Wiley
Wiley.com
Print this page Share

Writing and Speaking in the Technology Professions: A Practical Guide, 2nd Edition

David F. Beer (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-471-44473-2
536 pages
July 2003, Wiley-IEEE Press
Writing and Speaking in the Technology Professions: A Practical Guide, 2nd Edition (0471444731) cover image
An updated edition of the classic guide to technical communication

Consider that 20 to 50 percent of a technology professional's time is spent communicating with others. Whether writing a memo, preparing a set of procedures, or making an oral presentation, effective communication is vital to your professional success. This anthology delivers concrete advice from the foremost experts on how to communicate more effectively in the workplace.

The revised and expanded second edition of this popular book completely updates the original, providing authoritative guidance on communicating via modern technology in the contemporary work environment. Two new sections on global communication and the Internet address communicating effectively in the context of increased e-mail and web usage. As in the original, David Beer's Second Edition discusses a variety of approaches, such as:
* Writing technical documents that are clear and effective
* Giving oral presentations more confidently
* Using graphics and other visual aids judiciously
* Holding productive meetings
* Becoming an effective listener


The new edition also includes updated articles on working with others to get results and on giving directions that work. Each article is aimed specifically at the needs of engineers and others in the technology professions, and is written by a practicing engineer or a technical communicator. Technical engineers, IEEE society members, and technical writing teachers will find this updated edition of David Beer's classic Writing and Speaking in the Technology Professions an invaluable guide to successful communication.
See More

Preface xiii

PART I Getting Started: Writing the First Drafts

Can Engineers Write? 3

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-27(1) March 1984
Joan Knapp

Preparing to Write the Document: A Worksheet for Situational Analysis in the Workplace 7

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-27(1) March 1990
Ronald J. Nelson

Issue Trees: A Tool to Aid the Engineering Writer 12

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-37(2) June 1994
Joan Temple Dennett and Michael Hseih

Ready, Aim—Write! 21

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-31(1) March 1988
Ruth C. Savakinas

Beginnings and Endings: Keys to Better Engineering Technical Writing 24

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-40(4) December 1997
Marcia Martens Pierson and Bion L. Pierson

Could You Be Clearer? An Examination of the Multiple Perspectives of Clarity 30

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-35(2) June 1992
Ronald E. Dulek

The Grammar Instinct 34

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-45(2) June 2002
Alan D. Manning

Comparing the Two Cultures in Technical Writing 39

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-34(2) June 1991
Don Bush

PART II Construction and Content: Putting Documents Together

Creating a Doc Spec 45

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-42(2) June 1999
Liz Wing

Write a Good Technical Report 49

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-27(1) March 1984
Gael D. Ulrich

How to Avoid the Transitional Ax in Indirect Bad News Messages 55

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-34(1) March 1991
Thomas L.Wiseman

Job Hunting: Sharpening Your Competitive Edge 5

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-27(4) December 1984
Ron S. Blicq

How to Write a Recommendation 6

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-27(4) December 1984
Alan D. Wilcox

Some Guidance on Preparing Technical Articles for Publication 7

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-32(1) March 1989
Richard Manley, Judith Graham, and Ralph Baxter

Today’s Style Guide:Trusted Tool with Added Potential 8

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-41(1) March 1998
Jane Perkins and Cassandra Maloney

“Professional Communication” and the “Odor of Mendacity”: The Persistent Suspicion that Skillful Writing is Successful Lying 8

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-38(3) September 1995
Edmond H. Weiss

PART III Text and Graphics: Presenting Information Visually

Editing Visual Media 97

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-41(1) March 1998
Thomas R. Williams and Deborah A. Harkus

Visual Discriminability of Headings in Text 110

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-35(2) June 1992
Thomas R. Williams and Jan H. Spyridakis

Choosing the Right Graph 117

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-45(1) March 2002
Jean-Luc Doumont and Philippe Vandenbroek

Table Construction: Do’s and Don’ts 123

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-32(1) March 1989
Eva Dukes

Safety Labels: What to Put in Them, How to Write Them, and Where to Place Them 128

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-30(3) September 1987
Christopher Velotta

Editing Math: What to Do with the Symbols 134

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-33(3) June 1990
Barry W. Burton

Displaying Scientific Graphics on Computer 138

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-40(2) June 1997
Janet E. Lincoln and Donald L. Monk

PART IV Manuals and Procedures: Giving Directions that Work

Designing and Writing Operating Manuals 155

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-27(1) March 1984
Lidia Lopinto

Manual Dexterity—What Makes Instructional Manuals Usable 158

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-27(2) June 1984
James P. Gleason and Joan P. Wackerman

Selecting and Switching: Some Advantages of Diagrams Over Tables and Lists for Presenting Instructions 161

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-41(4) December 1998
Angelique Boekelder and Michael Steehouder

Using a Structured Design Analysis To Simplify Complex In-House Computer Manuals 174

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-35(1) March 1992
John S. Craig

Single-Source Manuals 180

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-37(2) June 1994
Gary Bist

The Effects of Screen Captures in Manuals: A Textual and Two Visual Manuals Compared 187

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-42(2) June 1999
Mark Gellevij, Hans van der Meij, Ton deJong, and Jules Pieters

The User Edit: Making Manuals Easier to Use 202

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-24(1) March 1981
Marshall A. Atlas

PART V Proposals: Writing to Win the Customer

Fifteen Questions to Help You Write Winning Proposals 207

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-26(2) June 1983
T. M. Georges

The Short Proposal:Versatile Tool for Communicating Corporate Culture in Competitive Climates 208

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-32(2) June 1989
Bernard E. Budish and Richard L. Sandhusen

Technical Writing and Illustrating Strategies for Winning Government Contracts 213

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-28(2) June 1992
Robert B. Greenly

Storyboarding Can Help Your Proposal 219

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-32(1) March 1989
Robert A. Barakat

Developing Winning Proposal Strategies 225

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-34(3) September 1991
Robert A. Barakat

Clarification Questions That Work 235

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-31(2) June 1988
Annette D. Reilly

Proposals: Write to Win 238

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-26(2) June 1983
Clark E. Beck

Broadening Employment Horizons:Transferring Proposal Writing Skills from For-Profit to Nonprofit Organizations 240

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-39(2) June 1996
Sherry Shebley Hamilton

PART VI Revising and Editing: Refining Your Documents

Theory and Practice of Editing Processes in Technical Communication 247

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-28(1) March 1985
Roger E. Masse

When the Basics Aren’t Enough: Finding a Comprehensive Editor 256

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-37(3) September 1994
Laurel K. Grove

Collaborative Writing in the Workplace 260

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-32(3) September 1989
Charles R. Stratton

Reverse Engineering: The Outline As Document Restructuring Tool 265

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-29(3) September 1986
Dietrich Rathjens

How Writing Helps R&D Work 271

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-30(2) June 1987
Herbert B. Michaelson

The Paradox of Revision: A Study of Writing as a Product in the Revision of Manuals 271

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-39(1) March 1996
Alice I. Philbin and Melissa M. Spirek

Online Editing: Mark-Up Models and the Workplace Lives of Editors and Writers 279

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-38(3) June 1995
David K. Farkas and Steven E. Poltrock

PART VII Oral Presentations: Speaking Effectively to Groups

A Quick and Easy Strategy for Organizing a Speech 289

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-33(3) September 1990
Richard A. Lindeborg

A Good Speech is Worth a Thousand (Written) Words 293

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-27(1) March 1984
Bert Decker

The Engineering Presentation—Some Ideas on How to Approach and Present It 296

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-26(4) December 1983
Ronald C. Rosenburg

Authenticity Beats Eloquence 299

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-30(2) June 1987
Susan Dressel and Joe Chew

Handling a Hostile Audience—With Your Eyes 301

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-32(1) March 1989
Gilda Carle

Improving Oral Marketing Presentations in the Technology-Based Company 304

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-31(2) June 1988
Michael F. Warlum

Illustrations in Oral Presentations: Photographs 308

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-41(3) September 1998
Thomas Walsh

Producing a Video on a Technical Subject: A Guide 312

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-36(2) June 1993
Danny Dowhal, Gary Bist, Peter Kohlman, Stan Musker, and Heather Rogers

PART VIII Listening, Meeting, and Teamwork:Working with Others to Get Results

You Haven’t Heard a Word I Said: Getting Managers to Listen 323

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-37(1) March 1994
Jo Procter

Becoming an Effective Listener 326

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-23(2) June 1980
Marion E. Haynes

Toward Better Meetings: A Psychologist’s View 330

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-24(3) September 1981
Eugene Raudsepp

Presenting the Successful Technical Seminar 333

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-26(1) March 1983
Thomas Ealey

Project Characteristics and Group Communication: An Investigation 336

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-45(2) June 2002
Tom L. Roberts, Paul H. Cheney, and Paul D. Sweeney

Between Silence and Voice: Communicating in Cross-Functional Project Teams 351

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-34(1) March 1991
Linda Loehr

A Dialogue Technique to Enhance Electronic Communication in Virtual Teams 357

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-43(2) June 2000
Bernard C. Y. Tan, Kwok-Kee Wei, Wayne W. Huang, and Guet-Ngoh Ng

Videoconferencing as a Communication Tool 370

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-40(1) March 1997
Jan A. Sprey

PART IX Global Communication: Conveying Meaning Internationally

World Language Status Does Not Ensure World Class Usage 379

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-35(1) March 1992
Joann T. Dennett

English Language Education for Specific Professional Needs 380

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-44(3) September 2001
Thomas Orr

When Culture and Rhetoric Contrast: Examining English as the International Language of Technical
Communication 385

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-42(4) December 1999
Kirk St. Amant

The Organization of Japanese Expository Passages 389

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-42(3) September 1999
Waka Fukuoka and Jan H. Spyridakis

Measuring the Translatability of Simplified English in Procedural Documents 398

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-40(1) March 1997
Jan H. Spyridakis, Heather Holmback, and Serena K. Shubert

Babel in Document Design: The Evaluation of Multilingual Texts 407

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-43(3) September 2000
Leo Lentz and Jacquelin Hulst

Aligning International Editing Efforts with Global Business Strategies 417

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-35(2) June 1992
Carol Leininger and Rue Yuan

Tackling the Needs of Foreign Academic Writers: A Case Study 425

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-40(1) March 1997
Shimona Kushner

PART X The Internet: Making the Most of Cyberspace

Stylistic Guidelines for E-Mail 433

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-77(4) December 1994
Renee B. Horowitz and Marian G. Barchilon

“Who’s Reading My E-Mail?” A Study of Professionals’ E-Mail Usage and Privacy Perceptions in the
Workplace 439

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-40(1) March 1997
Patricia A. Chociey

Customer Partnering: Data Gathering For Complex On-Line Documentation 446

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-40(2) June 1997
JoAnn T. Hackos, Molly Hammar, and Arthur Elser

Challenges in Developing Research-Based Web Design Guidelines 455

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-43(3) September 2000
Mary B. Evans

The Web and Corporate Communication: Potentials and Pitfalls 466

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-39(1) March 1996
Gary Ritzenthaler and David H. Ostroff

Editing A Web Site: Extending the Levels of Edit 473

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-41(1) March 1998
Steven L. Anderson, Charles P. Campbell, Nancy Hindle, Jonathan Price, and Randall Scasny

Web Accessibility for People with Disabilities: An Introduction for Web Developers 484

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-44(4) December 2001
Jeff Carter and Mike Markel

A Conceptual Framework for International Web Design 493

IEEE Trans. Prof. Comm. PC-44(2) June 2001
Fatemah M. Zahedi, William V. Van Pelt, and Jaeki Song

Index 515

About the Editor 519

See More
DAVID F. BEER, PhD, is a senior member of the IEEE Professional Communications Society, and a senior member and past president of the Austin chapter of the Society for Technical Communication. Dr. Beer is a faculty member in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the coauthor, with David McMurrey, of A Guide to Writing as an Engineer.
See More
"I wish I had known of this publication years ago. It would have made the growth of a professional career less chaotic and better organized...highly recommended to all professionals..." (Journal of Veterinary and Human Toxicology, Vol. 45, No. 5, October 2003)
See More
Back to Top