genres, such as an emphasis on clarity, succinctness, and thesis-driven, deductively organized texts.

Overview: This article will discuss the role of assembling and organizing relevant research and/or data in order to compose correspondence or a document that solves a writing problem.

  • Compose an evidence-based solution for a writing problem by assembling and organizing relevant research and/or data


Composing involves more than putting your thoughts into words. Composing involves assembling ideas, words, sentences, paragraphs, and visuals to accurately, ethically, and coherently address a writing situation.

JOURNALISM: Gathering Information and Writing Your Story

University of Delaware Professor Ben Yagoda defines journalism as, “uncovering timely and previously not well-known information that, according to agreed-upon standards, is important; and conveying it to the public clearly, accurately, concisely, disinterestedly, and independently.” As a journalist, the stories you write are meant to provide true facts to readers about issues or news going on in the world today. They are meant to be truthful, unbiased, and informative.

Understand how and when to use charts and graphs.


Tables and graphs enable you to reach visual learners. When you select information for graphical representation, you are highlighting its significance. In some disciplines, particularly the sciences, readers expect authors to condense complicated information into charts and graphs. Many readers will scan a document's charts, tables, and graphs before reading any text.

Learning Objectives

  • analyze a writing problem and outline a plan for solving the problem that illustrates and analyzes audience while creating various professional/technical documents with a sophisticated awareness of audience as a reader and a writer.
  • operate current technologies in order to produce effective documents.

Types and Benefits of Planning

A recent survey of more than 250 working professionals provides valuable insights into how they view their own writing. By suggesting pragmatic ways to improve the writing of emails, memos, and reports, the article also helps students strengthen their job skills as they prepare for their own careers.


Exactly what did the survey reveal? While you can see all questions and replies in the accompanying tables, the following responses provoked the most curiosity:

  • Around 68 percent of workplace writers have confidence in their ability to write but only 42 percent of them get started easily—leaving a notable fifty-eight percent of workplace writers still struggling to get started easily--leaving a notable fifty-eight percent of workplace writers still struggling to get started..

Use visual brainstorming to develop and organize your ideas.

Like cluster/spider maps, hierarchical maps involve drawing a graphical representation of ideas. Unlike clustering, cluster/spider maps are chiefly concerned with analyzing relationships among ideas.

When Are Hierarchical Maps Useful?

Mapping is a useful organizing and revising tool when you want to see if you've made connections clear among ideas or if you've gone off on a tangent.

Add video to enrich or supplant printed texts.

New communication technologies enable authors to incorporate streaming multimedia into their webs. 

Writers may provide video to:

  1. Underscore the content of the print text, illustrating key concepts.  For example, an agency hoping to secure funds for hungry people could show video of their living conditions.
  2. Illustrate the content of the printed text.  A researcher could provide video of people he or she interviewed.  A technical writer could provide a screen-movie to show users how to complete instructions.
  3. Inform or persuade people who respond more positively to an engaging speaker than printed texts.