Technical Writing

you hello in this class we are going to look at with some detail at this topic on technical writing now technical writing is a very important part of doing formal research and that's the reason why we are going to spend this class looking at technical writing it is also important to go through this class because technical writing is very different from other forms of writing and so through this class I will try to highlight what is special about technical writing what are aspects that you should be aware of that you should pay attention to as you do technical writing so that it's something that comes off well when you attempt to do it so when we say technical writing that's actually a more general phrase that I have put there more specifically what we tend to do is to publish as it is called publish articles in journals okay so there are journals in which we publish articles so this is what we refer to as technical writing in the context of research okay and incidentally while I go over this class there is one very good reference book for this which I have personally found very useful so I would encourage you to take a look it is called the craft of scientific writing by Michael Abbey and it's a springer or a publication book so if you get a chance please take a look at the book it's a very nicely written book which very methodically explains to you what the scientific writing and how you go about it actually talks about the broader range of scientific documents that one might write in this particular class I would focus more on Journal based writing but this talks of a much broader range of kind of writing that scientists might do including publishing in no more general audience kind of articles so if you get a chance to take a look at the book it's a very well-written book very easy to read doesn't get into too many difficult technical terms it you you can follow it very smoothly and and benefit from it and implement it pretty nicely so that's something that when you get a chance take a look in any case we will go over this topic the more focused manner with respect to general articles so that's what we will do so right so one of the things that we will look at first of all is we will have to revisit some of the ideas that I present right at the beginning towards the end of the class we will look at it again but just to get you an idea of what is involved here when you say a journal article there's a certain process involved so it is very different from the processes involved for various other things so that's why I thought I should first highlight that process for you and then we will get on to the topic itself so the general process is this so as a researcher you run some experiments in the lab or you run some simulation in the lab and you get some results so if you have found something new so that's one of the important underlying concepts here that it is something that is new new with respect to water new with respect to all the body of information that is out there okay so we will so these are things that we'll have to revisit in a moment but I just tell you in any case so it is something new that you have discovered in your lab and that you want to communicate it to the general scientific audience that the process by which you do that is called this journal article so you write an article in which you write you know this is the experiment you did these are the results you obtain this is the significance of the result that you obtain this is the context in which the result has to be understood and then you send it off to a journal so there are many journals out there you have to pick a journal which pertains to which publishes articles in the same area that you are trying to publish and then the journal will receive your article it will then send it to some number of independent experts in that area okay so they don't just publish it simply because you have sent it they will send it to some bunch of independent experts who will review that article who look at the article that you have sent and then make an assessment whether that article indeed represents something new in that area is it something significant in that area is it something worth publishing so they will send their recommendations so they may say that you know it is very good you can directly publish it or they may say no specific things we need some clarification on and once you provide that clarification it can be published so they will give some recommendations you will have to respond to those recommendations and when that process is complete if the result is positive meaning the reviewers those people who are the experts who review their article if they are happy with the article in that it represents new scientific work and its significant work then they will recommend to the journal saying this is worth publishing so then your article gets published it gets printed these days it's with online journals with many journals having online versions it will first appear on an online site as an official publication as an official paper published in that journal so that is the general process so over the years people have been publishing like this in established journals so journals get established in specific areas so there could be one in mathematics there could be one in physics there could be several in physics several in mathematics several in material science and even in material science there may be something related to welding that may be something related to nanomaterials and so on so for various topics there are journals okay so in those journals historically articles have been getting published in a very specific area so that constitutes a body of formal information that is away of experiments that have been conducted by various researches all over the world so you may do research in a lab which you have never ever informed anybody so that is not something then that is formally available for people to refer to only when you publish in a journal it is something that other researchers can look at similarly when you do research you look at these same journal articles published by other researchers so that's the way in which we first gauge that we are doing something that is new I mentioned right at the beginning that for you to publish in a journal you have one of the defining criteria is that it is new work ok so how do you first of all prove that it is new work one way in which you prove that this new work is you compare it with the work of other researchers in the same area and you do this comparison using articles published by them so you use prior published journal articles to justify your current article ok so so this is the process by which you are I know comparing your work with previously published journal articles and if it compares favorably if there's something nice in it something new in it then it adds to that same body of information and your article also now becomes a journal article ok so so that is the process so therefore journal articles and therefore technical writing is a very important aspect of research and as researchers we have I mean this is one common activity that we participated in fact in a very general sense one of the measures of scientific contribution is the journal articles that you publish it's not the only way to measure how good your work is but one of the measures is how many journal articles you have published in which journals you are published because some journals set standards which are considered very high and therefore it's considered very difficult to publish in those journals and so if you publish in those journals your it is automatically assumed that you have done a very high quality work so that's the general context in which we talk about publication in journals so now one of the issues that ok so we are now going to talk about this journal article process and the journal technical writing process and the some of the details associated with it but before we do that we will take a step back and I will just very brief we introduced to you things that you already know and the reason I will do that is it is exactly for this reason that you know these other things that I'm going to show you that technical writing is challenging and that's the reason I am going to show them to you so as a general person many of the things that you read are different forms of literature ok so so for example here so here are a set of storybooks okay so these are our novels famous novels which you have likely read and there are many more these are old classic novels there are many more recent novels and so on so this constitutes a form of literature this is available you can buy it you can read it this is also published ok so this is published literature the other the other thing that you are very familiar with on a daily basis is newspapers so you get newspapers every day deliver to your home or to your office and we tend to look through them live through them read them and there's a wide range of different types of articles that appear in newspapers so this is again something that you are really familiar with these are magazines ok so this is again another form of literature that you are likely familiar with and you have seen many times this is just some samples some samples that I have picked up but there are many other journals and many other magazines that you would have read so these are commonplace literature ok so that is commonly available and this is the kind of written material that we are more familiar with growing up these are the kinds of things that we read ok so I have some more examples here so these so these three for example here these are journal articles so these three that I'm going to show you here are journal articles so these are journal articles so this is what we are going to look at in greater detail ok so this is a journal article I will again get to show it to you in a detail and also explain various parts of it and so on but this is a journal article each there are three articles here one two and three and and you can look up many more such articles on the Internet so right the reason why I showed you these different forms of written material that you can access is that they represent totally different styles of writing okay so that is the first thing that you should recognize that you have literature out there that you you are likely reading very often but much of that is very different first of all they are different from each other and they're certainly very different from a journal article or a technical technical scientific document and most of the time the greatest difficulty that students face is recognizing this difference okay so for example if you take a story book so when you see look at story books the intent is to there are they are all written for various different intentions but they're basically one of the underlying ideas that you see is that the author would like to keep you interested in the book try to make any person who picks up the book get engrossed in the book to read all the way to the end of the book so that's so the its intended to be something that any art any person picking up will stick to the book and try and read to the end of the book so that's the kind of intent with which the book is written often if it is a mystery novel or a suspense novel etcetera specific details will be hidden okay so specific details will be hidden so that all the way to the end as a reader you are confused you are you are unable to latch on to that specific technical detail which they they have hidden somewhere very nicely in that story and again the greatest pleasure that you get from the book is how well they have hidden the detail from you and you know you feel filled that you know it was right there in front of you and you never noticed it and the authors Springs the surprise on you so that's how a typical suspense novel is written newspaper articles on the other hand are written on day to day events that occur and so that the focus is the urgency with which that information is being conveyed to you the key details that are being presented to you and the know concise way which they are get able to get expert opinions and put it out there for you so that's how a newspaper article gets put together magazine articles extend what the newspaper provide to you they give you much more no they give you some context in which the issues are being discussed again they are written by various different people and presented to you based on the nature of that magazine so there may be at magazine on interior decoration then they only talk about a period decoration articles there may be others on current events and so on so these are all different they are all written for different audiences different level of depth different level of reading patience that they expect from you and so on but one of the things that you would notice about these is that they are not necessarily sent to three reviewers to get reviewed etcetera they may have some review process the publisher may have some reviewer process to understand whether it is something that they want to get into but in that in a fundamental sense they are not in quite the same way that a technical article is written technical article formally requires the multiple experts to review it to say that it is new work and that's how it becomes a technical article but there's more to it you to enable this process to occur smoothly there are various aspects associated with technical writing that we have to become familiar with okay so that is what we will look at right so we will now look at why we do technical writing so why should you do technical writing the primary reason piyo to technical writing is to get credit for your work okay so the primary reason for technical writing is to get formal credit for your work so as a researcher as I said you know one of the things that people look at is the number of publications you have as some measure of how how much you have been contributing to the scientific community is just one measure but that is a measure and when you publish in an in a journal it means that you have done something new which other people have not done before which certainly other articles in journals have not mentioned before and therefore you are now credited with it so in future people will say that so-and-so was the first first person who did this work okay so that is the important reason for this to get credit for your work and and that is a particular reason why you should be coming up with technical writing of course what you do when you get credit for your work is also you you are informing people about new results so that's an another important thing that you're doing in the process so you are conveying information conveying important new information okay so you are conveying important new information so what this information gets used for is a different story so for example based on what you have discovered some public policy may be changed okay so for example if people are trying to find one form of fuel versus another form of fuel and your work is the first work that shows that one form of fuel is cleaner than the other form of fuel and you are able to convincingly prove that then maybe the government will then fund the first kind of fuel in preference to the second kind of fuel or at least this will be one of the factors that will help them decide so there's a lot of public policy that is affected by research that is done and in all cases it is not just a person's view that gets taken into account it is what they have actually published that really makes the difference so not only you get credit for your work your work then gets formally used for other purposes including forming policies and so on so therefore technical writing is important it it is good for you for your profession it's good for the scientific community because it helps the scientific community in a systematic manner keep track of all the accomplishments of various scientists around the world and to help the scientific community share this information between various scientists and therefore it is very important and then it also gets used so this is the reason why you shouldn't do technical hit'em okay so now having understood why you need to do technical writing we immediately I think should address this point as to why is it difficult why is technical writing difficult so first of all I must step back a bit and tell you that most students most research students if you ask the most graduate students who are writing there who are in the initial years of the Graduate Studies for postgraduate studies who are writing their first paper or second paper most of them will tell you that it is a difficult process it is not an easy process and there are various reasons for it the main reason is that most students are not aware of what is required in a technical document what is required in a journal paper and therefore they write things that are perhaps not appropriate for a journal or not in the appropriate format for the journal and one of the primary reasons for that is exactly what I showed you right at the beginning is that we are very familiar with things like magazines newspapers novels mystery novels and so on those are the more common forms of literature that we are very familiar with so and as I mentioned they all have a different style of writing and because they have a different style of writing and they are intended for a different audience and more importantly they are intended for a different purpose because it is like that when you read that and that is in the back of your mind saying you know that's how an article is written I read this book it felt really good so when I write a journal article for it to be good I should write along those lines that's the kind of imagination that we end up having and that's exactly wrong primarily because that was intended for a totally different purpose a journal article is intended for a totally different purpose so the manner in which we write these two ends up being very different you may think that maybe even though the purpose is different you can still write the same way it doesn't work that way if you write the same wait at the journal article becomes a very poor journal article it will get returned to you saying that this is not the way you write it okay so so therefore the familiarity we have with other forms of writing is actually works to our disadvantage in the case of technical writing at least till we become aware of it once you become aware of it it's fine you can always read all forms of writing recognize that they're different from a technical journal article and then continue writing a technical journal article so that's therefore the primary thing that we have to become alert to aware of and implement appropriately in our activity so therefore it is generally very difficult and so mainly because of as I said examples that we are familiar with examples that we are familiar with which mislead us inadvertently mislead us because they were they were just written for a different audience unconsciously we just pick up those habits and try and pass it off to journals to our technical writing which doesn't work correctly and very high expectations of first draft if you talk to a graduate student this may be the most common complaint that you will descend to from a graduate student or a postgraduate student who has just started writing papers about their work they will say you know I wrote something I gave it to my advisor and then he wanted some changes I made those changes I sent it back he wanted some more changes so this is the process that goes on and the student feels frustrated thinking that you know I have finished the work why are we wasting time let's just put it out there and primarily the issue is that they feel that the very first draft that they wrote if already fine all the results are there let's just go put it out there but we with experience you realize that often the first draft certainly the first draft of a first two three papers after which you will learn I'm for sure you will learn how to write it better the first draft or the first two three papers that you write tends to be very poorly written from the perspective of technical writing and therefore it becomes very frustrating to the student because they don't know that they are not doing it correctly and they end up writing the wrong thing all the time and it gets corrected and they do not completely appreciate what is being corrected in the paper so those are the things that we hope that when you get done you will have a better sense of what is expected in the technical paper but various sections of the technical paper and also therefore have a better sense of why there are changes being suggested in your paper and how to incorporate those changes okay so what we will do is we will do through this journal paper and look through what we can learn from the paper so the one of the points that I will make here is actually a singular specific point that I want to alert you to which if you keep in mind which will be the background idea which will affect all the things that I'm going to tell you about a technical paper okay so the and that point is simply got to do with the purpose of technical writing so what is the purpose of technical writing so this is the thing that we have to understand what is the purpose of technical writing once you understand the purpose all the other details that I would mention will make sense okay so that is what we are going to do so the purpose is basically you can say okay you are trying to convey your work so you are trying to inform some reader you are informing your reader of some work that you have done okay so that is the purpose and sometimes in the process of informing the reader you are also trying to argue something about the concept that you are presented but in principle you are trying to inform the reader maybe persuade the reader about a particular point of view for example as I mentioned if you are trying to say one fuel is cleaner than the other fuel yeah you are going to inform the reader of the experiments that you did and then use some arguments to say why that the results of your experiment clearly show that one fuel is cleaner than the other fuel so you are also doing some level of persuasion of the reader so that is something that we will look at so inform and persuade but maybe the most important thing that you have to understand of technical writing is that you have to do these two things or you want to do all of these efficiently okay this is the important work you have to inform the reader of the work that you have done which means you are presenting the data that you have collected you have to persuade the reader which typically represents discussion of the data that you have provided so those are two different things that itself is something that I will highlight as a difference to inform which is provided provide the data persuade which is discuss the data and then both of these you have to do in an efficient manner so the key here is efficiency how efficiently are you going to do this process and that is the most important aspect of technical writing so all the other details that I am going to tell you I will keep drawing your attention to this world of efficiency okay so with that we will now take a look at the journal paper and then we will go over what are all the parts there and how this idea that I am mentioning starts appearing at different places in the document okay so what we are going to do is like I said go through some parts of a document and the reason I also want to do this is to encourage you to keep reading journal papers with all these ideas in mind and once you understand these ideas you can evaluate you can assess the journal papers to see if they are all also meeting these criteria in that process you will become a much more critical reader of those papers when you become a critical reader of the papers you become a critical reader of your own paper also so then when you write your third paper or a fourth paper automatically the first draft of your third paper or fourth paper ends up being much better than the first draft of your first paper or second paper okay so it is important to understand these things look at papers with these ideas in mind and then slowly improve your ability to write your own papers okay so that is the thing that we are going to look at so now if you look at a journal paper there are various parts to it so you have in it broadly you can look at it as a beginning for a journal paper which would consist of a title okay then you will have an abstract and then you'll have an introduction okay so these three parts constitute the sort of the beginning of your paper okay and in this also there are certain things that are now normally expected so for example in the title you sort of indicate what is the area in which you are doing research okay so for example it could be on say rechargeable batteries okay so so you have to talk about the area of research and also what is unique about your work so that should come somehow get highlighted in the title so if you just write area of research and you simply say rechargeable batteries that does not immediately convey to a person picking up the paper what you are talking about so if you are talking of about say a specific failure mechanism let's say it's you know mechanical failure you are you're done some tests on you know if if the battery is that rechargeable battery is subject to some mechanical failure how does it survive the mechanical failure so you have to talk about the failure mechanism you have to say you know mechanical failure of a particular version of a rechargeable battery then that would be something that both identifies the area of research and also highlights what is new about it what is new so what is new in in that area that you have been working on which is what your paper is about okay so a title should immediately convey that to the reader so that is the thing now the next point here is the abstract so normally if you take a journal paper on top is a title and then immediate next section is an abstract you can pick any journal paper you can see it this is just an example here so it doesn't matter if you cannot really read the text that you see here you see a title and then you see an abstract and then you will see an introduction the immediate next section will be the introduction so those are the three that we are talking of here now the important thing about an abstract which is where most students have the greatest difficulty is that in an abstract you have to sort of give away all the important results so in an abstract you have to give it all away okay so that is the most important thing of an abstract so you will be very surprised to note that in any journal paper that you take the abstract that you see here right below the title contains all the major findings of your work will be there okay so an up slide gives it all away but there is there is some catch there it is aimed at an reader who has not read the rest of your paper so you cannot assume certain things about the terminology that they may be aware of etcetera but still it gives all the results away this is where most of the students have great difficulty because almost any other form of literature that you read does not give away all the important results right at the beginning okay particularly a novel if you re if you if you have been enjoying good stories the thrill in the story is that that the most important result or the most important point of the story is hidden from you so only towards the end of the story you get that important point here in a journal paper the exact opposite is true right at the beginning you give the most important result of it if you don't try to hide anything in a general paper you do not follow the style of hiding your result and then all the way to the end of the paper and then suddenly springing the result towards the conclusion so what you have thought as a very good style of writing is exactly not is exactly the thing that is not acceptable in journal writing okay so you have to give you a result away and this point has got to do a completely and entirely to do with this specific word that I highlighted earlier that the purpose of technical writing is to convey your work efficiently okay so this is the most efficient way of conveying your work right at the top of the document you give away your best result now students typically become very apprehensive that you know if I publish a paper and then write at the top of the paper I have given my best result away why will anyone else want to read the rest of your paper so this is a concern that students have so they've become very uncomfortable with this idea that you should give your best result early if I give it right away on top then why will anyone read the rest of the paper so this is where again the purpose of technical writing differs from other forms of writing the purpose of technical writing is not to make people read they're paper that is not the purpose of technical writing the purpose of technical writing is to give information of your work efficiently only if a person is interested in more details they will read the rest of your paper and that is something they accept we also accept so I when I pick up a paper published by somebody else that's exactly what I am looking forward to in that paper if somebody else picks up that paper published by me that is exactly what they are looking forward to in that paper they want to see the important result at the beginning if they are also working in that area if they want to do an experiment which is along the lines of what I have done or want to improve on an experiment that that I have done then they may read more details of it in the paper but the purpose is not for me to somehow force them to read the rest of the paper so up front when you accept this idea that that is the way in which the technical document is written it becomes much easier for you you breathe easy knowing fully well that your best result is out there if somebody just wants to read the abstract and move on and do something else that's fine we have no problems with that and we should be we should be happy with that okay so that is what an abstract is so you give away all your important ourselves here you give it all away in your abstract an introduction talks about what is your work you also talk about why is it important you may say something about what is required to understand your work etc okay so what is your work so you will give some background you know I'm working on say as I mentioned no rechargeable batteries and why is it important I mean there are a lot of people who are interested in having rechargeable power sources for portable applications and so on and you also want to indicate what is required to understand your work meaning if there is some background information that people need to be aware of so let's say you are looking at a particular kind of model for rechargeable batteries and you are using that model to assess your data then you mentioned that saying that in this paper we are using this particular model so that alerts the reader that if they want to understand your paper they should be familiar with that model they may need to go and look up some other paper or may need to look look up some other book to make sure that they know what that model is so that they can understand your work and also when you talk about Vyse is important this is another specific place where you draw the attention of the reader to other published literature papers other technical papers in that area saying that you know so-and-so researcher X has done the following work researcher right has done the following work and research Z or Z has done the following work and then your work and in between all of the important work that other people have done a particular aspect has been neglected somehow they have not looked at a particular aspect for which you have now created some new nice experiment and that is where your work is in that area so that is where you compare your work with other journal articles okay so as I mentioned in in journals that is the process to publish you have to first of all convince yourself convince the and convince the reviewers the you have done something new so this is important why is it important is one of the is the location where you try to highlight that that why is it how is it that your work is new you compare it with what is already in the literature you put it down there in your paper itself and then in that process you convey that you know you have done something new in the end of the paper at the back of the paper you would have a list of references so you typically if you take the last page of a journal paper journal article there'll be references so those are all are articles that you are referring to in your introduction in your experimental details etc you are referring to those articles so that you can convey what this idea okay so that is how you link up with other work that is done so this is the beginning of the document this is the title the abstract that gives everything away and then the introduction which mentions what is your work why is it important and then what is required to understand your work and then you get to the middle of the document the middle of the document basically normally in much much of the work that we do if it is experimental work it will consist off it'll have your experimental results you will have experimental details if you'll have recessed and we will have discussions you may have a modeling kind of work so in which case you will talk something about the theory behind the model how we have gone about setting up the model how how have you implemented the model and so on I have put down something here which which relates more to experimental work but you can correspondingly think of some parameters which would be relevant to modeling so normally many of the experimental papers will have you know experimental details so that they will simply talk of what is the experimental setup they had what are the different standard techniques that they have used if those techniques had particular parameters that had to be set at some particular values they will mention all that so all of the details of how each experiment was conducted will be mentioned here again the intention is to make it clear enough that somebody else who wants to learn your experiment should be able to look at your experimental details and run a similar experiment so you hide nothing here you make every detail of the experiment clear okay unless you are trying to patent something in which case you indicate that it is being a patented and there are some details which your with it but that it has to be very clear normally the experimental details are written clearly enough that somebody else can't reproduce it then you have results and then you have discussion these are two separate points a lot of students actually don't understand this difference a result is something that any technician operating an instrument can convey to you okay so for example if you are looking at say the hardness values of ten samples and with say decreasing grain size so if you find that you know the hardness is increasing as you decrease the grain size then that is simply a result okay so that is simply a factual statement of data so a result is simply a factual statement of data so you see a trend that is going up you simply say that I see a trend that's going up you see a trend that goes up and then comes down you see you can mention that I see a maximum in the trend so these are all things that any person looking at the graph can mention can immediately recognize so a result is typically a statement of fact okay so there is no judgment there it's simply a statement of fact so strictly speaking if you have written your results section correctly there can be no controversy on the result meaning if I look at your results and somebody else looks at the result they cannot have two different conclusions because you're simply stated a fact and the facts are as straightforward as there's a that something is a straight line something is a curve something shows a maximum something shows some anymore so that's that is hurt so that is one thing discussion is where you try to understand the implication of your result okay so here you are making some argument about that person so when you say when you say that you are seeing a maximum you are making an argument as to why is it that you are seeing a maximum you may say that you know there are two parameters in conflict one parameter is causing something to go up another parameter is causing the same thing to come down and as a result when the second parameter takes precedence it starts causing the curve to come down and so it will be something that you're analyzing that you are using all your scientific background to analyze and come up with a answer so that is a discussion and in general the idea is that a result is something that nobody can argue with you about discussion is something where different people can have different opinions so a discussion is to some degree an opinion it is not some arbitrary opinion it is based on some scientific background and some scientific analysis so you are going to apply thought in coming up with your discussion but in general it is something where you have much more freedom in what you're doing okay so normally this is the middle of the document and you can actually adopt different strategies for this document so for example one standard strategy that many people employ for documents is simply chronological which simply means that I did first one particular experiment then I did another experiment then I did the third experiment and that's how you present your essay that's chronological you can also say that you know for example you are discussing say something about a nuclear reactor so you may want to start from the in terms of temperature the outermost shell of the reactor is at room temperature where let us say something outside the nuclear reactor all the way outside is at room temperature inside you may you may end up seeing a temperature of several thousand degrees C or tens of thousands of degrees C 1 million degrees C maybe right inside so you can follow temperature you can go layer by layer and you can follow a temperature so you can follow a particular variable and you can say you can do a special approach you can say enough outermost it is going to be something all the parameters materials etc outermost are going to be something you go inside inside inside the materials change the conditions change and the implications change so this is something that is spatial you can also look at something else like the the variation of a particular variable let's say you have some fluid flowing through some particular process you can just simply look at say the viscosity of the fluid maybe the viscosity of the fluid changes based on the conditions that it is experiencing at different locations in the pop in its spot so you can follow that so you will have some schematic in which you follow that variable and put up key values of the variable at various places and you imply indicate what these are so my point is the middle of the document has a purpose that is the the primary you know the greatest detail of your work is presented in the middle middle of the document which is summarized in your abstract but it is present in the middle of your document and you have different options available to you you know how you can go about to the middle of the document I mentioned about the spatial way you can follow chronological way you can follow the flow of an variable it's a lot of different ways in which you can see it happen when you pick up a journal paper you can also understand that that is how they're doing it so that's the middle of the document okay and then finally you have the ending okay the ending of our document which is typically the conclusions so you conclusion of your document where again you conclude the major results of your work so now in some ways the ending and the abstract have similarities both of them show you show the results show the results of your work are they summarize the results of your work but there's one difference this is aimed an abstract is aimed at an audience that has never seen your work before so therefore some of the terms that you ought to be careful with what terms you use here you have to be a little bit more restrained on what terms you use here you cannot use abbreviations which you have actually mentioned later in your work it helps to keep it in a manner that any new person reading it will understand what's going on here so that that is the thing that you have to remember that the reader has not read your work in an ending it is different you can assume that the reader has actually read through your paper you have greater flexibility in presenting your work towards the indenting still you are going to in a concise way mention all the important results and you can also give a future perspective you can say that you know for example I mentioned that those two comparison between two fuels and that one fuel is better you can say that one of the additional aspects that you know that needs to be looked at is the operating condition of the fuel to see if the fuel that is better can be made even better based on the operating condition that you are working on so some future perspective which you don't necessarily throw in and be abstract okay so that is how the abstract differs from the ending so these are the major things associated with the technical document and in all these cases as I mentioned the idea is to convey your work efficiently right so yeah so the idea is to convey it efficiently so that is how in each part you will find that team being repeated we don't want to waste words and I am so on in the entire document there are a couple of things that show up which which effect you know this idea of efficiency throughout your document and those two are language and illustration okay so language and illustration are two parameters that appear in various parts of your document language in illustration are two parameters that appear in various parts of your document and they are very critical in this idea of efficiency efficiently conveying an idea so for example with respect to language again the in common literature that you read in say novels and other forms of literature may be poetry you read the there is less I mean there is less emphasis so on trying to write simple straight clear sentences people would like to write some flowery language etc and so when you read that kind of literature it is the wrong example to use for a technical paper in technical paper you want to keep it very straight straightforward clear-cut description of what work you are doing some of the you know common mistakes that people make are first of all writing very long sentences okay at a simple gauge of whether a sentence is long or not is that when you read the sentence you should not have to when you reach the end of the sentence you should not have forgotten the start of the sentence it should not be that you read all the way to the end and then again suddenly you are not sure how the sentence started so you go back and read the sentence again basically if you write it such that the reader can read it efficiently in a single reading they can go from sentence to sentence to sentence so they can keep doing that and other mistakes that people make are using phrases such as it is obvious so those are considered to be improper and arrogant ways of saying conveying some research so ideally those are phrases that you should avoid this one so language is something that you have to keep pay attention to which with experience you will gain as you read papers on what kind of language is acceptable but basically how to keep it simple keep it simple keep it clean so that a person reads a sentence understands exactly what you're trying to say in the sentence and move on to the next sentence and they're not forced to reread it again and then there is illustration station you have wide range of illustration available to you you can have graphs you can have schematics you can have photographs you can have charts of different kinds you can have micrographs of different kinds etcetera so you have to judiciously select what is that form of illustration that best conveys the idea that you are trying to convey okay often putting an illustration together is the place where you actually put in your creativity to come up with a very interesting and nice way of efficiently conveying the information you have a large body of information of experiments conducted in various conditions but if you make a very nice simple table which summarizes all of those experiments so that when a reader just looks at that table and a quick glance they get an idea of all the range of parameters that you have done and what are the important points that you are trying to highlight then that makes a big difference in the readers ability to read the rest of your paper you can keep referring to that no table often say in table this table such-and-such you have got a particular item highlighted and the description that follows in that paragraph is relative to that item so as they read the paper they can use this table as a reference and then when they get done this table will give them a very good way of summarizing that result and also to agreeing with you you know when you are trying to make some argument based on a wide range of results this table helps them focus on your argument from your point of view okay so therefore making that illustration is very important and you would also understand the level of complexity of the station so if you if for example so sometimes you want make a judgement so you are let's say you are trying to simply say that there is a solar panel so you have some satellite and not associated with that there is a solar panel if the only purpose of if the only purpose of this schematic is to convey that a particular satellite has two solar panels and they are deployed in this manner then a schematic of this nature is sufficient if that's all you are trying to do on the other hand if you actually put the photograph of the satellite you may find a lot of wiring lot of wiring etc other details you'll have the reflective surface on top of the satellite this will have some shade associated with it some other shade associated this a lot of other information will be there there'll be plenty of information here which will then be very distracting okay so this may not even be uniform it may be of some odd shapes and so on so not of other detail is there which when you see can be distracting so you have to decide what is the kind of illustration that very efficiently conveys that one information that you're trying to convey to the reader so that is the reason why you have to select whether a photograph makes sense or a schematic make sense whether table makes sense or graph makes sense so these are all the ways in which you have to because a table will give you a whole range of numbers right so you have a lot of different numbers here so if you have a lot of different numbers in a table sometimes that does not immediately convey the idea that you are trying to say okay on the other hand the same table when if you had plotted it as some kind of a graph of some you know and it showed you this this graph is in a much better position to show you convey the information that there is a maximum then this table is in a position to if you have if you just have various X Y values here a wide range of X Y values here you know you have four by four 16 coordinates you have here if I put 16 coordinates down there of x and y values that does not convey that there's a maximum but is the same 16 points if I point plot here if I have all those points plotted here and I show a maximum that's a very nice way of showing that there's a maximum so there is a choice you have a choice and you have to intelligent to use this choice okay so I think to summarize we have now spoken today about technical writing I have compared technical writing with other forms of literature and writing that you may be familiar with try to highlight what difference are there between these different forms we have also walked through all the various parts of a technical document and you have seen that there is a beginning there is a middle and there is an ending and then there are certain things that are expected out of each of these points and your familiarity with what is expected is what makes your writing better if you become familiar then when you write a technical document it becomes easier to make the document closer to what is expected okay so I hope that this information will now help you become a more critical reader of technical documents and will also help you become a better writer of technical documents and so that you become happier that your drafts are much better and much closer to being the ones that are accepted okay thank you

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *