Certificate In Professional Technical Communication (140 Hours)

This Professional Technical Communication Certificate is designed to help new and existing writers work within a range of styles specific to the field of technical writing. This program focuses on advancing the writing styles and competencies needed to create technical written reports, project proposals, feasibility studies, website communications, presentations, manuals, and other forms of technical correspondence. A well-rounded technical writer should have knowledge and writing experience across these areas.

As a technical writer, you may be to write or edit many different types of projects. By applying the principles presented in this course, you can expand your skills to cover a wide range of projects. Just as importantly, you can gain skills that will benefit every project you are assigned. The organizational skills required for a user guide, the attention to client guidelines required for a proposal, and the ability to integrate examples and interviews required for a technical magazine article carry over into other types of writing. In the process of completing this course, you will create a portfolio of well-defined written technical documents, which can be added to or expanded after the class has ended.

Your completed work will be evaluated using the lesson guidelines as criteria. No books are required for this course; instead, web links to multiple resources are provided. Students may complete this program in an accelerated fashion.

This Certificate program requires you to follow specific instructions for each lesson. You may send your completed first lesson to the Course Administrator who will provide any necessary feedback to ensure you are on the right track for developing your course portfolio. Each lesson builds upon the concepts of the previous lesson, and follows the same methodology. When you have completed all of the lessons, you will mail your course portfolio to the Course Administrator to review and grade.

Outcomes

The Certificate in Professional Technical Communication provides you the opportunity and means to achieve the following outcomes:

  • Plan writing projects with a strong understanding of the subject matter.
  • Learn how to fit a focused strategy to your audience and purpose.
  • Engage in both task and audience analysis.
  • Learn how to revamp existing or new documents.
  • Expand your writing styles and abilities.
  • Hone your skills across a range of writing skill sets.
  • Write like an expert and build upon marketable skills.
  • Earn a highly recognized Professional Technical Completion Certificate Credential.

Types of Documents

Different types of technical documents require different skills and strategies. By completing the Certificate in Professional Technical Communication, you will learn how to effectively create each of the following documents and practice the accompanying skill sets:

  • Proposals: persuasion, using data to make an argument, developing abstracts.
  • Data Reports: presenting data visually, writing with parallel structure.
  • Scientific Research: using citations, making abstracts concise.
  • How-To Guides: doing task analysis, working with lists.
  • Instructional Material: developing sample scenarios, monitoring user performance.
  • Articles: including real-world examples, being conversational with dense content.

This course examines each of these document types and explores the writing skills associated with them. You may with the permission of the instructor substitute a required document with one of your own suggestion.

Methodology

Each lesson is carefully developed around your ability to develop a baseline of written content that assumes some knowledge, little knowledge, or no knowledge of the technical document assigned. After you read and apply the tips and, techniques and grasp the lesson-specific writing strategies, you will reapply this new knowledge to your baseline document. A comparison of the original baseline writing to the developed "treatment" document allows you to apply the new knowledge gained to practical writing experiences in the workplace.

You can complete this course in as little as 10-15 weeks or take up to 2-3 months.

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Assessment

The Certificate in Professional Technical Communication requires independent and self-paced study. The instructional developer of this program has provided a detailed method of study. Self-directed quizzes and short answer probe questions help you evaluate your mastery of specific learning objectives. These tasks are for student evaluation only.

To earn the official Certificate in Professional Technical Communication, you are required to submit your completed lessons, which will then be evaluated for accuracy and representative knowledge of the subject matter. This will occur at the beginning, midpoint, and end of the program. For more details regarding the process leading to the Certificate in Professional Technical Communication, please review the course curriculum Program Outline.

Program Outline

Lesson 1: Getting Started with Professional Technical Communication Projects

The goal of this lesson is to prepare you for the writing projects assigned in future lessons. You will see how to tailor your writing to a particular audience and purpose.

Objectives

When you have finished this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Plan a writing strategy for each lesson that follows.
  • Write for a specific type of audience, such as business decision makers or technicians.
  • Analyze a task to decompose it into steps for your reader.
  • Identify the appropriate format and style for a project.
  • Plan a document that is well-crafted, targeted and suited to your audience.

Lesson 2: Write a Proposal

The goal of this lesson is to write a proposal that combines persuasive elements and factual presentation so as to convince reviewers to award you a contract or buy your services.

Objectives

When you have finished this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Interpret the component parts for a request for proposal (RFP) document and understand what to include in your proposal.
  • Design a proposal with an attractive layout, including white space, art, tables, and headings.
  • Write a proposal with an appropriate structure and style, based on the needs of the specific project and the standards followed in the industry.
  • Make the logic of your proposal clear and persuasive.
  • Revise proposals to make them more effective.

Lesson 3: Write a Data Report

The goal of this lesson is to use data in your writing. Data can be numbers, presented in a table or interspersed in your text. It can also be displayed visually, in charts and graphs. The ideal presentation has numbers as well as visuals, and text that describes what the data mean.

Objectives

When you have finished this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Integrate charts and graphs into your writing, to reach readers visually and show data in a compact form.
  • Use numbers in your writing to back up observations with facts and guide the reader through the data.
  • Apply parallelism and consistent structure to make your reasoning easy to follow.
  • Use the most common parts of a data report, including the abstract and results sections, to organize your information.
  • Create a clear and effective data report.

Lesson 4: Write a Research Paper

The goal of this lesson is to write for an audience that pursues new ideas and new knowledge. The audience may be academic, or it may be a professional group that wants to advance findings and debate in its field. Research writing requires a style that is brief, to the point, and conforms to the highly specific requirements of the publication to which it is submitted.

Objectives

When you have finished this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Recognize the range of styles used in research writing, from objective to first-person.
  • Create the major sections of a research report, from abstract to conclusion, with appropriate content.
  • Cite research to support your thesis with established facts.
  • Communicate with a readership that requires a very concise style of writing.
  • Write a research paper for publication in a scholarly or professional journal.

Lesson 5: Write a How-To Guide

The goal of this lesson is to write a how-to guide that can lead someone through a procedure from start to finish.

Objectives

When you have finished this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Focus on making your procedures easy to follow for all types of readers, including those with limited reading skills.
  • Add graphic art to your text to illustrate your points, including such things as photos and charts.
  • Use formatting and layout for emphasis and readability, with emphasis on important points and ample white space.
  • Use simple verb forms, with as many verbs as possible in the simple present form, to improve readability.
  • Analyze a task to create a list of steps for completing it.

Lesson 6: Write a User Guide, Part 1: Plan a Large Writing Project

The goal of this lesson is to begin writing a user guide that helps someone understand a complex product. In this lesson, you will plan the flow of your document based on the work flow of someone using the product. In a later lesson, you will complete one section of the user guide with content.

Objectives

When you have finished this lesson, you will be able:

  • Do a task analysis to break down any procedure into its parts.
  • Structure content into chapters and sections to give readers appropriately sized units.
  • Align your chapters with the subject matter so that the flow of the book follows the flow of the work.
  • Understand the features that distinguish a chapter from other types of sections.
  • Create an outline for a user guide.

Lesson 7: Write a User Guide, Part 2: Describe a User Interface

The goal of this lesson is to write content for a user guide. You will complete one section of the outline you created in the previous lesson, when you planned the structure of a large user guide.

Objectives

When you have finished this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Guide the user towards practical outcomes in completing their tasks.
  • Make effective use of lists, for procedural steps and materials.
  • Describe the features of the product you are documenting.
  • Use graphic layout and art effectively.
  • Create sections of a typical user guide.

Lesson 8: Write Instructional Material

The goal of this lesson is to write instructional material that develops a user’s skills or knowledge.

Objectives

When you have finished this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Plan a training program that satisfies the needs of your participants and meets clear objectives.
  • Develop examples of procedures that use realistic details.
  • Design exercises that allow participants to practice procedures.
  • Evaluate participant progress in learning new skills with quizzes and tests.
  • Choose an optimal delivery method for training, whether digital or in-person.
  • Write curriculum for a training program.

Lesson 9: Write Magazine Articles

The goal of this lesson is to write a magazine article that conveys technical information in an engaging way for a general audience.

Objectives

When you have finished this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Write a story in a format that makes it newsworthy and easy to read quickly.
  • Blend numbers and anecdotal information and accounts, to strike a balance between general facts and specific experiences.
  • Incorporate case histories into articles to illustrate points with real-world examples.
  • Strategize for working with subject matter experts by understanding what motivates technical experts to share their knowledge.
  • Write a short magazine article that, with development, might be publishable.
  • Align your chapters with the subject matter so that the flow of the book follows the flow of the work.
  • Understand the features that distinguish a chapter from other types of sections.
  • Create an outline for a user guide.

FAQ

This Certificate Course must be completed within the specified time period noted at the time of enrollment. Extension fees are applicable beyond the end date as follows: 1 month, $149.00; 2 months, $179.00; 3 months, $199.00. Upon successful completion of this course you may apply for a paper-based certificate from one of our Accredited University Partners. University certificate processing fees apply.

Upon successful completion of this course you may apply for a paper-based certificate from one of our Accredited University Partners. University certificate processing fees apply.

Mozilla OpenBadges

At the time of successful course completion, Technical Writing Certificate Badges are generated for student use. They recognize and verify that specialized learning has taken place in the subject area enrolled in. Our Official Digital Badges can be used to display a skill set and achievements on social networking profiles such as LinkedIn, etc. as well as on various job sites and much more.

For details about this FAQ use our Contact Form to request more information.

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