What is Technical Communication?

shared by tballard on October 13, 2015

Activity Summary:

A presentation and activity meant to introduce students to Technical Communication


This presentation and activity can be used to introduce your English 314 students to the field of technical communication. Often, we find that our ENGL 314 students have little to no idea of what “technical communication” means, so this presentation sheds a bit of light on what the field is and why it is important to study.

The activity at the end of this presentation asks students to analyze various kinds of technical communication. The class period before showing this presentation, you should ask students to bring in examples of technical communication to class. These examples could include instruction manuals, contracts, Cy-Ride maps, student handbooks, technical specifications, etc. Alternatively, you can bring in some examples for students to use during the activity.

The presentation covers the following:

  • Different terms for the field
  • Various definitions of “technical communication”
  • Emphasis on why students need to learn this material
  • Information about the rhetorical situation and technical writing process
  • Examples of different genres of technical communication
  • An activity that asks students to analyze examples of technical communication

By the end of this presentation, students should have a clearer idea of what technical communication is, what kinds of documents are produced by technical communicators, and why this is an important area of study.