From Gerald R. Lucas

Technical Writing in the Digital Age: A Coursebook

Directions: For each lesson below, follow all links and read them carefully. All assigned readings not linked may be found on my server or in your assigned textbook. See your individual syllabus for due dates and additional instructions. Please read ahead to know what you are responsible for each week. She lessons will have less work, but others, like Lesson 7, have more work to do.

1: Understanding Technical Writing in the Digital Age

  1. Defining “Technical Writing” and Its Evolution
  2. Additional Reading (choose one to read)
  3. Project: Begin Establishing Your Professional Persona
  4. Journal Post:[1] What is your understanding of “technical writing in the digital age” at this point? What did you glean from your reading? What did you discover that you didn’t know? Which seem most applicable to your interests as a digital writer? (750–1000 words #techwriting)[2]

2: Strong Writing, Digital Literacy, and Credibility

  1. Strong Writing & Digital Literacy: What They Entail
  2. Additional Reading (choose at least one)
  3. Project: Establishing Your Professional Persona
  4. Post: Introduce yourself and the professional, or discourse, community that you will represent in your writing this semester and/or perhaps in the future as a professional. Introduce your technical writing persona. What strategies will you use to build your persona’s credibility? The project above asks you to announce your new domain name; you should do that in this post. Support your ideas with specific evidence. Comment on a colleague’s post. (750–100 words #persona)

3: Style and Tone in Digital Writing

  1. Style Guidelines for Digital Writing
  2. Additional Reading (choose two)
  3. Post: Find a website that represents or is associated with your discourse community. Ensure it’s a site with significant written content. Examine the tone, language, and clarity of the content. Consider the target audience and the effectiveness of the writing style. Assess the layout, color scheme, typography, and overall visual appeal. Analyze how design choices contribute to user engagement and accessibility. Post a concise report that summarizes your findings. Include specific examples from the website to support your analysis. (500–750 words #webanalysis)

4: Digital Documents and Remediation

  1. Digital vs. Paper Documents: Key Differences
  2. Additional Reading (choose one)
  3. Project: Remediation Challenge
  4. Post: Outlined in the project. (≈500 words #remediation)

5: User-Centered Design and Information Architecture

  1. Principles of User-Centered Design
  2. Additional Reading (choose one)
  3. Project: Analyzing Information Architecture in Web Design
  4. Post: Outlined in the project. Be sure to comment on another post. (750–1000 words #ia)

6: Usability, Accessibility, and SEO

  1. The Importance of Usability in Digital Writing
  2. Additional Reading (choose at least one)
  3. Project: Developing Your SEO Strategy
  4. Post: Reflect on the SEO strategy you’ve developed in your project. Consider how each component of the strategy aligns with your project’s goals and target audience. Identify any potential challenges or areas for improvement. You needn’t post the whole SEO strategy; this is more of a reflection on the process and application of SEO. (≈500 words #seo)

7: Citing Sources and Effective Use of Links

  1. Proper Citation in Digital Documents
  2. Additional Reading (choose at least one)
  3. Project: Collaborative Wiki Project
  4. Post: Outline your contributions and experience in writing the collaborative wiki article. Include a summary of your edits and why you felt they were a valuable addition to the article. How does your article compare to earlier versions? What did you learn from contributing to LitWiki? How can wikis be used to improve public understanding of our field/your topic? Why is this important? (≈500 words #wiki)


The following texts are available either on (the linked sources) or in the ENGL 5106 Library on my server (see D2L for the password).

  • Arnold, George T. (2013). Media Writer's Handbook: A Guide to Common Writing and Editing Problems. New York: McGraw Hill.
  • Balzotti, John (2022). Technical Communication: A Design-Centric Approach. New York: Routledge.
  • Barr, Chris (2010). Yahoo! Style Guide. New York: St. Martin's.
  • Carroll, Brian (2010). Writing for Digital Media. New York: Routledge.
  • DeVoss, Dànielle Nicole; Eidman-Aadahl, Elyse; Hicks, Troy (2010). Because Digital Writing Matters. New York: Josey-Bass.
  • Felder, Lynda (2012). Writing for the Web: Creating Compelling Web Content Using Words, Pictures and Sound. Berkeley, CA: New Riders.
  • Johnson-Sheehan, Richard (2018). Technical Communication Today (Sixth ed.). New York: Pearson.
  • Krug, Steve (2014). Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited. Berkeley, CA: New Riders.
  • Lannon, John M.; Gurak, Laura J. (2022). Technical Communication (Fifteenth ed.). New York: Pearson.
  • Lawrence, Dan (2022). Digital Writing: A Guide to Writing for Social Media and the Web. Broadview Press.
  • Markel, Mike; Selber, Stuart A. (2019). Practical Strategies for Technical Communication. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martins.
  • Nielsen, Jakob (1993). Usability Engineering. Boston, MA: Academic Press.
  • Robbins, Jennifer Niederst (2018). Learning Web Design. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly.
  • Rosenfeld, Louis; Morville, Peter; Arango, Jorge (2015). Information Architecture: For the Web and Beyond. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly.
  • Tham, Jason C. K. (2021). Design Thinking in Technical Communication: Solving Problems through Making and Collaboration. New York: Routledge.
  • Williams, Joseph M. (2000). Style: Ten Lessons in Clarity and Grace. New York: Longman.


  1. All journal posts will be on the class journal/blog.
  2. For journal posts, assigned topics will include at least one keyword, or tag, that you should use on your post. See the Ghost Manual » Tags for more.
Written: 2002, 2022; Revised: 11-2-2023; Version: Beta 0.7 💬