Task1: Email to Instructor
According to my opinion, the book A Handbook of technical Writingby Gerald J. Alfred, Charles T. Brusaw, and Walter E. Oliu is avaluable resource for the English technical writing class. In myassessment, I suppose the book is a good teaching material forillustrating to students how to compose relevant, comprehensible andattractive writings that follow all the writing procedures such asgrammar, English proficiency and lexical writing. In attempt toeffectively guide the learner through the processes, the authors havecarefully used step-by-step instructions. In this, book presentsbasic vocabulary which can easily be understood even by non-expertsin the field. At the same time, I appreciate the level of brevitythat is used in this book. This helps the learner to grasp theconcepts and contents of the book without getting lost in the meaningof the content. Additionally, the layout helps the learner tounderstand the arrangement of the information as a way ofanticipating what the book will prompt next.
The learners will be able to keep a short entry of the book’scontents and have a handy, accurate reference of the book. Alsosignificantly, the book is an excellent resource for the purpose ofsourcing answers to a variety of technical writing issues.Additionally, they can be able to do this both simply and quickly. Itis also of importance to note that the wide range of topics that theauthors worked on help the learner to make useful reference of thecontent in a number of related disciplines. Given the contemporarylanguage studies, the book can be used for translators who areteaching non-English speakers the language’s writing concepts. Thebook is therefore an invaluable source for referencing in thiscontext.
I would recommend this book for learners who are upgrading to writingmore technical content, for instance, academic writing. This isbecause the examples that have been used in the book are clear andconcise, and applicable to the real life language writing discipline.Given the alphabetical arrangement of the entries, the learners willfind an easy time identifying the content they need. Additionally, ifthere are any problems with identifying what they are looking for,the users have an access to a well arranged index. Generally, thebook itself is a model of how technical writing is done.
However,from my analysis, one major shortcoming of the book is about thearrangement of the topics that have been covered. While the authorsselectively differentiated the content to be covered in each topic,they failed to justifiably write enough regarding in each topic.While some topics have been adequately covered, some have beenlightly highlighted. This is in no regard to the fact that all thecovered topics are of equal importance to the learner. Secondly, thewriters may have failed to note that there are a number of needs fromlearners of technical writing. This is because the number of topicsthat have been written in the book do not adequately cover the needsof technical writing learners.
There are a number of suggestions about the improvements that thewriters could have made to the book. For instance, the writers couldhave included some topics about the forms of sentences, sentencestructure and usage of vocabulary. These have been identified byexperts as the basic tenets of writing. Additionally, there is theissue of the change of content from the past editions. One of thenoticeable changes is that some important entries that effectivelyguided the learner from the previous editions have been changed bythe authors. This makes it hard for learners who are upgrading fromthe previous editions to the eight edition to connect the basics ofthe underlying concepts. At the same time, it is quite noticeablethat the author did not effectively comb out any details that madeconcept comprehension hard, which is a basic improvement for all neweditions. The implication of this is that while the learners areusing the book to improve their technical writing skills, they needto use some other books on the same topic to have a deeperunderstanding of the field.
Task2: Book Review
A Handbook of Technical Writing by GeraldJ. Alred, Charles T. Brusaw, and Walter E. Oliuisa classical text that is still regarded by educators and learners asa classical technical-writing source. One of the book’s mainstrengths is its simplicity, making it easy for the teachers toexplain the concepts to the learners. It has more than 300 entries,which have included by the authors for the purposes of guiding thelearners through the general types of writings, such as specialdocuments, proposals, correspondences and so on. The book alsoprovides a good number of model documents and visual illustrations,which are effective in guiding the learner through practicalcommunication, modern formats of technical writing and application oftechnology in writing. To add to this, the book has instructionsabout writing skills, revision of works, research and other forms oftechnical writing. The use of language tools such as punctuation,grammar and style have been well illustrated in the book. All thesehave been included with the intention of improving the leaner’swriting proficiency.
Given thatthere is slow development in technical writing, this edition’scontent is quite similar to that of its predecessors. At the sametime, the book clearly expounds on all the concepts that had beenearlier introduced in other editions. The book can be considered as atechnical desktopt reference by both educators and learners. Thebook’s other major strength is the alphabetical arrangement ofreferences and other elements of writing. These include grammar,acronyms and punctuations, amongst a number of others that thelearners can use to improve their writing.
Thebook is separated into a number of sections, with the purpose ofcategorically guiding the learner through as they learn bit-by-bit.The sections are the preface, five steps to successful writing,checklist of the writing process, alphabetical entries, index andcommonly misused words and phrases. All the essentials to effectivewriting have been included in this book. The book avoids complicatingreading and writing, hence, making it easy for the reader tounderstand the content as it is presented from page to page.Additionally, by reviewing the index and the content guides, theauthors of the book help the readers to easily find what they arelooking for and apply it to the lesson with immediate effect. One ofthe strengths about content delivery style is that it isrecommendable to both experienced technical writers and those lookingto improve their skills.
Inthe eighth edition, the authors have made thorough adjustments withthe aim of covering some aspects that were not adequately covered inthe previous editions. For instance, they have expanded advice forthe analysis of the context of an array of writing instances. At thesame time, there is utilization and incorporation of visuals, andprinciples apprehension of the technical writing skills. In thisedition, there is improved coverage of studies that additionallycontains guidelines for different style of documentation and deeperexplanations of copyright concerns, academic honesty and plagiarism.All the entries have been updated from the previous editions. At thesame time, they have been streamlined and consolidated so as to givethe learner an easy time using them.
This book isvaluable to all students who are looking to improve their technicalwriting skills. The text has been well arranged and delivered in away that makes it easy for the reader to get along with the writer’sgeneral idea. Apart from the content, the technical arrangement ofthe chapters and general delivery of information makes the learningprocess easy and comprehendible. The index is a powerful tool forlocating and citing sources, which has a positive implication fortechnical writers. Almost everything that a skilled or trainingtechnical writer would want is available in the book. This is becauseit contains content that the users may have been knowing and forgotalong the way, at the same time, an easy to follow format forupcoming technical writers. Given the book’s easy flow, it is arecommendable source that can be used by all the leaners who wish toexpand their skills in technical writing.
Task3: Further Analysis
The book TheHandbook of Technical Writing by Gerald J. Alfred,Charles T. Brusaw, and Walter E. Oliuisa text about technical writing. The authors have succinctlydemonstrated ways and means that readers and learners can apply inachieving the highest levels of technical writing. There are a numberof technical writings that have been demonstrated in the book, all indetail and clarity. They include white paper, letter, proposal, memoand other kinds of important technical writing techniques. Theauthors have given adequate space and consideration to every paradigmof technical writing, and on top of this, provided enough material tobe used be the learner to finesse their skills in the same. All theinformation is a reflection of the insightful and detailedinformation which the authors have categorically presented, with theaim of helping the users attain the highest levels of technicalwriting proficiency.
Oneof the major strengths about the book is the authors did not usepersonal conclusions to present the ideas. Despite the fact that theauthors have a history of technical writing and teaching in the samefield, they used standard experience and universal standards tocompile the text. This guided them in creating the sections which arehelpful in categorically guiding the reader through. Given theirunderstanding of the global standards of technical writing, theauthors were able to include information which is useful to bothskilled technical writers and training ones. At the same time, theauthors have developed the previous editions’ content and came upwith a more comprehensible version of the text in the currentedition. The information that was previously available in the othersources has been structured in a better way, which makes it easy forthe teachers to explain the concepts to the learners. At the sametime, it makes it easy for self-learners to understand the content.
Allthe lexical tools that have been use in the text are in line withwhat our class readings. The tools magnify the underlying principlesof lexical approach to teaching foreign language, which is that theidea of teaching a language is based on understanding and productionof lexical phrases by the learner. In this particular text, the toolsare effective for communication teaching, which is highly relevant tothe target audience.
Thebook’s philosophy is centered on offering practical, unique andreadily comprehensible text. In order to do this, the authors havestuck to using simple language in explaining the technicalitiesinvolved in writing, and ensuring that the learners have an easy timeunderstanding how the same is applicable in the field. Additionally,the content observes all the guidelines of technical writing. Theauthors have followed the philosophy of the discourse community byensuring that they utilize information from other sources, and dulyacknowledging them in the right context and citation. This is ademonstration of academic honesty. Additionally, the book follows thephilosophy throughout the chapters by making the sections uniform andwell structures. The book’s content is easy to read and follow. Atthe same time, the content is presented genetically. Given the book’sunderstandability, all the learners can easily access it and learngreat lessons about technical writing skills. The book complementsour course, given that it provides basic practical experience that isrelevant to our field of study.
Alred, GeraldJ., Charles T. Brusaw, and Walter E. Oliu (8thEd). Handbookof Technical Writing.Macmillan, 2009. Print.