English 562: Advanced Technical Writing
Textbooks

English 562 Online Syllabus

English 562 Assignments

English 562 Textbooks

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Technical Communication Program at KU


This course relies primarily on handouts and this website. However, we do reference other materials such as the 362: Foundations of Technical Writing texts and other handbooks. Listed below are the books and links to purchase them online.

Recommended

Technical Communication, by Mike Markel.
(Note: Any version is fine – I encourage you to buy used.)
Companion web site: www.bedfordstmartins.com/techcomm

This is an excellent text, containing a massive amount of information, exercises, and links to outside resources. I expect you to read all the assigned material, and will give occasional tests on the readings, but we will not use all the assignments listed at the end of the chapters. Feel free to work through these assignments yourself, to further your learning. I advise you to keep this book for when you go into the world of business or industry; it's an invaluable resource. Also available from online booksellers such as Amazon (click here to review and/or buy this book from Amazon.com) and Powell's Books (click here to review and/or buy this book from Powell's Books). 

Recommended

The Elements of Technical Writing, by Gary Blake and Robert Bly.

Everyone who expects to write anything technical needs to have this book on their desk. Keep this book forever, at least until a complete update is published. Also available from online booksellers such as Amazon (click here to review and/or buy this book from Amazon.com) and Powell's Books (click here to review and/or buy this book from Powell's Books).

Recommended

Research and Documentation in the Electronic Age, by Diana Hacker.
Parts of this book are available free online at: http://www.bedfordstmartins.com/hacker/resdoc/

This is a wonderful resource for technical writers doing research. It also lists style guides appropriate to your field. Also available from online booksellers such as Amazon (click here to review and/or buy this book from Amazon.com) and Powell's Books (click here to review and/or buy this book from Powell's Books).

You will also need access to a manual of style appropriate to your field of study, such as the ACS, APA, CBE, Chicago Manual of Style, MLA, and so on.

Recommended

Usability Testing and Research, by Carol M. Barnum
ISBN: 0-205-31519-4

I required this for the first-time offering of this class, and students found it useful for the two projects directly related to the title. It is part of the wonderful Allyn & Bacon Series in Technical Communication. Available from online booksellers such as Amazon (click here to review and/or buy this book from Amazon.com) and Powell's Books (click here to review and/or buy this book from Powell's Books).

You also need to be comfortable using computers

  • We write and review everything electronically, and most of our work is designed for release on the Web or other electronic means. During this course, you will continue to enhance your skills with the hardware and software tools needed to write professional technical documents.
  • I use email to announce updates, return graded papers, and send your grade spreadsheet. Be sure to give me your preferred email address ASAP.
  • Bring a flash drive to class. Most students save their coursework onto a keychain-type storage device at the end of each class as a backup, and use it to bring assignments to class. Click here to see an example of this useful and very low-cost device.
  • Alternately, use your email or FTP to back up your assignments - especially those that are designed for Web release. Many students post a copy of their coursework as a backup and use it to make sure they have their assignments available when they are due (in case of disk or flash-drive failure).

Last updated 1/31/2011.