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Technical Writing

(21 reviews)

Annemarie Hamlin, Central Oregon Community College

Chris Rubio, Central Oregon Community College

Pub Date: 2016

Publisher: Open Oregon Educational Resources

Language: English

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Reviewed by Lars Soderlund, Associate Professor of English, Western Oregon University on 3/7/19

The book has a strong balance of topics. In addition to the mix of genres that it discusses, the book is also effective in its coverage of different aspects of writing such as audience, context, ethics, etc. read more


Reviewed by Kathryn Northcut, Professor, Missouri University of Science and Technology on 1/13/19

The book is offered in various formats, and they aren't parallel. The organization of chapters in the web-native version defies logic. The expandable table is tricky to get used to because the hyperlink from the Chapter title goes to the chapter... read more


Reviewed by Jennifer Wilde, Adjunct instructor, Columbia Gorge Community College on 12/18/18

The text does many things very well, but it is too uneven to be truly comprehensive. It will work best as an introduction to technical communication and business writing. It is less helpful, I think, to students going into health care fields and... read more


Reviewed by Cynthia Kimball Davis, Chair of the Integrative & Interdisciplinary Studies (IES) Department, Southern Utah University on 8/2/18

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


Reviewed by Adam Karnes, Adjunct Instructor, Linn-Benton Community College on 6/19/18

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 dedicated to topics usually covered in other classes (including research, citations, outlining). I... read more


Reviewed by Erica Stone, English Instructor, Technical Writing, University of Missouri Kansas City on 6/19/18

The textbook is comprehensive; however, it seems to cover both technical writing and professional or workplace writing. It is absolutely appropriate for a comprehensive service course, but the authors should consider another title. Perhaps... read more


Reviewed by Susan Engel, Instructor, St. Cloud Technical and Community College on 6/19/18

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 subjects within the Technical Writing textbook. Topics common to technical writing courses are explored... read more


Reviewed by Jim Crawford, Adjunct English Instructor, Germanna Community College on 2/1/18

I examined this textbook as a resource for a 100-level Technical Writing class. In this context, questions of comprehensiveness arose almost immediately. The authors offer no discussion of theory, despite a claim on page 1 that theory underlies... read more


Reviewed by Amanda Izenstark, Professor, Reference & Instructional Design Librarian, University of Rhode Island on 2/1/18

This text covers numerous facets related to technical writing, including basic business correspondence and determining how best to reach the audience for the particular type of technical writing being done. The authors cover related and integral... read more


Reviewed by Pam Orel, Senior Lecturer , University of Maryland College Park on 2/1/18

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 technology fields (STEM). Where it summarizes the key details, it does so with general clarity and the... read more


Reviewed by Elizabeth McClure, Lecturer, University of Maryland, College Park on 2/1/18

This text includes several sections that I would expect to see in a technical writing textbook: job search materials, reports, proposals, using graphics, professional communications, and audience analysis. It also includes a couple of sections I... read more


Reviewed by Ethan Jordan, Lecturer, Bowling Green State University on 2/1/18

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 Jennifer Dareneau, Assistant Teaching Professor, The Pennsylvania State University- Berks on 2/1/18

Based on the Table of Contents, all subject areas mentioned there were covered adequately. However, there are several mentions of the technical report being the main document produced at the end of the term (which is true) and mentions of several... read more


Reviewed by Michael Nern, Associate Professor, Emeritus, Ohio University Zanesville on 2/1/18

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 assignments such as the cover letter and resume. read more


Reviewed by Shannon Kelley, English Faculty, Chemeketa Community College on 6/20/17

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 benefit from further inquiry to assist students with more complex issues in the field of technical... read more


Reviewed by Carol Jacobson, Instructor, Century College on 6/20/17

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 are covered. There is no index or glossary. read more


Reviewed by Linda Stewart, Instructor, Portland Community College on 6/20/17

The text covers proposals and progress reports in depth with links to examples of other types of technical writing including resumes and instructions (but no discussion of these forms in depth). The text does not cover multi-cultural audience in... read more


Reviewed by Ruth Perkins, Adjunct instructor, Chemeketa Community College on 4/11/17

The text clearly focuses on research and report writing in a business context. These are appropriately and adequately covered. The table of contents is detailed and accessible on each page with a link to each section. The chapters lead students... read more


Reviewed by Daniel Hocutt, Web Manager & Adjunct Professor, University of Richmond School of Professional & Continuing Studies on 4/11/17

The text does not include an index or glossary, but does provide a comprehensive table of contents. The text introduces itself as an introductory text to technical writing (or communication), and provides a definition of technical communication... read more


Reviewed by Corrine Holke-Farnam, Instructor, University of Northern Iowa on 2/8/17

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


Reviewed by Jennifer Barton, Advanced Instructor, Virginia Tech on 2/8/17

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 and then to research and write the report itself. Those sections are adequate, but I would like to... read more


Table of Contents

  • 1. Professional Communications
  • 2. Audience Analysis
  • 3. Proposals
  • 4. Information Literacy
  • 5. Citations and Plagiarism
  • 6. Progress Reports
  • 7. Outlines
  • 8. Creating and Integrating Graphics
  • 9. Ethics in Technical Writing
  • 10. Technical Reports: Components and Design
  • 11. Basic Design and Readability in Publications
  • 12. Employment Materials
  • 13. Communicating across Cultures
  • 14. Thinking about Writing

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.