technical Writing week 8

  1. In our textbook, read “Chapter 8: Technical Reports” on pages 181 – 232.

  2. Do Exercise 2 on page 232.

    •   As you review examples of the six types of accident reports, keep in mind that the NTSB web site archives both preliminary and final reports. Preliminary reports are often informal (some even handwritten) and lack many of the elements mentioned on pages 209+, while final reports are quite formal and include most, if not all, of the elements mentioned in Chapter 8 (although some elements might have slightly different names).

    •   Format your response as a 750 to 1,000-word memo addressed to me, and include the following topic headings (which are implied by the instructions in Exercise 2):

      Purpose – Explain your purpose in writing the memo, and preview the main topics to be addressed in the body of the memo.

      Report Elements – Keeping in mind that one or more of the reports you chose might be preliminary, describe the elements of each report you examined. Does each report possess all the elements? If not, what’s missing and why?

      Writing Style – Before analyzing the writing style used in the reports, review Chapter 4 and the presentation in Bb titled “How to Write Clearly and Concisely.” In your analysis, refer to specific aspects of writing style, such as sentence length; close proximity of verbs to subjects; use of clear, concise, precise language; limited use of “be” verbs; and use of active voice vs passive voice; elimination of redundancies and double negatives.

      Illustrations – Describe the types of illustrations used in the reports. Are some types more common than others?

      Accident Descriptions – Explain the extent to which the descriptions of each accident are satisfactory. Are some more detailed than others? Why?

      Evidence of Causes – Explain the extent to which the reports provide clear, convincing evidence of what caused the accident (keeping in mind that one or more of the reports you chose might be preliminary).

      Recommended Changes – Explain the extent to which the reports make a persuasive case for changes that improve safety?

      Conclusion – What is your overall evaluation of the examples you examined?

    •   Be sure your response incorporates all other relevant principles of ethics, readability, document design,

      etc. addressed in previous chapters.

    •   Proofread and edit your work carefully.

  3. Save your response as a MS Word file. Be sure to use the correct file name, e.g., JaneDoeWeek8.docx.

  4. Upload your file by to the Week 8 link in the Assignments & Exams page of Bb by the due date and time.


As I evaluate your assignment, I will ask myself the following questions:

  •   Have you followed the instructions in this assignment sheet, in the assigned textbook exercise, and in the syllabus?

  •   Does your response show clear evidence that you have read and understood the assigned readings?

  •   Does your response conform to the criteria listed in the “Grades” section of the syllabus? 


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