Health & Human Services, Enrichment, and Business and Management Enrichment Health and Human Services Business & Management

Technical Writing

This course will introduce students to the fundamental concepts, forms, and practices of technical writing. Through discussions and exercises, students will explore the role of technical writing in the various stages of product definition, development, and delivery. While the course will use the product development environment as a focus, students will be able to generalize a set of principles and practices for writing about material in any technical field.

We will also practice several simple forms of technical writing and discuss the tools and training necessary for a career in technical writing.

This course is best suited for:

  • Anyone wanting to learn what technical writing is
  • New or junior-level technical writers
  • People in technical disciplines who are called on to write technical documents
  • Career-changers interested in technical writing
  • Managers with direct reports involved in technical communication

Participants should have a solid set of writing skills, some experience in a business setting, and a willingness to think in an analytic way about things they don't understand.

Course topics include:

  • Overview of Technical writing industry, roles, and outcomes (What is technical writing, who does technical writing, what kinds of documents are created by technical writers)
  • Fundamental principles of technical writing
  • Technical writing in the product development process (Product development life cycle) - What technical forms are written at what points in the cycle?
  • Best practices for technical writers (Planning projects, Estimating projects, & Working with subject matter experts)
  • Tools and training for technical writers (Software tools & Education/training/certificate courses)
  • Career opportunities for technical writers

Dick Cass has been a technical writer for nearly thirty years. He cut his professional teeth writing hardware and software documentation for technology giants like Apollo Computer, Hewlett Packard, Sun Microsystems, and Intel Corporation. After managing technical publications groups, his career evolved into publications consulting for technology projects, including project planning, staffing, and delivering written products: specifications, marketing communications, and technical documentation. He works with both small and large companies, but has a soft spot for two-people-in-a-garage companies trying to build something interesting. Doing business as Cass Communications, Inc. ( ) , he contracts for technical writing and publications projects, develops training programs, and delivers communications workshops for corporations and nonprofits. He also publishes freelance articles on scientific and technical subjects and has won prizes for his fiction.

Wednesday, May 7, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Registration has ended. Please browse courses for future offerings of this course.

$185 (6 contact hours/ 0.6 CEUs)
Abromson Center, 88 Bedford Street, USM Portland campus