Basic Techniques of Technical Writing

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Basic Techniques of Technical Writing

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  • Basic Techniques in Technical Writing

    kmdm

  • Technical writing is replete with technical terms that need to be defined.

    Basic Techniques in Technical Writing

    The need for defining happens when the report uses technical terms that are not familiar to the reader or when common terms are used in the technical way.

    Definition

    Difficult words may come in various forms:

    known words used in differently new sense; new words for already known things; and new words for unknown things

  • 3 ways of defining a word

    Basic Techniques in Technical Writing

    informal definition

    Definition

    a word or a phrase oftentimes called a synonym

    examples: compensation or remuneration = pay; inundation = flood

  • 3 ways of defining a word

    Basic Techniques in Technical Writing

    formal definition

    Definition

    in the form of a sentence; an equation-like statement

    species/term the word to be defined 3 elements

    genus the group or class to which the term belongs differentia/e distinctive characteristics that make the term different from other terms of the same class

  • 3 ways of defining a word

    Basic Techniques in Technical Writing

    formal definition

    Definition

    Species/Term Genus Differentia

    Triangle is a plane figure bounded by three straight lines and has three angles.

    Carbohydrate is a food group including related substances such as sugars, starches, and cellulose.

    Barometer is an instrument that measures atmospheric pressure.

  • 3 ways of defining a word

    Basic Techniques in Technical Writing

    amplified (extended or expanded) definition

    Definition

    additional sentences that support a formal definition that becomes the topic sentence of a paragraph with definition as method of development

    function use of the thing defined

    Amplification (extension or expansion) is done in any of the following ways:

  • Basic Techniques in Technical Writing

    Definition

    location placement/position of the thing defined physical description physical traits (color, size, shape, etc.) of the thing defined

    causation causes or effects of the thing defined comparison similarities of the thing defined with another thing

    contrast differences of the thing defined from another thing

  • Basic Techniques in Technical Writing

    Definition

    exemplification concrete examples of the thing defined etymology/word derivation words from which the thing defined was derived

    analysis parts of the thing defined basic principle law or principle governing the thing defined

    negation negative statements about the thing defined

  • Amplified Definition A drift meter is an instrument used in air navigation to measure the angle between the heading of a plane and the track.

    The simplest form of drift meter consists of a circular plate of heavy glass set in the floor of the cockpit in front of the pilot. The plate may be rotated within a ring on which degrees of angle are marked to the left and right of a zero mark. This zero point is in the direction of the forward end of the longitudinal axis of the plane. The plate has a series of parallel lines ruled on it. With the plane in level flight, the pilot can look down through the plate and rotate it until objects on the ground are moving parallel to the lines. Under these conditions, the lines on the plate will be in the direction of the track being made good, and the angle between the heading and this track may be immediately read on the scale.

    Many modern and complicated types of drift sights have been devised, but all of them operate on the fundamental principles described above. In some modern drift sights, a gyroscopic stabilizing

  • Amplified Definition

    system hold the grid lines level even though the plane is not flying level. Astigmatizers are frequently incorporated to assist in measuring drift angle, particularly when flying over the water.

    In some modern drift sights, a system is incorporated so that the ground speed may be determined. A pair of wires is marked on the grid, perpendicular to those set parallel to the apparent motion of the ground. The time required for an object on the ground to move from one of these wires to the other will be proportional to the ground speed. The distance of the plane from the ground must be the accurate value of ground speed.

    Source: Garcia, C. A., Adorable, G. B., & De Asis, B. Z. (2009). Technical report writing. Manila: Booklore Publishing Corporation.

  • placement of a definition

    Basic Techniques in Technical Writing

    in the text (most common)

    Definition

    in footnotes

    in a glossary

    in a special section in the introduction (least common)

  • deals with the physical nature of whatever is being discussed, the purpose of the device, and how its parts work separately and with one another and as a whole

    Description of a Mechanism

    purpose of description to make the reader aware of the mechanism or machine

    Basic Techniques in Technical Writing

    mechanism an assembly of movable parts having one part fixed with respect to a frame of reference and designed to produce an effect

  • When describing a mechanism/machine, use the following outline:

    I. Introduction A. Definition of the machine B. Description of the machine C. Function of the machine D. Main parts of the machine II. Part-by-part Description A. Main Part 1 1. Subpart 1 2. Subpart 2

    Basic Techniques in Technical Writing

  • B. Main Part 2 1. Subpart 1 2. Subpart 2 a. Sub-subpart 1 b. Sub-subpart 2 3. Subpart 3 C. Main Part 3 1. Subpart 1 2. Subpart 2 3. Subpart 3 III. Conclusion/Summary of the Main Points A. Operation of the machine (by the user) B. Operation by the machine

    Basic Techniques in Technical Writing

  • Description of a Mechanism

    A barometer is a meteorological instrument used for the measurement of atmospheric pressure. Barometers may be classified into two general types, depending on the ways in which they record the pressure of the atmosphere. The mercury barometer is the large and more accurate of the two types while the aneroid barometer is more compact but less accurate.

    The aneroid barometer is a portable meteorological instrument designed to record changes in atmospheric pressure. It consists of a thin, hermetically sealed cylindrical metal box, exhausted of air so that ends of the box tend to approach or recede from one another with change in the pressure of the atmosphere. A train of levers within the box magnifies this movement and records it by an index arm moving over a scale that is graduated to give barometric pressure in feet and inches of mercury.

  • Description of a Mechanism

    The mercury barometer is a meteorological instrument used for measuring the pressure of the atmosphere in terms of the height of a column of mercury, which exerts an equal pressure. In its simplest form, the mercury barometer consists of vertical glass tube about 180 cm. long, closed at the top and open at the lower end which is immersed in mercury in a dish. The tube contains no air rater; it contains a vacuum.

    Source: Garcia, C. A., Adorable, G. B., & De Asis, B. Z. (2009). Technical report writing. Manila: Booklore Publishing Corporation.

  • a description of each step that constitutes the whole procedure

    Description of a Process

    always uses chronological order

    Basic Techniques in Technical Writing

    The steps/stages are sequenced based on the time of occurrence.

    classifications of process descriptions

    directional/instructional process directions/instructions (imperative sentences or commands) addressed to the doer or agent of the action informational process pieces of information (declarative sentences) addressed to the reader who is not the doer or agent of the actions

  • When describing a process, use the following outline: I. Introduction A. Definition of the process B. Doer/agent of the process C. Purpose of the process D. Purpose of the process description E. Point of view of the process description F. Main steps in the process II. Body/Step-by-step Description A. Main Step 1 1. Substep 1 2. Substep 2

    Basic Techniques in Technical Writing

  • B. Main Step 2 1. Substep 1 2. Substep 2 3. Substep 3 a. Sub-substep 1 b. Sub-substep 2 4. Substep 3 C. Main Step 3 1. Substep 1 2. Substep 2 III. Conclusion/Summary of the Main Points

    Basic Techniques in Technical Writing

  • Description of a Process

    A refrigerator is a machine that is used to keep food or other items cool. It is based on two scientific principles. First, when a liquid changes into gas, it absorbs heat from its surroundings. Second, when gas changes into liquid, it transmits heat to its surroundings.

    In detail, a refrigerator works as follows. The refrigerant vapor is first pumped into the condenser unit which cons