Technical writing diploma

Last Updated on January 18, 2023

Introduction to Business and Report Writing Training


In this Business & Report Writing training course, you gain foundational knowledge in what business report writing is, and leverage effective writing tools to create contract proposals, business plans, executive summaries, recommendation reports, and internal business communications. Today’s technology has made everyone in the workplace a writer — leaving your reputation and success increasingly dependent on how well you communicate. Learn to convey a credible message & project a professional image in this 3-day course.

Key Features of this Technical Writing Training:

  • After-course instructor coaching benefit
  • Learning Tree end-of-course exam included
  • After-course computing sandbox included

You Will Learn How To:

  • Write effective technical documents, manuals, and white papers
  • Assess your audience and develop documents to meet their needs
  • Build effective sentences and sections that explain information clearly
  • Employ diagrams, tables, charts, and other graphical tools effectively
  • Create informative content that your readers will understand and use

Important Technical Writing Course Information

Technical Writing Course Outline

  • Introduction to Technical Writing
    • Benefits of effectively communicating technical information
    • Dealing with common writing problems
  • The Writing ProcessGetting ready to write
    • Eliminating misconceptions that stall technical writing
    • Driving your document design with scenarios
    • Focusing on a document’s purposes
    Assessing your audience
    • Identifying your purpose and the reader’s purpose
    • What the audience brings to the table
    Covering the knowledge domain
    • Exposing tacit knowledge
    • Knowing when you’ve “covered it all”
    • Organizing using the audience’s scenarios
  • Ensuring Clarity and ReadabilityWriting technically
    • Discriminating between the three levels of information
    • Determining information needs with the OODA loop
    Architecting sentences that communicate
    • Creating sentences with clarity
    • Building clarity through sentence focus
    • Solving common grammar problems in technical writing
    Managing style in technical writing
    • Evaluating readability using the Given/New technique
    • Ensuring consistency with a style guide
    • Eliminating reader recycling
  • The Mechanics of WritingWorking with words
    • Selecting the right words
    • Editing for concision
    Editing for quality
    • Knowing when and what to edit
    • The editing triage
    • Editing throughout the document process
    • Two strategies for rewriting
  • Structuring Information for UnderstandingLeveraging and formatting tables and lists
    • Organizing data to support readers’ scenarios
    • Determining when to use a list
    • Exploiting tables for highly structured data
    Maintaining document structure
    • Building cohesive documents with Given/New
    • Applying useful headings to support skimming
    Methods of development
    • Problems-methods-results
    • Effect and cause
    • Order of importance
  • Designing Your DocumentAudience-driven document design
    • Relating document structure to the audience
    • Recognizing the varieties of user manuals
    • Developing reference manuals and white papers
    Determining the document types
    • Post-positive vs. pragmatic documents
    • Implementing the right document format
    Building documents
    • Tutorials and standard operating procedures
    • Designing two styles of tutorials
    • Structuring sentences and sections
    • Handling introductions and conclusions
    Prototyping the document
    • Testing for success
    • Levels of prototypes
  • Developing the Look of Your DocumentDesigning the appearance of your page
    • The technical document reading process
    • Fonts
    • White space
    • Alignment
    Conveying information with graphics
    • Chunking the document
    • Employing photos, drawings and graphs
    • Focusing graphics

Technical Writing Training FAQs

  • Can I learn the Introduction To Technical Writing Training online?Yes! We know your busy work schedule may prevent you from getting to one of our classrooms which is why we offer convenient online training to meet your needs wherever you want, including online training.
  • Can I earn Professional Development Units for the Introduction to Technical Writing Training course?Yes, you can receive PDUs from the Technical Writing Training course.To find out how many PDUs you can receive, check out the PMI Q&A List ›

Technical writing is a highly valuable skill. It is crucial for anyone working in a tech-related business, for engineers and scientists communicating their knowledge, and for people looking for rewarding, full-time work as writers.

So, what is involved in technical writing, and how can you become a technical writer?

Technical writing is not just about understanding technical information and recording it in a document. Technical writing takes high-level information and processes it into digestible content for a specific audience. This article will outline and define the technical writing process, best practices, and steps to launch your technical writing career.

What is Technical Writing

Technical writing is broadly defined by the Society of Technical Communication as “any form of communication that shows one or more of the following qualities:

  • Communicating about technical or specialized topics, such as computer applications, medical procedures, or environmental regulations.
  • Communicating by using technology, such as web pages, help files, or social media sites.
  • Providing instructions about how to do something, regardless of how technical the task is or even if technology is used to create or distribute that communication.”

This writing style covers any type of text that aims to explain detailed information. A technical writer communicates in a way that presents technical information so that the reader can use that information for an intended purpose.


Technical writing is used anytime technical information must be conveyed by text. The text will explain the scientific or specialized details and guide the reader in how to use that information. Due to the high-tech nature of workplaces and day-to-day life, technical writing is increasingly common.


Technical writers have the great benefit of becoming lifelong learners. In order to communicate the content, you must be (or become) well-versed in that field. Therefore, with each new technical document, you will become an expert on that subject.

While the reader does not need to know all the details, you need to have a depth of knowledge to select just the crucial elements to include. A broad understanding will ensure that the text is accurate and communicates the necessary data most efficiently.

Growing Demand

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for technical writers is projected to grow 10 per cent from 2014 to 2024. Employment growth in this field will exceed the national average for other occupations due to the continued increase in scientific and technical products.

Prominent Technical Writing Areas

There are many professions that require strong technical writing, such as financial services, manufacturing, energy, consulting, medical business, and engineering.

Technical writing isn’t limited to these domains. In the information age, being able to provide clear instructions or information for the intended audience is more important than ever. Technical writers work in software, consulting, academia, government, broadcasting, transportation, energy, telecommunications, health, security, publishing, and the list could go on.

The Technical Writing Process

It may surprise you to discover that the technical writing process can take just as much (or more!) time to plan and review than to write. The planning phase sets you up for success, and makes your writing time more effective. The review phase is essential to ensuring your document is technically accurate and audience accessible.

Before you start to type one word, there are crucial preparation steps that will define your document. If you start writing and then try to edit your way into a usable technical document, you will only cause yourself headaches. Start smart by preparing first.

Use the following technical writing process to best develop your documents.

1. Project Preparation

The project planning process begins when the technical document is requested. This step may be initiated by an employer, colleague, or client. (For ease of reading, the person who requested the document will be referred to simply as the client in this guide.) With the request, the initial requirements are defined: document type, subject area/content, goal, scope, and audience.

Not all of these important aspects may be clearly defined at first. Sometimes, your client might not even be sure of their own requirements! A guided conversation about the document is invaluable to ensure that you as the author understand the project. Through thoughtful questions, you can pull out this information so the project is clear and well-planned from the start.

2. Audience Analysis

After the initial project planning with the client, the biggest writing factor is the audience.

The audience is always at the forefront of the technical writer’s mind. The reader defines the text. Generally, the technical information does not change. The only thing that changes is how those facts are conveyed. A good technical writer revises the text based on the reader’s context.

3. Understand the User

In order to know who you are writing for, you have to gather as much information as possible about who will use the document. It is important to know if your audience holds expertise in the field, if the topic is totally new to them, or if they fall somewhere in between.

The audience will also have their own expectations and needs. You must determine what the reader is looking for when they begin to read the document. The reader’s goal will guide the entire writing process, as the document should fill their needs and answer their questions.

For example, if you are writing a financial proposal for a pilot R&D program to remotely control home heating from a smartphone, your audience might be an executive deciding the next year’s company budget. In order to properly prepare the technical proposal, you need to know the executive’s knowledge of the research area. In addition, it would be beneficial to know his or her top financial concerns, the business factors that are normally used in decision making, and the timeline.

This executive audience is totally different than the end-user of that remotely controlled home heating program. Perhaps the R&D produces a new software to remotely control home heating from a smartphone. The audience, in this case, is reading the software user manual. As the writer, you need to understand what the average, unfamiliar user of this software knows about using their smartphone and their home heating system. You need to know their initial questions, the likely problems, and most effective solutions in order to write a useful document.

These examples share the same technical information. However, they have two very different audiences and therefore produce two very different documents.

To understand your reader, ask yourself the following questions, adapted from Technical Communication Today, before you prepare the document:

  • Who are they?
  • What do they need?
  • Where will they be reading?
  • When will they be reading?
  • Why will they be reading?
  • How will they be reading?

Once you’ve answered these questions, only then can you start to prepare the document.

4. User Experience

User experience is just as important in a technical document as it is for a web shop’s mobile usability.

Now that you know your audience and their needs, keep in mind how the document itself services their needs. There can be a tendency for experts to craft a document that shows their depth of knowledge and to compile it in a way that is appealing for their own peer-group. It’s an easy mistake that ignores how the actual reader will use the document.

As you prepare, continuously step back and view the document as the reader. Ask yourself: Is it accessible? How would they be using it? When will they be using it? Is it easy to navigate?

Always write a document that is useful to the user.

Planning Your Document

With the document request and audience clearly defined, you can then conceptualize your document.

Technical information is complex. A lot of factors need to be considered, but not all will be included in the final product. While there are various ways to process all this information, we recommend developing it in a mind-map.

With a mind-map, you can include a wide range of information, highlight relationships and have a high-level, visual overview before you start writing.

A handy, free tool to create your mind-map is FreeMind. The video below will quickly show you how to use this. No matter which tool you use, make sure that it is easy to use. The goal is to record your brainstorm quickly, not get bogged down in attractive but bulky features.

This phase will also highlight areas that are not familiar to you and require more investigation. Highlight any topic areas that you need to research before writing.

It’s essential to get this process right. To see the planning process in action, check out the following video. As an excerpt from our Technical Report Writing Course, it highlights the planning process for a technical report using a mind-map:

Consulting with Experts

No technical writer knows every technical detail.

Consultation with specialists is critical. Experts will provide additional or parallel information that will make the information more useful to the end reader. They may be colleagues, client contacts or external experts who are authorities on your topic.

Engage with subject matter experts early in the process. Maintain contact throughout because they can add value at different stages, especially during the review.

Document Preparation

After the mind-map is prepared, it is important to choose the right type of technical document. Your client may have already indicated the desired type, or it may be obvious. However, it’s worthwhile to step back at this stage and confirm the document type. There is a wide range of types. This list isn’t exhaustive, but provides an overview of the major ones:

1. Technical Reports

Technical reports are written to provide information, analysis, instructions and/or recommendations. These reports provide the reader with enough background on a topic to be informed and potentially make decisions.

Example: a technical report on one phase of a company’s manufacturing process. The report includes information on how this phase impacts the product, the process itself, and recommendations for optimization.

2. Technical Manuals

Technical manuals provide instructions on how to use a device or program. The reader is the user or sometimes a developer of that product.

Examples: user manual for a vehicle; instruction manual for an alarm clock; developer’s manual for a computer program

3. Emails

Emails are a brief form of communication, which vary depending on the goal. Generally, they intend to share information, with a potential additional use to persuade or instruct.

Example: an email written to all employees with an update on human resource policy changes.

4. Technical Proposals

Technical proposals provide an introduction to a new project. It describes the purpose, the planned phases or tasks, methods to be employed, expected results and benefits, and a budget. A proposal acts as an outline for the project if accepted. Proposals do not necessarily need to have a budget, as it may propose cost-free changes.

Examples: a technical proposal from a franchisee to a retail company to open a new location. The proposal includes real estate details, renovation and operations plans, revenue expectations, and project costs.

5. Specifications

Specifications are a detailed outline of the structure, design, materials, packaging, and standards of a product or process with a level of detail that allows an external party to construct or reconstruct it.

Example: an architect provides specifications for construction of a house to a building contractor.

6. Technical Specification Datasheets

Technical specification data sheets provide the technical features, characteristics with a level of detail that allows an external party to include it within another system.

Example: a computer manufacturer provides a technical specification datasheet for a personal computer with detailed information on its operating system, ports, and compatibility so that a customer can connect the computer to their company’s network.

7. Guides and Handbooks

Guides and handbooks are references or sets of instructions in a form that is quickly accessible.

Example: the MLA Handbook provides a quick reference guide for a defined research writing style.

8. Standard Operating Procedure

A Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) is a collection of step-by-step instructions, normally for workers, to complete routine processes. A SOP aims to increase consistency, quality and compliance of repeat operations.

Example: laboratory employees use a standard operating procedure to complete potable water analysis.

Writing in the Correct Style

At long last, you can start to write! By going through this thoughtful planning process, the writing will be easier and more efficient.

While the content will now be clear, you need to ensure the style of writing is suitable for a technical document. The writing needs to be accessible, direct and professional. Flowery or emotional text is not welcome in a technical document. To ensure your text maintains this style, integrate the following key technical characteristics into your writing:

Active Voice

The active voice is easier to read and understand than the passive voice. Whenever possible, choose the active voice in your sentences. In active voice, the subject of the sentence is the doer of the action.

About the author

Study on Scholarship Today -- Check your eligibility for up to 100% scholarship.

Leave a Comment