Over the semester, I have made a great extent of progress in technical writing, both in skills and broadening my understanding of its concepts. Technical writing is a form of writing that is particularly used in the contexts of technical disciplines such as engineering, aeronautics, electronics, and computer hardware among other occupational fields in the technical communication field. Technical writing has the purpose of informing or clarifying something to its audience. Technical writers present their information in the form of manuals, proposals, websites, reports, or resumes. The target audience can be a particular group of individuals who are found in the particular occupational field of the topic of discussion. This type of writing is different from the academic writing which focuses on academic disciplines with the aim of expressing a new point of view or presenting new findings of research. Academic writing addresses disciplines in natural sciences and social sciences and targets scholars of a particular discipline as its audience. Presentations are made in the form of academic journal articles, dissertations, and research papers.
Throughout the semester, I have done several technical writing assignments which have been my primary source of learning and experience. Through these tasks, I have learned to analyze, come up with a report and present it to an audience in PowerPoint. In this particular task, I was required to study the process of constructing a bridge over a vast river, come up with a step by step report from the beginning of the process to the end, and present this in PowerPoint. I have also learned how to draft a personality profile in social media, particularly LinkedIn, how to prepare a mind map for a project, how to open a website for an online advertising company, and how to write a business proposal for an animal feeds project.
All these assignments had a significant impact on my progress, but two of them had the greatest impact. These are the assignments on the process of a bridge construction and the one on opening a website. From the former, I learned the art of paying close attention to an orderly way of doing things. The process was a step by step one, and I had to follow up the procedure as it was. Preparing it on PowerPoint required the same art from one slide to another. Presenting it to an audience helped me a great deal to work on my confidence and skills in public speaking. Creating a website was one of the hardest but most exciting after it was completed. I learnt a lot on how Google operates, how to reach a wider audience and most of all, how to maximize creation of revenue from every space on the website. This was a great eye-opener and motivation for my future career.
Technical writing has its share of challenges for the writers. First, technical assignments are mostly complex and require a lot of patience and concentration to finish them. Personally, I am not much a technical person, and I dont like complexities. For instance, my assignment on creating the website was such a hard task for me, and I had to make numerous consultations with the experts to complete it. Fortunately, it ended up as one of the fascinating projects for me once it was completed. Due to the complexity of these projects, they take up long hours. Assignments have deadlines to be met, and the writer has to keep up with the deadline. In other instances, there is little information about the project or product that one is researching on. This requires a writer to struggle to look for materials to fill up the required content. Another challenge is the ever-changing field of technical communication under which technical writing falls. The projects and products are technology-related, and this technology keeps advancing. This means that the information in technical writing has to be occasionally updated. Regarding that, I have experienced some projects that need to be repeated and reworked on since they missed particular latest information. These form the main drawbacks that I face but have learned to handle them with time.
The knowledge acquired in technical writing can be applied to other courses in life. For instance, skills acquired in designing a website as a writer can be applied in creating income. A writer can become a professional web designer and earn a living out of it. The art of concentration and being keen to details can be applicable in other courses such as medicine for the doctors and nurses. The skills can also be helpful in academic writing especially when conducting research on a particular topic. The keenness and level of accuracy for these two kinds of writings are the same if one is to attain perfection. Generally, skills in technical writing can be very beneficial for the students undertaking technical courses such as engineering and information technology.
In summary, technical writing has been such an informative adventure for me throughout the semester, with its challenging and exciting moments. My most favorite part has been gaining the experience to come up with a piece of a product, for example, the website, from scratch. This has helped me realize the potential I hold. The least favorite part has been the frustration of having to do and redo a piece until I acquire perfection.
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