Re: High School Technical Writing introduction

Subject: Re: High School Technical Writing introduction
From: "Gutierrez, Diane" <Diane -dot- Gutierrez -at- WESTGROUP -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 1998 08:42:51 -0600

Think like a high school student? Having one in the house and two more hard
behind, I think this will help: (casual and pragmatic)

What the heck does a tech writer do?
Is it fun work? What is fun about it?
What do I have to know? Can a ....(computer whiz kid, Nintendo master,
etc.) hack it?
What do I have to learn? Is it going to be difficult to learn or require a
lot of work?
How long do I have to study before breaking into the field?
How do I know if I have what it takes? How do I know if I will like it?
Show me samples of tech writing.
What kinds of tech writing are there?
Do I have to know computer programming? Software? Math?
What are the prospects of meeting the opposite sex? Are they interesting?
Are there people like me in the field? (particularly relevant to
How easy will it be to find and choose jobs? What is the pay? How does it
stack up with other salaries? How easy is it to move up?
What is the prestige and glamour in this job?

These are really a mixture of the adolescent self-centered thinking and the
young adult's anxiety about the future. At this age, college is only a dark
shape looming on the horizon and the future pretty fuzzy beyond that. They
need things to bite on that are relevant to ME NOW. A tie-in to the teenage
computer/games crazes and their documentations would be interesting. Save
the "analyze, procedure, notes, drafts", etc. for when they get more
Good luck,--D.

-----Original Message-----
From: Lenore Weiss [mailto:Lenore_Weiss -at- WINK -dot- COM]
Sent: Thursday, December 03, 1998 7:04 PM
Subject: High School Technical Writing

I am the community outreach coordinator for my local STC (Society for
Technical Communication) chapter.
We are working with the Oakland Unified School District to launch a pilot
program in three high schools about technical literacy. Right now, I'm
developing an outline for the classroom mentoring portion of the program in
the inner city. These classroom materials are intended to prepare students
for a technical literacy contest. Any classroom material will be
coordinated with the real life of the classroom and student projects. Right
now, I'm trying to develop a possible flow. Here's my first building

Set 1
How did I become a technical writer (introduction, personal story)
What does a technical writer do?
What is audience? How do you understand / write for an audience?
What is procedural writing?

Set 2
How do you analyze a project?
How do you read and understand technical materials?
How do you take notes?
What is a first draft? How do you prepare it?

For a moment, think like a high school student. What would you want to
Add your ideas? Suggest other approaches?

Thanking you in advance.


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