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New Technical Writing Fundamentals class suits diverse student population
2002, Q4 (June 02, 2008)
by Barbara Bulleit

A review of the Technical Writing Fundamentals class taught by Dr. Naomi Kleid, September 28, 2002 and sponsored by STC.

Dr. Kleid sparkled during this 6-hour concentrated course for new or aspiring technical writers, which also served as a refresher for experienced technical writers.

The contents of this course covered basic writing fundamentals, and then moved into Technical Descriptions, Instruction Manuals, and Proposal Writing. Dr. Kleid's use of interactive and team activities required the application of tools and principles for each section. The varied student population asked questions and added value as experiences were shared and opinions were offered. For the exercises, students separated into groups, delved into projects with gusto, and presented results with humor and focus on lessons learned.

One exercise required groups to create technical descriptions for a set of writing tools including a #5 pencil, an art gum eraser, a 2-hole pencil sharpener, and an ergonomic pencil sleeve immediately dubbed a "finger cushion" by one group. As part of their solution, another group presented the advantages and disadvantages of various writing tools including chisel and stone! Another exercise focused on instruction writing.

Lecture notes, a highly useful four-page Permachart set of writing tips, a page of "shorter alternatives to wordy phrases," class exercises, and a 3-page package on STC completed the handouts package in a pleasing purple folder with purple writing tool.

The day-long class also offered morning snacks, lunch, and afternoon snacks, making it a very desirable package with time well used. Overall, Technical Writing Fundamentals is an excellent value. It provides a clear and concise introduction to technical writing and offers content to the diverse student population regardless of background and skills. "Thank you" to Dr. Kleid and to the other volunteers who added immensely to the overall experience.

Dr. Naomi Kleid is President of InfoExact, Inc, specialists in high-quality technical writing and training. She worked at IBM. End of article.

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