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‘It’s no accident I chose to study engineering rather than English literature.’
(Engineer in technical writing workshop)

Effective communication is essential to success in the workplace yet few technically trained people have any training in effective writing techniques. Engineers spend much of their time writing maintenance manuals, assessment reports, specifications and other documents. In addition, most day to day communication is in writing – in the form of emails.

This technical writing workshop is designed specifically for technically trained people. The workshop gives tips, advice and practical assistance on how to improve your writing. General principles of technical writing, which apply to all documents are discussed, as are a few specific documents such as standard operating procedures, specifications and laboratory reports.

Participants are invited (but not obliged) to send samples of their writing ahead of the session. One-on-one feedback sessions are held with those who choose to provide samples.
This workshop can be tailored to meet the needs of your organisation. Any templates used by your organisation may be discussed, and the particular forms of report your employees write e focused on.

James Hines

I recently attended and completed the Project Victor Project Management Professionals (PMP) exam prep course presented by Dr. Petros Rigas. The course content and the manner in which it was presented was outstanding to say the least. Dr. Rigas was able to bring understanding to the content and confidently answer all questions. All of the [...]

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Key Features of Technical Writing

What You Get in Class

  • A comprehensive set of workshop notes will be issued to every attendee.
  • Project Victor Course completion certification
  • 2-Days at a reputable hotel that includes 2 coffee breaks and International Buffet lunch
  • Pens, Pencils, Markers, Eraser

Instructor

Our instructor has a PhD from the Victoria University, Wellington. This follows her attaining a BA, LLB degree from Wits and an LLM (cum laude) from RAU. She also has a second LLM in advanced contract law from Wits and an MA from the Victoria University, Wellington. She has completed the Association of Arbitrators’ specialization in construction law and the Higher Diploma in Arbitration and was tutor for the Association’s well-respected courses. She has taught law for more than twenty years and has written training courses, manuals and seminar notes for the construction and other industries. She has lectured law both to lay people and law students and has conducted numerous training seminars for the construction industry. She provides ongoing consulting services to private firms and government.

She has a particular interest in risk allocation in standard construction contracts, and the FIDIC Contracts in particular. She has provided training on these matters in Africa, the Pacific, and Australasia. She is an associate member of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute New Zealand and a member of the Society of Construction Law, New Zealand.

Course Duration

Two Days (equivalent to 14 Contact Hours or Professional Development Units (PDUs)

Course Objectives

Delegates who have attended this workshop should:

  • see an immediate improvement in the quality of their writing
  • recognise their own writing challenges
  • be able to recognise and correct common flaws
  • gain the skills required to plan and write clear, concise documents.

Practical Workshop

This workshop is practical and hands-on. Delegates are given useful tools which they can immediately apply in the workplace. The presenter will lead delegates through the process of writing a report and will identify common mistakes at each stage of the process. Delegates will complete exercises drawn from technical material. Comprehensive notes are

provided. These include:

  • Lists of common mistakes.
  • Lists of problematic terms.
  • Proofreading checklists.
  • Practical exercises.

Course Outline

Topics covered in this workshop include:

  • What makes a good report?
  • What makes a poor report?
  • The ‘curse of knowledge’ – how knowing your topic too well can lead to poor writing.
  • The importance of reader rapport.
  • Identifying your writing blocks and tips to overcome them.
  • Dealing with interruptions and distractions.

  • Identifying your reader.
  • Selecting what information to include.
  • Deciding what order to present the information in.
  • Choosing a format for your document.
  • Mind mapping and other planning techniques.

  • Overcoming the risk of being misconstrued.
  • Ensuring your email is read and responded to.
  • Email etiquette.
  • Formulating your subject line, greeting and other aspects of the message.
  • Addressing a number of different people in an email.
  • Using attachments.

  • Writing a standard operating procedure (SOP).
  • Writing conclusions and recommendations.
  • Writing an executive summary.
  • Writing a laboratory report.
  • Using appendices.
  • Using figures and tables.

  • Paragraphs.
  • Sentences, including ‘run on’ sentences and fragments of sentences.
  • Bullets and numbering.
  • Using numerals and units.
  • Vocabulary, including clichés, grandiose terms, redundancy, technical terms and jargon.
  • Active and passive tense.
  • Punctuating correctly.
  • Matching singular and plural.
  • The misplaced ‘only’.
  • Parallelism in lists and sentences.

  • Proofreading tips.
  • What to look for in your own work and the work of others.
  • Identifying your writing ‘tics’.
  • Using spellcheck and grammer checking tools.

Download detailed course syllabus

Download Brochure (PDF)

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