ENGL 5106

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Technical Writing in the Digital Age

This course provides intensive study of principles and strategies in composing technical communications. It promotes sophisticated analysis of audience and develops nuanced rhetorical skills for crafting succinct, optimally readable documents in a variety of print and digital genres.

The emphasis of technical communication in the digital age revolves around effectively conveying complex technical information to diverse audiences using digital platforms and tools. As technology continues to evolve, the way we communicate about it also changes.

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Fall 2023 Syllabus

Technical Writing in the Digital Age course emphasizes the following:

  1. Clarity and Accessibility: Clear and concise communication is crucial when explaining technical concepts to a broad audience, especially through digital media. Ensuring that your content is accessible to users with varying levels of technical expertise is essential. This might involve using plain language, providing helpful visuals, and structuring information in a logical manner.
  2. Multimedia Integration: Digital media allows for the integration of various multimedia elements, such as images, videos, animations, and interactive elements. Effective technical communication leverages these tools to enhance understanding. For instance, demonstrating a complex process through an animated video can often be more effective than a textual description alone.
  3. User-Centered Approach: Digital media enables personalized and participatory experiences. Technical communicators need to consider the needs, preferences, and goals of their target audience. This might involve creating user personas, conducting usability testing, and adapting content to suit different user profiles.
  4. Interactivity and Engagement: Digital media allows for more interactive and engaging content. Incorporating quizzes, simulations, clickable diagrams, and other interactive elements can make technical content more engaging and help users retain information better.
  5. Responsive Design: With the prevalence of various devices and screen sizes, technical communication through digital media needs to be responsive. Content should be accessible and legible on a range of devices, from smartphones and tablets to desktop computers.
  6. Version Control and Updates: In the digital realm, technologies and information change rapidly. Technical communication should emphasize the importance of keeping content up to date. Clear version control and update mechanisms ensure that users are accessing accurate and relevant information.
  7. Hyperlinking and Cross-Referencing: Hyperlinks are valuable tools in digital communication. They allow for easy cross-referencing between related topics, promoting a deeper understanding of complex concepts by allowing users to explore interconnected information.
  8. Searchability and Indexing: Effective digital technical communication involves making content easily searchable and well-indexed. Users should be able to quickly find the information they need using search engines or internal navigation systems.
  9. Global and Cultural Considerations: Digital media has a global reach, necessitating consideration of diverse cultural backgrounds and languages. Translating content accurately and adapting it to different cultural contexts is essential for effective communication.
  10. Feedback and Interaction: Digital media enables immediate feedback and interaction with users. Encouraging user feedback and providing channels for questions and discussions can lead to the refinement of content and the creation of a sense of community around technical topics.

Technical Writing in the Digital Age emphasizes creating clear, accessible, interactive, and user-centered content that effectively conveys complex technical information while leveraging the capabilities of digital platforms and tools.


Term CRN Class Day and Time
Fall 2023 82482 ENGL 5106.01 Online ⚠️ 2nd
84154 ENGL 5106.02


 note: Check your individual syllabus before beginning on any projects.