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…
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- Identifying the purpose and main point of the report
- Evaluating audience needs
- Conducting research
- Writing a first draft
- Writing an abstract
- Including methodology and procedure
- Creating a cover letter
- Crediting sources
- Considering language formality
Skill Level Appropriate for all
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Business Writing Strategieswith Judy Steiner-Williams1h 59m Appropriate for all
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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