Technical Communication (11th edition)


Author: Mike Markel

Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's;


Publish Date: December 29, 2014

ISBN-10: 1457673371

Pages: 768

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Technical communication has always involved collaboration. A writer who needed to produce a user manual for a new software package would likely have interviewed the engineer who wrote the code. The company might also have convened a focus group to find out what users liked and didn’t like about the prototype of the software. Now, however, there is more interaction than ever before between the people who produce technical documentsand those who consume them. Often, that interaction goes in both directions. Using social media and new technologies, technical communicators can collaborate with their audiences at every step of the communication process. And thanks to online publishing, audience members contribute to the development of technical documents even after they have been published, by asking and answering questions, revising existing information, and contributing new information.

The types of documents that technical communicators routinely produce have changed as well. Microblog posts, contributions to discussion boards and wikis, and status updates to one’s LinkedIn profile—once the raw materials of longer and more formal documents—are now routinely used to communicate important messages

Despite these changes, the fundamentals of technical communication are at least as important as they always have been. An inaccuracy in a microblog post communicating a project update is every bit as big a problem as an inaccuracy in a traditional progress report. And even though we live and work in an era that values brevity and quick turnaround, some information can be properly communicated only through the longer, detailed documents that have always been at the center of technical communication.

I have revised this new edition of Technical Communication to help students learn how to communicate effectively in the fast-paced, highly collaborative world in which they will work. Employers have never valued communication skills as much as they value them today, and for good reason. Today’s professionals need to communicate more frequently, more rapidly, more accurately, and with more individuals than ever before. This book will help prepare students to do so—in their courses and in their careers.

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