Technical Writing

(18 reviews)


Annemarie Hamlin, Central Oregon Community College
Chris Rubio, Central Oregon Community College

Pub Date: 2016

ISBN 13:

Publisher: Open Oregon Educational Resources

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Reviewed by Cynthia Kimball Davis, Chair of the Integrative & Interdisciplinary Studies (IES) Department, Southern Utah University, on 8/3/2018.

Comprehensiveness - Appears to offer all of the standard technical writing topics with an excellent easy bulleted table of contents. It also … read more



Reviewed by Susan Engel, Instructor, St. Cloud Technical and Community College, on 6/20/2018.

Although an index/glossary is not provided, the Table of Contents organizes the material and allows for readers to see the breadth of areas and … read more



Reviewed by Erica Stone, English Instructor, Technical Writing, University of Missouri Kansas City, on 6/20/2018.

The textbook is comprehensive; however, it seems to cover both technical writing and professional or workplace writing. It is absolutely appropriate … read more



Reviewed by Adam Karnes, Adjunct Instructor, Linn-Benton Community College, on 6/20/2018.

The book covers the typical range of topics for a technical writing guide. At times, the balance feels off. A significant amount of the length is … read more



Reviewed by Michael Nern, Associate Professor, Emeritus, Ohio University Zanesville, on 2/2/2018.

The book does not contain an index or a glossary. The book's primarily focuses on the proposal but also covers other traditional technical writing … read more



Reviewed by Jennifer Dareneau, Assistant Teaching Professor, The Pennsylvania State University- Berks , on 2/2/2018.

Based on the Table of Contents, all subject areas mentioned there were covered adequately. However, there are several mentions of the technical … read more



Reviewed by Ethan Jordan, Lecturer, Bowling Green State University, on 2/2/2018.

The book covers a broad range of technical communication genres, and it covers everything I would hope to cover in my upcoming course.… read more



Reviewed by Elizabeth McClure, Lecturer, University of Maryland, College Park, on 2/2/2018.

This text includes several sections that I would expect to see in a technical writing textbook: job search materials, reports, proposals, using … read more



Reviewed by Pam Orel, Senior Lecturer , University of Maryland College Park , on 2/2/2018.

This is a very compact book, with easily managed lessons in basic concepts that are a quick and easy read for most students in the sciences and … read more



Reviewed by Amanda Izenstark, Professor, Reference & Instructional Design Librarian, University of Rhode Island, on 2/2/2018.

This text covers numerous facets related to technical writing, including basic business correspondence and determining how best to reach the audience … read more



Reviewed by Jim Crawford, Adjunct English Instructor, Germanna Community College, on 2/2/2018.

I examined this textbook as a resource for a 100-level Technical Writing class. In this context, questions of comprehensiveness arose almost … read more



Reviewed by Linda Stewart, Instructor, Portland Community College, on 6/21/2017.

The text covers proposals and progress reports in depth with links to examples of other types of technical writing including resumes and instructions … read more



Reviewed by Carol Jacobson, Instructor, Century College, on 6/21/2017.

The text covers all areas that are part of the technical writing curriculum. There is a detailed Table of Contents that lays out the subjects that … read more



Reviewed by Shannon Kelley, English Faculty, Chemeketa Community College, on 6/21/2017.

The text covers a good amount of information related to technical writing; some of the sections are more in depth than others. Many sections would … read more



Reviewed by Daniel Hocutt, Web Manager & Adjunct Professor, University of Richmond School of Professional & Continuing Studies, on 4/12/2017.

The text does not include an index or glossary, but does provide a comprehensive table of contents. The text introduces itself as an introductory … read more



Reviewed by Ruth Perkins, Adjunct instructor, Chemeketa Community College, on 4/12/2017.

The text clearly focuses on research and report writing in a business context. These are appropriately and adequately covered. The table of contents … read more



Reviewed by Jennifer Barton, Advanced Instructor, Virginia Tech, on 2/9/2017.

The book appears to be written for a course designed around a specific major project that asks students to write a proposal for a technical report … read more



Reviewed by Corrine Holke-Farnam, Instructor, University of Northern Iowa, on 2/9/2017.

The text provides an adequate overview of the field for beginners in technical writing. … read more


Table of Contents

1. Professional Communications

  • 1.1 Texting
  • 1.2 E-mail
  • 1.3 Netiquette
  • 1.4 Memorandums
  • 1.5 Letters

2. Audience Analysis

  • 2.1 Types of audiences
  • 2.2 Audience analysis
  • 2.3 Adapting your writing to meet your audience’s needs

3. Proposals

  • 3.1 Some preliminaries
  • 3.2 Types of proposals
  • 3.3 Typical scenarios for the proposal
  • 3.4 Common sections in proposals
  • 3.5 Special assignment requirements
  • 3.6 Proposals and audience
  • 3.7 Revision checklist for proposals

4. Information Literacy

  • 4.1 Information formats
  • 4.2 The information timeline
  • 4.3 The research cycle
  • 4.4 Research tools
  • 4.5 Search strategies
  • 4.6 Evaluate sources

5. Citations and Plagiarism

  • 5.1 Citations
  • 5.2 Plagiarism

6. Progress Reports

  • 6.1 Functions and Contents of Progress Reports
  • 6.2 Timing and Format of Progress Reports
  • 6.3 Organizational Patterns or Sections for Progress Reports
  • 6.4 Other Parts of Progress Reports
  • 6.5 Revision Checklist for Progress Reports

7. Outlines

  • 7.1 Creating and using outlines
  • 7.2 Developing the rough outline

8. Creating and Integrating Graphics

  • 8.1 Deciding which graphics to include
  • 8.2 Other considerations: audience
  • 8.3 Other considerations: placement and context
  • 8.4 Samples
  • 8.5 Guidelines for graphics: a final review

9. Ethics in Technical Writing

  • 9.1 General Principles
  • 9.2 Presentation of information
  • 9.3 Typical Ethics Issues in Technical Writing
  • 9.4 Ethics and documenting sources
  • 9.5 Ethics, Plagiarism, and Reliable Sources
  • 9.6 Professional ethics

10. Document Design

  • 10.1 Cover letter
  • 10.2 Cover page
  • 10.3 Abstract and executive summary
  • 10.4 Table of contents
  • 10.5 List of figures and tables
  • 10.6 Introduction
  • 10.7 Body of the report

About the Book

This open textbook offers students of technical writing an introduction to the processes and products  involved in professional, workplace, and technical writing. The text is broken up into sections reflecting key components of researching, developing, and producing a technical report. Readers will also learn about other professional communication, designing documents, and creating and integrating graphics. Written especially for an academic setting, this book provides readers with guidance on information literacy and documenting sources. This book was collected, adapted, and edited from multiple openly licensed sources.

About the Contributors


Annemarie Hamlin is an Associate Professor of English at Central Oregon Community College.

Chris Rubio is an Assistant Professor at Central Oregon Community College in Bend, OR.