Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics

    címtáras azonosítással

    vissza a tantárgylistához   nyomtatható verzió    

    Technical Communication in Industry and Academia

    A tantárgy neve magyarul / Name of the subject in Hungarian: Műszaki kommunikáció az iparban és a tudományos életben

    Last updated: 2022. november 21.

    Budapest University of Technology and Economics
    Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Informatics
    Electrical Engineering
    Computer Engineering
    Free electives
    Course ID Semester Assessment Credit Tantárgyfélév
    VIHIAV51   2/0/0/f 2  
    3. Course coordinator and department Dr. Kara Péter András,
    4. Instructors Dr. Kara Péter András      egyetemi tanársegéd      HIT
    7. Objectives, learning outcomes and obtained knowledge The goal of the course is to enable an in-depth understanding of the necessary structure, style, and modularity of modern technical documentation. To support these tasks, the course provides an introduction to the history and principles of technical writing, input research, documentation drafting, revision processes, readability and accessibility of written texts, and basic technologies involved. Upon satisfactory completion of the course, students will be able to do the following:
    •    Design effective technical documents for both print and digital media.
    •    Restructure and rewrite the received input to improve quality and user experience.
    •    Understand the flow of information necessary for quality technical documentation.
    •    Understand and use different means of information architecture appropriate to technical documents in digital environments.
    •    Understand and use a range of current tools and technologies connected to technical writing.
    •    Understand the importance of technical illustration and instructional design.

    Additionally, the course addresses technical writing in academia. The aim of the corresponding lectures is to improve skills that are necessary to enhance the quality of conference and journal papers on the level of technical communication, and thus, to increase the competitiveness of such manuscripts in peer-reviewed publishing.

    8. Synopsis The course aims to provide skills and knowledge needed to create and maintain user-friendly technical documentation. Students will learn about to the history of technical documentation and its different types and uses. They will understand the language and structure requirements used for different industries. In addition, the most common mark-up languages, content management software, word processors and graphic tools used for documentation will be introduced. Students will also gain an insight into technical writing workflows and the most practical methods of communication and research. This course will also focus on how to handle end-user feedback when writing documentation.

    On successful completion of the course, students will acquire the skills to produce complex, modular technical texts in both print and digital formats. Based on the technical information received, they will be able to make structural and linguistic changes to the text using the tools available, meeting the industry's requirements in terms of content and format.

    With regard to academic writing, the course highlights best practices and calls attention to common mistakes. Responsibilities related to the editing and proofreading are analyzed and discussed through specific examples written in some of the most prevalent publishing templates of the global scientific community. The contents of the course do not overlap with VIHIAV44 (Publication of Scientific Papers), but serve as extension from the perspective of technical communication.

    Throughout the semester, the course invites various experts from the industry to provide additional insights regarding the standardized procedures of technical communication. The synopsis of the course is composed of nine main topics:

    Topic 1: Development and significance of technical writing (weeks 1 and 2)
    What is technical writing?
    How did technical writing evolve?

    Topic 2: How is a technical document created? (weeks 3 and 4)
    How is a new document produced?
    What are the types of technical input, and how to process them?
    What makes a documentation “good”?
    What is the technical writing workflow?

    Topic 3: Language and structural requirements (weeks 5 and 6)
    How does the style of technical writing differ from other writing styles?
    What are the linguistic, stylistic, and structural requirements of technical writing?

    Topic 4: Markup languages and word processors (weeks 8 and 9)
    Understanding the XML markup language.
    How to use the DITA methodology to create content?
    Content management software basics.
    Introduction of oXygen editor.

    Topic 5: Graphic solutions, instructional design, and typography (week 10)
    Why are graphics and animation important in technical texts?
    What solutions are available?
    What are the most important typographic rules for printed texts?

    Topic 6: Managing end-user feedback (week 11)
    How to ask for and receive feedback?
    How to improve the user experience of documentation based on feedback?

    Topic 7: Grammar in scientific publishing (week 12)
    Which grammatical tense to use in a given context?
    How to refer to prior scientific work?
    How to select the correct punctuation for the sentence?
    How long should a single sentence be?

    Topic 8: Common mistakes in writing scientific papers (week 13)
    What are the most common mistakes that can degrade the quality of the paper?

    Topic 9: Examples of camera-ready and published papers (week 14)
    Editing, proofreading, and the related responsibilities.
    How to fine-tune a paper without deviating from the template?
    9. Method of instruction 2 hours (1 × 2 hours) of lecture per week.
    10. Assessment •    1 mid-term exam one on week 7, covering the topics of weeks 1 to 6.
    •    1 written assignment, submitted by week 13. As written assignment, the student needs to create a technical documentation (i.e., instructions for a specific system or service), taking into account the considerations and approaches learned during the semester. The topics are distributed on week 4.
    •    The mid-term exam constitutes 40%, and the written assignment constitutes 60% of the final grade of the course.
    •    Both the mid-term exam and the written assignment must be passed (i.e., at least 40% of the obtainable points) in order to successfully complete the course.

    11. Recaps The mid-term exam can be retaken on week 15. The deadline for the late submission of the assignment is week 15.
    12. Consultations Any time during the semester, based on demand.
    13. References, textbooks and resources •    Alan S. Pringle and Sarah S. O'Keefe: Technical Writing 101: A Real-World Guide to Planning and Writing Technical Content
    •    Edmond H. Weiss: How to Write Usable User Documentation
    •    JoAnn Hackos: Managing Your Documentation Projects
    •    Michael J. Young: XML Step by Step
    •    Robert Jacobson: Information Design
    •    William Horton: Designing and Writing Online Documentation
    •    William W. Lee and Diana L. Owens: Multimedia-Based Instructional Design
    •    Kate L. Turabian: Manual for Writers of Research Papers, Theses, and Dissertations (Chicago Style for Students and Researchers)
    14. Required learning hours and assignment
    Lectures (1x2 hours for 14 weeks)
    Preparation for lectures
    Preparation for the mid-term exam
    Preparation of the written assignment
    15. Syllabus prepared by Dr. Kara Péter András      egyetemi tanársegéd      HIT