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Short Course

Course Information
Course Title: Technical Writing at Work
Categories: 1 - Management/Professional Development
2 - Data Analysis
3 - Quality/Regulatory/Compliance
4 - Technical Writing
5 - Laboratory Information and Management
Instructor(s): Steven Schultz Course Number: 121
Affiliation: Writing at Work, Inc.
Course Date: 03/07/2017 - Tuesday Course Length: 1 Day Course
Start Time: 08:30 AM End Time: 05:00 PM
Fee: $575 ($775 after 2/18/17) Textbook Fee:

Course Description
Sharpen your overall writing skills and focus on the special demands of scientific and technical writing, such as objectively summarizing results and providing clear instructions in methods, SOPs, and everyday writing tasks. Participants learn how to write for specialized and general audiences, state technical concepts and information in simple direct English, and tackle the main obstacles that confront all writers: unclear objectives, imprecise descriptions, wordiness, and inefficient organization. This fast-paced, interactive, and highly rated course offers practical tips for direct application to writing projects—illustrated with real, on-the-job writing samples from a range of scientific professions.

Target Audience
Well suited for jobs that require writing reports, manuals, methods, SOPs, specifications as well as product descriptions, web features, and journal articles. Also applicable to careers in research, sales and marketing, customer service, QA/QC, compliance—and those that rely on a clear exchange of technical ideas and information—at any job and level.

Course Outline
Part I—Technical Writing: Language, Audience, and Style

• The language of technical writing: stating technical concepts and information in simple, direct English

• Audience and purpose: writing to technical and lay readers; internal and external reviewers; coworkers and government regulators; product developers; and prospective customers

• Eliminating the obstacles to effective communication: assessing the threats of wordiness, technical and marketing jargon, and the passive voice

• Objective editing approaches for working on team projects and reviewing documents for quality control

Part II—Organizing, Summarizing, and Documenting

• Creating introductions and abstracts that clarify purpose, scope, and applicability; identifying significance; and setting expectations

• Testing the organizational logic—from scientific papers to procedures

• Organizing research to highlight purpose and findings, as well as product descriptions to highlight main benefits and competitive advantages

• Using bullets effectively and parallel construction

• Supporting and coordinating results with tables, charts, and exhibits

Part III—Open Forum
• Assessing participants’ samples (optional)

• Creating your own individual or organizational action plan for continuous improvement

Course Instructor's Biography
Steven Schultz, Ph.D., is the president of Writing at Work, the company he started in 1984 to provide business and technical writing services to corporations, professional organizations, and government agencies. Writing at Work’s seminars and workshops focus on improving the writing skills of those who, regardless of profession, need to write for their jobs. Steve conducts on-site courses for R&D departments of major corporations, scientific instrument manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, research centers, and government utility, public works, water treatment facilities. Participants from his previous Pittcon short courses consistently state (for eight straight years!) how they have benefited from Steve’s engaging presentation style, his direct, practical writing experience, and the use of real industry on-the-job examples in the instruction. As an editor and writer, Steve has helped organizations establish in-house writing standards and produce large-scale, high-quality projects. He writes and edits technical articles and reports, SOPs and specifications, and product and marketing literature for websites and traditional print catalogs. Apart from his own articles for publication, Steve helps other professionals prepare their work for journal and conference publications. Steve has taught writing at several universities—in their English departments, graduate schools of business, and corporate training divisions. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Illinois and was a Class Merit Scholar at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. His Ph.D. in English is from the State University of New York at Buffalo.