4 Special Techniques of Technical Writing
4 Special Techniques of Technical Writing
The four special techniques are DEFINITION, DESCRIPTION OF MECHANISM, DESCRIPTION OF A PROCESS, and CLASSIFICATION. These techniques are not types of reports and it is important to remember that these techniques usually appear in a single report. It would be exceptional to find an entire report, even a short one, only one of these techniques. For example, two containing or more techniques might be closely interwoven as a writer described the design, construction, and operation of a mechanism. The intermingling of these techniques, however, does not alter the basic principles of their use. These techniques can be studied most effectively by taking one technique at a time.
In technology, words have precise, specific meanings; therefore there is a need for defining a technical term clearly. The extent to which a term should be defined or the length of a definition depends on the writer’s purpose and the knowledge level of the reader. Before going to the problem of “how to define”, it is better to “think about what should be defined first.” It is not possible of course, to set up an absolute list of terms and ideas that would require definition, not even for a specific body of readers, but it is possible and desirable to clarify the point of view from which the problem of definition should be attacked.
2. Description of a Mechanism
A mechanism is generally defined as any object or system that has a working part or parts. Most often the term suggests tools, instruments, and machines. But other examples of mechanisms could be the human body and systems like the universe or a city, which is composed of parts that work together like parts of a machine. A technical man constantly works with mechanisms and always needs to understand them; what they do, what they look like, what parts they have, and how these parts work together. There are three fundamental divisions of the description and these are the introduction, the part-by-part description, and the conclusion.
3. Description of a Process
A process is a series of actions, and fundamentally the description of a process is the description of action. The action may be either one of two types. One type is that in which attention is focused on the performance of a human being, or possibly a group of human beings. A simple example is filing a work piece by hand; in a description of this process, emphasis would fall naturally upon the human skills required. The other type involves action in which a human operator either is not directly concerned at all, or inconspicuous. An instance is the functioning of a contactor.
Classification is the orderly, systematic arrangement of related things in accordance with a governing principle or basis. The classifier notes the structural and functional relationships among things that constitute a class. In recording this relationships, the classifier employs certain conventional terms. Acquaintance with these convenient terms will make the rest easy to follow.
Mechanism is generally defined as any object or system that has a working part or parts while the Process is a series of actions and fundamentally is the description of action. Mechanism also has three fundamental divisions of description namely the introduction, the part-by-part description, and the conclusion. Process in the other hand has two types of action. The first type is focused on the performance of the human being or possibly a group of human beings. The second type involves action in which a human operator either is not directly concerned at all, or inconspicuous.
Example of Each Technique:
-An Electrician is a Technician
-A technique is a systematic procedure used to accomplish a complex or scientific task.
Description of Mechanism
-The pendulum of the clock swings to the left. The pallet moves in the opposite direction to the right. The right leg of the pallet engage a tooth of the escape wheel.
Description of a Process
-A dropped of blood traced through the entire body takes the following course: the blood with oxygen from the lungs goes through the pulmonary veins to the left auricle, to the left ventricle, and then to the aorta or great artery. This artery and its branches carry the blood to all parts of the body.
-According to fuel consumption, cars can be categorized into two types, hybrid cars and regular cars.