Technical Writing One introduction

Technical Writing One teaches you how to write clearer technical documentation.

Target audience

You need at least a little writing proficiency in English, but you don't need to be a strong writer to take this course.

If you've never taken any technical writing training, this course is perfect for you. If you've taken technical writing training, this class provides an efficient refresher.

Learning objectives

This course teaches you the fundamentals of technical writing. After completing this class, you will know how to do the following:

  • Use terminology—including abbreviations and acronyms—consistently.
  • Recognize and disambiguate pesky pronouns.
  • Distinguish active voice from passive voice.
  • Convert passive voice sentences to active voice.
  • Identify three ways in which active voice is superior to passive voice.
  • Develop at least three strategies to make sentences clearer and more engaging.
  • Develop at least four strategies to shorten sentences.
  • Understand the difference between bulleted lists and numbered lists.
  • Create helpful lists.
  • Create effective lead sentences for paragraphs.
  • Focus each paragraph on a single topic.
  • State key points at the start of each document.
  • Identify your target audience.
  • Determine what your target audience already knows and what your target audience needs to learn.
  • Understand the curse of knowledge.
  • Identify and revise idioms.
  • State your document's scope (goals) and audience.
  • Break long topics into appropriate sections.
  • Use commas, parentheses, colons, em-dashes, and semicolons properly.
  • Develop beginner competency in Markdown.

It takes years of focused practice to become a great engineer or a great technical writer. This course will improve your technical writing but will not instantly transform you into a great technical writer.

Pre-class and in-class components

The course consists of the following two components:

  • pre-class
  • in-class

You are currently viewing the start of the pre-class component.

The in-class component enhances the lessons taught in the pre-class components. That said, the pre-class lessons on their own still provide a valuable educational experience.

Hardware and network requirements

Although this course is optimized for a laptop or desktop, you may take the course on a tablet or phone. If you are taking the in-class component, please note that you'll type a lot.

You need an internet connection to take the course. You cannot download the course. The course is not available on tangible media.

The course contains a few short videos, all of which are optional viewing. If you want to skip the videos, then you can take the course on a low-bandwidth internet connection.

Optional units

We've marked a few units as optional. This material isn't essential, though you'll probably find the material useful.



Next unit: Just enough grammar, an optional unit