On-Line Programs Offering Technical Writing

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On-line services such as AOL offer short-term courses covering technical writing and business and academic communications.

For communication, the format provides a forum for discussion and debate and an opportunity for staff consultation on individual writing, editing, and management problems.

At this institute a limited number of scholarships are available to help defray tuition costs. Registration forms may be obtained from:



Massachusetts Institute of Technology Director of the Summer Session Room El9-356 Cambridge, MA 02139

Rice University annually sponsors a workshop entitled Teaching Technical and Professional Communication. It is designed especially for teachers new to teaching technical and professional communication and for administrators responsible for developing new programs. To register, write:

Rice University Special Programs P.O. Box 1892 Houston, TX 77001

Another workshop, the Practice and Teaching of Technical and Professional Writing, has become a regular feature of Old Dominion University. Usually held in July, it includes such sessions as: Practical Criteria for Designing a Writing Course, the Rhetorical Background in Business and Professional Writing, Consulting, Word Processing, and Creating a Bibliography for Technical Writing Instructors. Information about this workshop can be obtained from:

Old Dominion University Department of English Norfolk, VA 25501

An annual event is the Institute in Technical Communication sponsored by the Southwestern Conference on the Two-Year Col-lege. More information may be obtained from:

Hinds Junior College Department of English Raymond, MS 39154 improve instruction in technical and professional communications in community colleges, universities, professional schools, industry, and government. Information about these two seminars may be obtained from:

University of Michigan Department of Humanities College of Engineering Ann Arbor, MI 48104

At Oklahoma State University, a workshop on teaching technical communication has been established. This workshop has been organized for teachers in secondary schools, vocational schools, and both two- and four-year colleges. Information may be obtained from:

Oklahoma State University Technical Writing Program Stillwater, OK 74074

During one week in October, a short course, Professional Technical Writing Workshop, is offered by the University of California at Los Angeles. This program is designed for executives, managers, physicians, engineers, technologists, and others who are having difficulty with developing and producing technical reports, memoranda, letters, and presentations. The intensive writing assignments and group discussions that follow periodic lectures are presented to illustrate new methods of organizing written materials. Participants learn to resolve their immediate problems and leave with valuable techniques that they can use in the future. Send inquiries to:

UCLA Extension

10995 Le Conte Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90024

A vigorous, one-week program in communicating technical information is held in August at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This program has been designed to help engineers, scientists, technical writers and editors, publications managers, and teachers of technical writing hone their skills. In addition to informal lectures on the principles that underlie successful technical writers from industry could meet to discuss and practice writing techniques under the supervision of experienced teachers in the technical writing field. It conducts teaching sessions, lectures, discussions, and demonstrations by recognized authorities from industry, government, and various technical writing agencies. This particular institute is aimed at: technical editors, writers, and special service groups; engineers and scientists in positions where an ability to write well is essential; and administrators supervising technical writing, training programs, and promotional work. For further information, write:

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Technical Writers' Institute Troy, NY 12181

Rensselaer also offers an annual Technical Writing Institute for Teachers. This program, conducted in June, is designed to assist teachers in acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to teach and develop courses in technical and professional writing at all educational levels. Representative sessions have included: From Teacher of Literature to Teacher of Technical Writing, Bibliogra-phy for Technical Writing, Audience Analysis, and Teaching Technical Writing in Industry.

For information, write:

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Technical Writing Institute for Teachers Troy, NY 12181

The University of Michigan has developed two short seminars in technical writing. One of these is Written Communications for Engineers, Scientists, and Technical Writers, held in August. This course is designed to improve the clarity and efficiency of scientific and technical communications. It focuses on organization, exposition, and style with special problems faced by the scientific and technical author.

The other seminar is Teaching Technical and Professional Communication, held in July. This conference has been designed to telling them to work out their projects. Some companies offer elaborate seminars to employees that are taught by professional educators. Many of the nation's most progressive companies, large and small, offer such courses because they find that training programs are an effective way of keeping their people alert and up to date. They are also a means of attracting good personnel to the company.

Technical writing training programs fit into several categories. One of these is the formal course offered at regular intervals on company time and run by a company employee who is or has been a technical writer.

Another form of teaching, which is usually conducted less formally, is provided by the company bringing in outside consultants. These consultants are likely to be teachers of technical writing, report writing, and technical composition; teachers who are well known for their practical experience in industry itself. Such a consultant is Robert R. Rathbone, who has been in charge of the technical writing program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for many years. Professor Rathbone purveys his knowledge through lectures, discussions, workshops, outside assignments, and editorial conferences.
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