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J.H. Berk and Associates

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Clear Technical Writing


Our schools and universities do a terrible job teaching engineers how to write.  The result is predictable:  The technical staff frequently cannot write well.  The 3-day Clear Technical Writing program focuses on improving technical personnel communications skills.

Related Courses Effective Technical Presentations
Prerequisites   The course assumes basic familiarity with MS PowerPoint.
Customize It!  
  • Add a “workshop day” to the course to allow the participants to work together to analyze presentation issues specific to your organization.  The workshop day can be scheduled a few weeks after the course to allow time for applying the technologies presented in class under an experienced practitioner’s guidance.

  • Schedule post-class follow-up consultation for ongoing presentations improvement.

Learn How To  
  • Write effectively.

  • Understand word types, sentence structure, paragraphs, and organization.

  • Write progress reports, proposals, specifications, failure analyses, trip reports, business letters, and meeting minutes.

  • Eliminate semantic noise.

  • Create effective graphics.

  • Integrate text and graphics.

  • Overcome ESL challenges.

  • Recognize and prevent common writing shortfalls.

Course Outline  

Session 1:  The Writing Process

  • Why we write

  • Message formulation

  • Outlining and organization

  • The first draft

  • Rewriting and semantic noise elimination

  • Exercises

Session 2:  Words, Sentences, and Paragraphs

  • Word types

  • Sentence requirements

  • Paragraph requirements

  • Exercises

Session 3:  Graphics

  • XY graphs

  • Bar charts

  • Pie charts

  • Flow charts

  • Digital images

  • Graphics captions

  • Exercises

Session 4:  Letters

  • Internal letters

  • Inter-company letters

  • Brevity

  • Tone

  • Distribution 

  • Exercises

Session 5:  Reports 

  • The SIDCRA format

  • Progress reports

  • Management reports

  • Accident and incident reports

Session 6:  Proposals

  • Proposal organization

  • RFP responsiveness

  • Proposal themes

  • The compliance cross index

  • Exercises

Session 7:  Specifications

  • Specification purposes

  • Specification formats

  • Avoiding ambiguity

  • Stating requirements clearly

Session 8:  Procedures

  • Procedures purposes

  • Process definition

  • ISO procedure format

  • The playscript approach

  • Flowcharts

  • Exercises

Session 9:  Email

  • Email advantages and disadvantages

  • Distribution

  • File attachment versus embedding

Session 10:  Common Challenges

  • Numbers in narrative

  • Abbreviations

  • Capitalization and punctuation

  • Compound adjectives

  • Other common errors

Session 11:  Review and Course Wrap Up

How You Will Learn  
  • A seasoned author and technical writer with 20 years of experience teaching engineers to write effectively will present this course in an interactive lecture and workshop format.

  • Along with the lectures, we use exercises, puzzles, case studies, and interesting group activities to enrich the instruction and emphasize the essential points.

  • You will receive a printed Participant Handbook that includes all materials presented in class, which will help you remember and retain what you learned and apply it on your job.

  • You will learn key concepts from theoretical and practical, and perspectives.


The above training can be customized to meet your requirements.

Need a guest speaker for an important luncheon or dinner meeting?  Please contact us.

Any questions?  Please call us at 909 204 9984 or contact us via email.

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