Technical Writing and Reading

Rationale Statement:
This course is designed to provide students with technical reading skills, and writing skills. This course is general in nature, in that it relates to Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) rather than to a specific career. It will assist them to become more prepared for a wide range of careers. In this way, it will provide them with improved career opportunities, advanced educational opportunities, and lifelong learning.

Suggested Grade Level: 9-12

Topics covered:
· Technical Reading
· Technical writing procedures
· Producing technical documents
· Using the computer in technical writing

Indicator #1: Students will read technical documents.
Bloom’s Taxonomy Level

Standard and Examples
Analysis
RW.1.1 Read and interpret specification sheets
Examples:
  • Read through the data sheets provided by various auto manufacturers, and develop a chart comparing several pickups
  • Secure the specification sheets for several stereo sound systems, based on the data presented in these documents, ask the class to determine which system is the best
  • Secure and read the specification sheets for a number of hybrid vehicles and assess the cost effectiveness of purchasing/trading in on one of these vehicles
Comprehension
RW.1.2 Read and interpret user manuals
Examples:
  • Using the manual, connect a TV to a DVD/VCR
  • Read the manual for an automobile to trouble shoot a problem
  • Read a software manual to install and make an application ready to use
Comprehension
RW.1.3 Read and interpret instruction manuals
Examples:
  • Read a set of assembly instructions to assemble a product
  • From an exploded drawing assemble a mechanical device
  • Read a safety manual and demonstrate the proper method for using a tool
Comprehension
RW.1.4 Read and interpret a lab reports
Examples:
  • Read a lab report comparing various materials used in plumbing and give a presentation explaining which type of material is best
  • Read a lab report comparing various sound systems and explain which system is best
  • Read and interpret reports on lubricants currently being used in the auto/small engine industry and explain which is best for a given application



Indicator #2: Students will use technical writing procedures.

Bloom’s Taxonomy Level
Standards and Examples
Application
RW.2.1 Apply technical format to written documents

Examples:
  • Use bulleted/numbered lists
  • Sentence length 25 words or less
  • Use imperative voice/action verbs
  • Good use of white space
Application
RW.2.2 Develop the writing team

Examples:
  • Select a team appropriate for the assignment
  • Maximize team output through collaboration
  • Match specific writing assignments with team member skills
Application
RW.2.3 Apply the concepts of audience, focus, purpose in written documents

Examples:
  • Document is appropriate for the skill level of the audience
  • The purpose of the document is met
  • Unnecessary words and phrases are excluded from the document
Application
RW.2.4 Apply appropriate design in creating graphics in the technical document

Examples:
  • Clearly understood drawings
  • Proper use of color
  • Design drawing with clearly understood labels



Indicator #3: Students will produce technical documents.
Bloom’s Taxonomy Level
Standards and Examples
Synthesis
RW.3.1 Develop an Instructional Manual

Examples:
  • Create a set of instructions for the assembly of a mechanical toy
  • Write a manual for the installation of a software application
  • Develop a manual for the repair of a malfunctioning engine/motor
Synthesis
RW.3.2 Write a Lab Report

Examples:
  • Build paper airplanes and test drag and lift using a wind tunnel. Summarize the outcomes in a report
  • Assemble various types of model bridges, test each under load, and write a report on the outcome
  • Collect data about the types of vehicles in the school parking lot; color, country of origin, type. Write a report describing the data using charts and graphics
Synthesis
RW. 3.3 Write a Specification Sheet

Examples:
  • Write a specification sheet describing different types of materials used in metal fabrication
  • Create a specification sheet to compare various types of pick-ups
  • Develop a specification sheet to compare alternative types of vehicles (hybrid vs. fuel efficient)
Synthesis
RW.3.4 Write a user manual

Examples:
  • Write a user manual for a “widget”
  • Write a user manual for a digital camera
  • Rewrite and improve a user manual for a shop tool



Indicator #4: Students will utilize computers in the creation of technical documents.
Bloom’s Taxonomy Level
Standards and Examples
Analysis
RW.4.1 Demonstrate effective use of the computer to perform research

Examples:
  • Analyze images, video, text, and sound in media for accuracy, validity and influence
  • Use the internet to compile accurate data
  • Use online chats, and blogs to communicate and analyze information
Application
RW.4.2 Demonstrate effective written communication

Examples:
  • Students will use word processing program to create a description of innovations in the energy industry
  • Students will use spread sheet software to determine the cost of a construction project
  • Students will use presentation software to present a proposed project
Application
RW.4.3 Demonstrate effective graphic communication

Examples:
  • Use CAD software application to present product information
  • Publish documents using advanced publishing software and graphic programs
  • Present prototype data to the class using charts and graphs