Technical Communication Strategies for Today, Global Edition

Richard Johnson-Sheehan  
Total pages
December 2014
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Technical Communication Strategies for Today, Global Edition
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For introductory courses in Technical Communication.

All of the topics and genres students need—in fewer pages and at a significantly lower price

Students want their textbooks to cost less, and they want comprehensive topical coverage presented in a succinct and clear writing style. Technical Communication Strategies for Today offers both and speaks to today's students. Instructional narrative is “chunked,” so that portions of text are combined with graphics. The chunked presentation also integrates an awareness of how documents are read—often skimmed by readers seeking the information they need, and it models the way today’s technical documents should be designed.

The contemporary writing style is matched by an approach that accurately reflects the modern day computer-centered technical workplace: Technical Communication Strategies for Today presents computers as thinking tools that powerfully influence how we develop, produce, design, and deliver technical documents and presentations.

MyTechCommLab is not included. Students, if MyTechCommLab is a recommended/mandatory component of the course, please ask your instructor for the correct ISBN and course ID. MyTechCommLab should only be purchased when required by an instructor. Instructors, contact your Pearson representative for more information. MyTechCommLab is an online homework, tutorial, and assessment product designed to personalize learning and improve results. With a wide range of interactive, engaging, and assignable activities, students are encouraged to actively learn and retain tough course concepts.


  • Each chapter places an emphasis on the activity of producing effective documents by following a process approach that mirrors how professionals communicate in the technical workplace and how students learn in the classroom.
  • An open design facilitates learning by presenting material graphically and in accessible chunks of information.
  • The text incorporates the newest technology-driven changes in workplace communication with in-depth discussions of email, instant messaging, working in virtual teams, making Web sites, blogging, podcasting, incorporating digital audio and visuals in documents, using PDAs, negotiating ethical situations in electronic communication, and more. Student writers learn practical skills they will be asked to apply in the contemporary workplace.
  • Annotated sample documents throughout show students worthwhile examples of workplace writing, usually on topics of intrinsic interest to a variety of student majors.
  • Exercises and projects,abundant at the end of each chapter, give students opportunities to work individually or in teams and are designed to challenge students with realistic workplace writing assignments.
  • 'At Work' boxes in each chapter feature interviews with working professionals about how they communicate in a variety of workplace situations offering students a glimpse of the challenges faced in real world settings.
  • 'Help' boxes in every chapter describe how a specific computer application or related strategy can be used to improve the production and presentation of workplace communication.
  • 'At a Glance' information boxes serve as study aids and self-check reviews of major topic discussions for 'need-it-quick' information.
  • 'Take Note' call-outs supplement the main text with tips for understanding concepts and are quick asides to readers who desire more information on a subject.

New to this Edition

  • New microgenres feature that allows students to work on smaller assignments
  • that help them build up to more complex genres (Chapters 5-11).
  • New organization of the text that places all of the major technical communication genres at the front of the book
  • to encourage students to write earlier in the semester (Part 2).
  • Chapters on e-mail, letters, and memos
  • that have been combined to better reflect how e-mail has become a primary form of correspondence in many workplaces.
  • Strategies for using social networking in the workplace
  • to collaborate with colleagues and work with clients (Chapter 3 and 15).
  • Combined chapter on research
  • that helps students quickly locate electronic, print, and empirical sources and cite them properly.
  • New sample documents that provide even more examples of the types of communications
  • you will be generating and reading in the workplace, including a technical description (Chapter 6), a status report (Chapter 9), and a poster presentation (Chapter 10).

Table of Contents

Part 1: Elements of Technical Communication

Chapter 1 Communicating in the Technical Workplace

Developing a Workplace Writing Process

Genres and the Technical Writing Process

Stage 1: Planning and Researching

Stage 2: Organizing and Drafting

Stage 3: Improving the Style

Stage 4: Designing

Stage 5: Revising and Editing

What Is Technical Communication?

Technical Communication Is Interactive and Adaptable

Technical Communication Is Reader Centered

Technical Communication Relies on Teamwork

Technical Communication Is Visual

Technical Communication Has Ethical, Legal, and Political


Technical Communication Is International and Cross-Cultural

How Important Is Technical Communication?

Chapter Review

Exercises and Projects


Chapter 2 Readers and Contexts of Use

Profiling Your Readers

Identifying Your Readers

Profiling Your Readers’ Needs, Values, and Attitudes

Profiling Contexts of Use

Identifying the Context of Use

Using Profiles to Your Own Advantage

International and Cross-Cultural Communication

Differences in Content

Differences in Organization

Differences in Style

Differences in Design

Listen and Learn: The Key to International and Cross-Cultural Communication

At Work: What Are Some Strategies for Communicating with People from Another Culture?

Chapter Review

Exercises and Projects

Case Study: Installing a Medical Waste Incinerator


Chapter 3 Working in Teams

The Stages of Teaming

Forming: Strategic Planning

Step 1: Define the Project Mission and Objectives

Step 2: Identify Project Outcomes

Step 3: Define Team Member Responsibilities

Step 4: Create a Project Calendar

Step 5: Write Out a Work Plan

Step 6: Agree on How Conflicts Will Be Resolved

Storming: Managing Conflict

Running Effective Meetings

Mediating Conflicts

Firing a Team Member

Norming: Determining Team Roles

Revising Objectives and Outcomes

Help: Virtual Teaming

Identifying Team Roles

Using Groupware to Facilitate Work

Performing: Improving Quality

The Keys to Teaming

Chapter Review

Exercises and Projects

Case Study: Not a Sunny Day


Chapter 4 Letters, Memos, and E-Mails

Features of Letters, Memos, and E-Mails

Planning and Researching

Determining the Rhetorical Situation

Ethics in the Technical Workplace

What Are Ethics?

Where Do Ethics Come From?

Personal Ethics

Social Ethics

Conservation Ethics

Resolving Ethical Dilemmas

Help: Stopping Cyberbullying and Computer Harassment

Confronting an Ethical Dilemma

Resolving an Ethical Dilemma

When You Disag