2nd Edition

Technical Writing
A Practical Guide for Engineers, Scientists, and Nontechnical Professionals, Second Edition

ISBN 9781138628106
Published August 10, 2018 by CRC Press
280 Pages 52 B/W Illustrations

USD $51.95

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Book Description

Technical Writing: A Practical Guide for Engineers, Scientists, and Nontechnical Professionals, Second Edition enables readers to write, edit, and publish materials of a technical nature, including books, articles, reports, and electronic media. Written by a renowned engineer and widely published technical author, this guide complements traditional writer’s reference manuals on technical writing through presentation of first-hand examples that help readers understand practical considerations in writing and producing technical content. These examples illustrate how a publication originates as well as various challenges and solutions.

The second edition contains new material in every chapter including new topics, additional examples, insights, tips and tricks, new vignettes and more exercises. Appendices have been added for writing checklists and writing samples. The references and glossary have been updated and expanded.  In addition, a focus on writing for the nontechnical persons working in the technology world and the nonnative English speaker has been incorporated. Written in an informal, conversational style, unlike traditional college writing texts, the book also contains many interesting vignettes and personal stories to add interest to otherwise stodgy lessons.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: The Nature of Technical Writing
1.1 Introduction
1.2     Who Writes Technical Documentation?
1.3 Taxonomy of Technical Writing
1.4 Technical Reporting
1.5 Business Communications
1.6 Scientific Writing
1.7 Exercises
1.8 References

Chapter 2: Technical Writing Basics
2.1 Introduction
2.2  Structuring Your Writing
2.3  Positioning Your Writing
2.4  Choosing the Right Words
2.5  Avoiding Traps
2.6 Making Your Technical Writing More Interesting
2.7  The 5 Cs of Technical Writing
2.8  Referencing
2.9 Exercises
2.10 References

Chapter 3: The Writing Process
3.1 Introduction
3.2 The Traditional Writing Process
3.3 Environment
3.4 Dealing with Writer’s Block
3.5 Meeting Deadlines
3.6 Writing Tools
3.7  Permissions and Plagiarism
3.8 Making Your Writing Understandable to All
3.9 Exercises
3.10 References

Chapter 4: Scientific Writing
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Technical Reports
4.3 Tutorials
4.4 Opinion
4.5 Research Papers
4.6 Reviews of books, papers, and reports
4.7. Exercises
4.8 References


Chapter 5: Business Communications
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Resumes
5.3 Transmittal Letters
5.4 Writing letters of reference
5.5  Memos
5.6 Meetings, Agendas and Minutes
5.7 Customer Relations Writing
5.8       Press Releases
5.9       Presentations
5.10     Marketing and sales materials
5.11 Exercises
5.12 References

Chapter 6: Technical Reporting
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Technical Procedures
6.3 Proposals
6.4 Panel Sessions
6.5 Strategic Plans and Planning
6.6 Problem Reports
6.7 User Manuals
6.8 Exercises
6.9 References

Chapter 7: Using Graphical Elements
7.1 Breaking up the Monotony
7.2  Modeling Ideas with Graphics
7.3 Selecting the best model for a schedule
7.4 Dealing with Figures
7.5 Dealing with Tables
7.6 Dealing with equations
7.7 Dealing with Dynamic Content
7.8 Exercises
7.7 References

Chapter 8: Publishing Your Work
8.1 Introduction
8.2 Making a living as a writer
8.3 The Review Process
8.4 Handling Rejection
8.5 Open Access Publishing
8.6 Self-publishing
8.7 Exercises
8.8 References

Chapter 9: Writing For E-Media
9.1 Introduction
9.2 Email can be Dangerous
9.3 E-newsletters
9.4 Blogging
9.5 Social Networks
9.5  E-Magazines
9.7 E-Readers
9.8 Online Courses
9.9 Exercises
9.9 References

Chapter 10: Writing with Collaborators
10.1  Introduction
10.2 Writing in Different Voices
10.3  Very Large Collaborative Writing Projects
10.4 Behavior of Groups
10.5  Other Paradigms for Team Building
10.6 Antipatterns in Organizations
10.7 Exercises
10.8 References

Appendix A:  Writing Checklist
Appendix B:  Writing Samples


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Dr. Phil Laplante is Professor of Software and Systems Engineering at The Pennsylvania State University. He received his B.S., M.Eng., and Ph.D. from Stevens Institute of Technology and an MBA from the University of Colorado. He is a Fellow of the IEEE and SPIE and has won international awards for his teaching, research and service. Since 2010 he has led the effort to develop a national licensing exam for software engineers.

He has worked in avionics, CAD, and software testing systems and he has published more than 33 books and 250 scholarly papers. He is a licensed professional engineer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. He is also a frequent technology advisor to senior executives, investors, entrepreneurs and attorneys and actively serves on corporate technology advisory boards.

His research interests are in software testing, requirements engineering and software quality and management. Prior to his appointment at Penn State he was a software development professional, technology executive, college president and entrepreneur.


"Overall the book provides practical, actionable, information that can be used to improve anyone’s writing skills – technical or nontechnical. The author covers a wide variety of media used to convey technical information not only including books and journals, but also magazines, conference proceedings, newsletters, websites, and blogs. Rather than a boring cookbook style of writing, the author uses many stories, personal examples of his own writing, and visuals (graphs, tables, drawings) to convey good writing styles and practical information that will improve your writing.
There are references and sample exercises at the end of each chapter for further study. The appendix also contains a list of templates for various types of documents Anyone interested in improving their writing skills and technical communication skills in general will find this book to be an invaluable and practical reference guide."
IEEE Electrical Insulation Magazine June 2019 Issue