Fundamentals of Technical Writing

Topics: Technical communication, Technical writer, Technical writing Pages: 3 (840 words) Published: November 3, 2008
Fundamentals of Technical Writing
ENG221
University of Phoenix

Technical writing and expository writing are both designed to instruct the reader, however technical writing expects the reader to take some sort of action based upon the reading. In the workplace technical writing seems to be more prevalent in the form of technical manuals and instruction booklets, whereas expository writing has a wider variety of uses. Although technical writing and expository writing are very similar, there are significant differences in the two styles. Differences

"Technical writing conveys specific information about a technical subject to a specific audience for a specific purpose. The words and graphics of technical writing are meant to be practical: that is, to communicate a body of factual information that will help an audience understand a subject or carry out a task." (Micron,2008). While expository writing also conveys specific information, it is not meant to elicit a response, only explain or expound upon knowledge. For instance, an instruction manual on how to create a website is a technical writing that expects the reader to follow along and put into practice the steps outlined. However, a letter explaining company policy on attire is meant to be read and understood only. Purpose

The purpose of technical writing is to inform the reader about a particular subject or how to perform a task, while expository writing “exposes a topic analytically and objectively, such as news reports. Like technical writing, the goal of expository writing is to explain or reveal knowledge, but expository writing does not necessarily expect a response or action from the reader.”(Micron,2008) As stated before a good example of expository writing is a new report, meant to update the reader, but not to have the reader take any particular action, whereas the purpose of a technical manual on C++ would expect the...

References: Micron. (2008). Writing in the workplace. Retrieved August 8, 2008, from http://www.micron.com/k12/writing/index
Houser Rob, (2008). What is the value of audience to technical communicators?: A Survey of Audience Research. User Assistance Group. Retrieved August 10, 2008, from http://www.userassistance.com/presentations/audience.htm
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