Technical Writing

This section is intended for Graduate Students and Visiting Instructors in the English Department at Georgia State University who are about to teach a technical writing class for the first time. It provides instructors with background information on technical writing, assignment ideas, a sample syllabus, and a bibliography of helpful sources. This section is intended as a companion to the Rhetoric and Composition Writing Instructor Handbook and to the special training session offered every year just prior to the start of each semester.

You may never have imagined yourself as a teacher of technical writing. However, wherever you end up professionally, chances are you will be teaching some sort of writing course. If you have already taught composition courses, you will be relieved to know that much of the focuses of technical writing are the same. You will help your students develop the following: awareness of audience and rhetorical situations, a clear and concise writing style, ethical research and documentation procedures, and skills in drafting, editing, and, revising. In technical writing, however, there is more emphasis on collaborative writing projects, for in real-life workplaces, much of technical writing is not a solo endeavor. You will also encounter genres that may be new to you. In addition, more creativity and care is taken in the "look" of a technical document. Students with a flair for the visual will enjoy this aspect of technical writing. Teaching a course in technical writing will not only add to your resume; it will expand your knowledge of the writing process, and in the end, greatly improve your own writing. You might also discover that this is a type of writing that appeals to you, thus leading you to new career options.

Definitions of Technical Writing

Supplemental Bibliography

Technical Writing Genres


Sample Syllabus