Learn how to write a technical report for a nontechnical reader in order to communicate an expertise to a nonexpert audience. In this video, Judy shares her tips on writing for a nontechnical audience, including the placement of appropriate information, how to effectively incorporate background information, and when to use analogies.
- [Instructor] You've analyzed your audience…and know that the primary reader, at least,…is not a technical person or specialist…on the report's topic.…So now what?…Well, let's look at some ways to help that non-techie person…understand that techie report.…First, think about both what knowledge to include…and where to include it.…You, the technical expert, know the background information…or the steps of how you arrive at a certain solution,…or the stages in a process.…You may be the victim of the curse of knowledge,…not being able to remember what it's like…not to know what you know.…
Try to look at the information as objectively as possible.…Have someone who is not an expert…help you review the report.…Maybe you need to give a background or define key terms.…Be careful of what level you are pitching the information.…And where is the best place to include…the necessary information?…Too much background all at the beginning…or not enough background at the beginning…will both result in a lost or confused reader.…Consider incorporating the necessary background information…
- Identify the purpose and main point of a report.
- Determine which questions should be asked before writing a technical report.
- Recall the six ethical principles identified by the Society of Technical Writers.
- List three groups of readers that could be the audience for a technical report.
- Examine the technical audience.
- Explain when it is appropriate to use generic headings.
- Recognize the best approach for writing a first draft.
- Name three areas of a report that should be assessed during the revision process.
- Review the best strategies for keeping your writing concise.
Skill Level Intermediate
Business Writing Principleswith Judy Steiner-Williams1h 32m Beginner
Writing a Business Reportwith Judy Steiner-Williams1h 57m Intermediate
Business Writing Strategieswith Judy Steiner-Williams1h 59m Intermediate
Writing in Plain Englishwith Judy Steiner-Williams1h 51m Beginner
2. Analyze Audience Characteristics
Evaluate audience needs3m 41s
3. Writing Process
4. Sections of a Technical Report
5. Mechanical Elements
Next steps2m 29s
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