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Lecture 01A
(Week 01, Period A)

Lecture 01A -- Chapters 1, 5,

I.  Chapter 1

Chapter 1 talks about the basics of technical writing.  Technical writing involves both content, format, and/or medium of the writing.  It includes sales brochures, assembly manuals, repair manuals, and many other items that normal individuals get from business, school, and government.  Other technical documents may be internal within an organization, from one expert to another or from expert to non-expert.

Markel also talks about the characteristics of good technical writing.  Remember that you can accidentally miss the mark and create bad technical writing, or you can miss the mark on purpose and create evil technical writing.

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II. Chapter 5

Audience and purpose.  Your purpose is to give your audience certain information and frequently to get a specific action from the audience. 

Also, whether technical writing is good or not can depend on the audience.  Look at two different sets of directions for installing a hard drive:

Samsung installation
Seagate Installation Guide

One set of instructions is much more detailed than the other, but that may be due to different audiences; the Samsung instructions could be appropriate for a technician, while the Seagate is better designed for an end user who is not an expert.

The text gives a form to help you determine who your audience is and how you should relate to them.  I've adapted the textbook's audience analysis sheet for this class -- download the pdf and turn it in (as a pdf is fine) when called for in the assignment.

          analysis sheet

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IV. Thesis exercises

During this part of the lecture, look at the thesis exercises.

The hardest thing you'll be doing with your thesis is getting it narrow enough.

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V. Veal Calf ad

During this part of the lecture, look at the veal calf ad.


Veal consumer/
Veal farmer
Senator Vitter
Bon Appé
Progressive farmer
Letter to editor
of the Morning Advocate
So what?
1. Pity for the calf
2. Personal health
Lower income because
of boycott
1. Votes
2. Campaign $
1. Don't buy veal!
2. Send $ to the HFA
Don't raise veal.
Pass a law

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