Abelard Consulting has presented courses in technical writing for over 20 years. The courses were designed by Dr Geoffrey Marnell, former lecturer in Technical Writing and Editing in the English Department at Melbourne University.
ATTAR (Advanced Technology Testing and Research) has acquired the training division of Abelard Consulting (effective from 1 January 2019) and is now presenting these courses, with the advisory support of Abelard Consulting.
Where are the courses held?
Classroom-based courses can be held anywhere in Australia. Online courses are also available. Courses run over two days and are held on demand.
Who are the courses for?
The Technical Writing course is for would-be and junior technical writers, for experienced technical writers who want to refresh some of their writing and documentation-planning skills, and for all those whose work involves instructional writing, report writing or general writing of a technical nature.
What is included?
All courses include extensive course notes (approximately 400 pages) and a certificate of completion.
What is the cost?
How do I book?
You can book a place in a public course by visiting this page of the ATTAR website.
1: Fundamental characteristics of good technical writing
The principle of communicative efficacy; the five characteristics of sound factual writing; audience-centric writing and how to write for mixed audiences; techniques for controlling vocabulary; what is correct writing?
2: Planning a technical writing project
Typical documentation development cycle; estimating; planning; reviewing (and tips on securing reviews); pagination tricks; dealing with printers
3: Writing technical reports and proposals
Types; section-by-section description; writing effective executive summaries; bids, white papers and RFTs; overcoming writer's block; citation and referencing; common problems (of logic, topic hierarchy, citations, cohesion, balance, etc.)
4: Writing step-by-step instructions
Techniques; tips and tricks; branching, looping, minimising steps
5: Document design and usability
Templates; designing for structure; font choice and its effect on comprehension; the three pillars of usability
6: The language of language
Parts of speech; the building blocks of language; writing effective paragraphs
7: Aspects of grammar
Old rules best forgotten; subject–verb agreement; the that or which dilemma
8: Obstacles to readability
Sentence complexity; conceptual density; misplaced jargon; nominalisation; noun clustering; poor use of voice; issues of tone; readability formulas
9: Troublesome words: Words easily confused; transition words; regional variations
10: Vital punctuation
Senseless fads; hyphens and dashes; commas; parenthetic markers; brackets; colons; semicolons; apostrophes; etc.
11: Breaking into the technical writing profession
How to network; writing a good CV; necessary software skills, remuneration, pros and cons of freelancing