Join Judy Steiner-Williams for an in-depth discussion in this video What you should know, part of Technical Writing: Reports.
- [Instructor] Before you begin a technical report writing journey, let's look at some of the issues that surround technical report writing. One is that even though the purpose of all technical reports is to give information in an efficient way, the term technical reports can include a variety of types of technical information. What an engineer calls a technical report probably won't look like that scientific technical report, or what the government requires may be different from other technical reports.
Before you begin actually writing your technical report, you first have to determine what information you need to convey, and who your audience is. That's part of the writing process for any report. Most companies already have a general technical report standard or format. So in this course, we'll look at general guidelines, and parts that can be added, dropped or revised to meet your, or your company's specific needs, whether a technical report will be one page or hundreds of pages.
Also, depending on the technical report's purpose and reader, the report may be highly technical, semi technical or even non technical. Meaning the technicality variations can also be challenging. Many technical reports, sometimes called scientific reports, contain research facts, conclusions, and graphical illustrations of the data in a very precise arrangement. Why? So readers accustomed to reading those technical reports know exactly where to find specific information.
That technical reader wants to get information in the most efficient, best organized way possible. The possible environmental impact of highway construction will be the topic used throughout the lessons to illustrate some of these concepts. So keep in mind throughout the course that formats, arrangement, and content will vary depending on the type of technical report; that these guidelines will help direct you toward a general technical report.
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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