Re: Incorporating Pagemaker in a Tech Writing Class?

Subject: Re: Incorporating Pagemaker in a Tech Writing Class?
From: robyn <robyn -at- MAIL -dot- GOT -dot- NET>
Date: Tue, 3 Mar 1998 20:09:28 -0800

At Carnegie Mellon University, Professional and/or Technical Writing majors
are required to take many courses involving PageMaker. Some of them are:

Communication Design Fundamentals
Desktop Publishing
Intro to Prof/Tech Writing
Adv. Prof/Tech Writing

Also, document design is being taught not only in these classes, but others,
such as Online Information Design and Planning and Testing Documents.

I've been interviewed by several companies, and they all seem to be impressed
by my exposure to design. I can't see how this would be out of line for
non-tech writers, especially for Computer Science majors. Many of them will
become programmers, who often have significant input on the design of a
product. Also, in some companies, the developers are responsible for their own

While FrameMaker is used more than PageMaker in the industry, PageMaker is a
much better design tool. Teaching both Page and Frame would be great!

I could probably write much more on this subject. You could check the CMU
course catolog. Their home page is


Michael R Moore wrote:

> Greetings.
> Our Technical Writing courses here at the University of Arizona will be
> held in computer labs beginning in the fall (75% of class time in the lab
> and 25% in a classroom).
> While my query to TECHWR-L subscribers specifically concerns Pagemaker,
> I'm eager to know your thoughts on technical writing curricula in general:
> did you have a college-level tech writing course? Did it include a
> substantial unit on design elements, page layout, or graphics?
> As part of our move into wired classrooms, we're considering how to best
> use that environment without losing the focus on writing and editing. Do
> you think a substantial unit on design and graphics is outside the scope
> of a Technical Writing class, or given the nature of the field today,
> should it be emphasized?
> For context, although the course catalogue lists the upper-division course
> as "Technical Writing," many instructors think of it as "Technical
> Communication," thus allowing for more leeway beyond writing and editing.
> (In my class, for example, students have an option to create their own
> typeface, using Typographer.) Also, very few -- if any -- students will go
> on to become freelance Technical Writers, but are preparing for fields in
> Engineering, Computer Science, Forestry, etc.
> I look forward to your thoughts on this question. Thanks in advance.
> Michael Moore

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