I enrolled in ENG 3050: Technical Communication I to become more familiar with the concept of Technical Communications and to learn enough to be able to employ my skills outside of the class. The course itself is designed to prepare students for reading, researching, writing, and designing technical documents. I believe that my performance in this course has advanced my skills in those areas, and that I have progressed to the best of my ability.
This course has taught me to rethink the term “technical communication” in a very broad sense. For example, a resume is a form of technical communication. Previously, I may have thought of technical communication as instructions, manuals, etc., but I now have a better sense of what can be categorized as technical communication. The term encompasses much more than just instructions and manuals, and technical communication is more common than I originally thought.
In the case of the resume that I created, I learned how to make a resume of better quality with greater focus on the reader (the employer). I learned that I should gear the content of my resume toward the position in particular, exclude information that might not be relevant, list information in order of importance/relevance to the position I am applying for, and create a visual appearance that is appealing and professional. In the resume that I designed for this course, I employed all of these strategies to create a document that will be very useful to me outside of this course.
For this course, I also created a set of instructions that, in the process, allowed me to develop many other technical-communication specific skills. While trying to think about making the instructions, I tried to make them as reader-centered as possible. This meant that I had to think about the position of the reader, but this also meant that I had to do some research for the instructions. I watched people try to perform the task using my instructions, took notes, and revised my procedure.
As an aspiring technical writer, I know that I will eventually have to create many forms of technical communication. My greatest concern is my limited knowledge of technology. I am skilled in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, but I understand that I will have to expand my knowledge in order to make myself a more marketable and successful technical writer.