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TOP TIPS FOR TECHNICAL TRAINING

CREATE DOCUMENTS THAT

MATCH THE AUDIENCE THEY

ARE INTENDED FOR

It takes training and practice to write at the appropriate level

for your audience. There are four different features of a text

that affect its readability or ease of reading. These are:

• Content - the ideas you want to communicate that make

use of the prior knowledge and interest of the audience you

are writing for.

• Style - including the word choice and sentence structure

that correctly matches the reading level of your audience.

• Structure - the organisation of your ideas, flow of the

subject matter and signposting through the use of headings,

table of contents and page numbers etc.

• Design - this includes layout, type face, font size,

illustrations, diagrams etc. so that the overall document

looks appealing to the reader.

The readers have characteristics that affect their success in

reading a text:

• Prior knowledge - what they already know about the

subject.

• Reading skill - measured in grade levels, but should

always be estimated on the low side to make reading easy

even for the expert audience.

• Interest - how interested are they in the message you are

aiming to convey?

• Motivation - how motivated are they to read what you

have written? Do they just want the gist of it, or do they

need the full detail?

WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?

Your professional credibility is on the line with every

document, report or e-mail that you issue. Your readers

will make judgements on your educational level, integrity,

attention to detail, literacy and professional presentation with

every document they encounter. You owe it to yourself to do

a good job and not issue anything that does not meet your

professional standards.

Do: Check spelling and grammar; Be clear and concise;

Make sure formatting is perfect and that it's easy to read.

Don't: Make spelling mistakes; Cram everything together.

For more information refer to the IMechE CV Writing Guide:

http://www.imeche.org/careers-education/careersinformation/mechanical-engineering-careers-guide/

write-a-great-cv.

WHAT'S IN IT FOR MY

ORGANISATION?

A study by the US Navy concluded that business memos

written in plain English could save between $27-37 million of

their officers' time each year.

Plain English revisions of mail re-direction forms used by the

Royal Mail saved over £500,000 in the first 9 months of use.

So what is plain English? It is a style of communication that

is clear, easy to understand and straight forward. It avoids big

words and long sentences.

Using plain English and writing simply increases the number

of people who will read what you have written and will also

increase the amount they read.

HOW DO YOU MEASURE UP?

Take the test and see if you can answer these 5 common grammar mistake questions.

Which is correct?

A. The oil spill badly affected the sea life in Mexico.

B. The oil spill badly effected the sealife in Mexico.

C. The oil spill badly effected the sea life in Mexico.

D. The oil spill badly affected the sealife in Mexico.

Which is correct?

A. The Engineer visited London regularly.

B. The engineer visited london regularly.

C. The engineer visited London regularly.

D. The Engineer visited london regularly..

Which is correct?

A Their going too visit a customer in Italy.

B. They're going to visit a customer in Italy.

C. There going to visit a customer in Italy.

D. They're going too visit a customer in Italy.

Which is correct?

A. Please don't forget you're laptop.

B. Please dont forget you're laptop.

C. Please don't forget your laptop.

D. Please dont forget your laptop.

Which is correct?

A. The printer stopped - it's ink cartridge's needed

replacing.

B. The printer stopped - ittraining@imeche.orgeded replacing.

C. The printer stopped - it's ink cartridges needed

replacing.

D. The printer stopped - its ink cartridge's needed

replacing.

Confident in your answer? Email training@imeche.org and if you've picked all 5 correct, win £100 off your next course.

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