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									            University of Petra
          Faculty of Information Technology

      Dr. techn. Dipl. Inform. Bassam Haddad
      Associate Professor of Computer Science
        Faculty of Information Technology
                 University of Petra

         Technical Writing

            Documents Types III
                  Part V
                Course No.: 601201
                Prerequisite: 402102

Based on:
•The Mayfield Handbook of Technical and Science Writing
Leslie C. Perelman, James Paradis Edward Parrett,
Mayfield Publishing Company, Inc.
•Technical Report Writing Today
   Pauley, Riordan, Houghton Miffin Company USA, 1998

                     ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad
Document Types

After identifying a document's purpose, determine the appropriate document type

     Meeting documents
     Literature reviews
     Press releases
     Instructions and procedures
     Style guides
    Oral Presentations
   Or to
    Electronic document types
   such as:
     Electronic mail
     Web sites

                                  ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad

 Letters: to communicate outside your organization. Whereas the
memorandum is the primary vehicle for communication within an
 letters are often used to communicate to individuals outside it,
especially in formal and semiformal contexts.
  Letters are an essential part of all business and technical
communication because they are more formal and reliable than
electronic mail and more precise and permanent than telephone or
face-to-face conversations.

Types of Letters
The following are some of the most common types of letters
written by people in technical fields:

 Job application letters

 Acceptance letters

 Transmittal letters

 Inquiry letters

 Technical-information letters

 Letters of recommendation

                            ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad
 Format of a Letter
If your organization has a specific style for business letters, follow
that format. Otherwise, follow the guidelines provided here.
      Business letters are commonly either full-block formatted, with
      every line starting at the left margin and usually a business
      letterhead at the top of the page, or modified-block formatted,
      with the heading and the closing aligned at the center of the

       Elements of a Letter
        Business letters have the following elements:
           Recipient's address
           End notations

•If you are not using letterhead stationery, begin with your full address
   (city, street, and zip code) 1 to 1½ inches from the top of the page.
•Spell out address designations, such as Street, Avenue, and West
• Postal Service designations.
• Include the date aligned at left with the address, spelling out the name of
  the month.

                                ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad

Business letters :

 Recipient's Address
     •Two to four lines below the date, place the following items:

     •The recipient's title (such as Mr., Ms., or Dr.) and full name
     (address a woman who does not have a professional title as Ms.
     unless you know she prefers Miss or Mrs.;
     •if the recipient does not have a title and you are unsure of his or
     her gender, omit the title).
     •The recipient's job title, if appropriate.
     •The name of the company or institution, if appropriate.
     •The full address, following the same format as for the address in
     the heading.
     •The recipient's address is always aligned on the left margin.

     •Place the salutation two lines below the recipient's address.
     •The salutation begins with the word Dear, continues with the
     recipient's title and last name, and ends with a colon.
     •If you are unsure of the recipient's gender and the recipient does
     not have a professional title, omit the title and, instead, use both
     the first and the last names in the salutation
                      (Dear Leslie Perelman:).
     •If you do not know the name of the recipient of the letter, refer to
     the department you are writing to
                       (Dear Technical Support:).
     •Avoid salutations such as
                           Dear Sir or Madam:.

                               ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad

Business letters :

     Start the letter two lines after the salutation.
     Body paragraphs should be single spaced with a double space
    between paragraphs.
     (Indenting the first line of each paragraph is acceptable but is more
    informal than the unindented style.)
     Be concise, direct, and considerate.
     State the letter's purpose in the opening paragraph.
     Include supporting information in a middle paragraph or two, and
    conclude your letter with a brief paragraph that both establishes
    goodwill and expresses what needs to be done next.
     If a letter requires more than one page, make sure there are at least
    two lines of body text on the final page.
     Never use an entire page for just the closing. The second page and all
    subsequent pages must include a heading with the recipient's name,
    the date, and the page number.

Closing Phrase
    •Write a complimentary closing phrase two lines below the final
    body paragraph.

            Yours truly, Sincerely, or Sincerely yours
      are common endings
    •Capitalize the first letter of the first word of your complimentary
    closing, and end the complimentary closing with a comma.
    •Four lines below the closing phrase, write your full name.
    • If you are writing in an official capacity that is not included in the
    stationery's letterhead, write your title on the next line.
    •Your signature goes above your typed name.

                               ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad

Business letters :

 End Notations
    •At the bottom of the last page of a business letter, end notations
    may show who typed the letter, whether any materials are enclosed
    with the letter, and who is receiving a copy of the letter.
    •An enclosure notation-
    -Enclosure:, Encl., or Enc.--alerts the recipient that additional
    material (such as a résumé or a technical article) is included with
    the letter.
    •You can either identify the enclosure or indicate how many pieces
    there are
    •A copy notation (cc:) lets the recipient of the letter know who
    else is receiving a copy. Put each recipient of a copy on a separate

                 Enclosure: Article by Dr Lolo shater
                              Encl. (2)
                               Enc. (2)

                 cc:       Dr Fofo Mouse
                           Mr Lali Mater

                             ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad
  Job Application Letters

 Write job application letters that identify a specific area of employment,
  summarize your qualifications for the job, refer to an enclosed résumé,
and request the next step of the application process, usually an interview.
 Application letters are usually just one page and consist of three

     •Front matter. State that you are applying for a specific job title or
     field. Also mention the person who referred you or told you about
     the job. If you learned of the job from an advertisement, mention
     • Body. Explain specifically why you are qualified for the job.
     Describe education and work experience and any other activities
     that display relevant talents, such as foreign-language proficiencies
     and leadership or supervisory experience.
     • End matter. Refer to your enclosed résumé and express your
     desire for an interview, stating when and where you will be
     available for one. In addition, invite further inquiries, and state how
     you can be contacted.

                               ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad
Application letter: An Example

                          ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad
Acceptance letter: An Example

                          ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad
  Transmittal Letters

A transmittal or cover letter accompanies a larger item, usually a document.
(to explain why something is being sent)

                    Example: A cover letter

                               ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad
Transmittal Letters

                      Example: A cover letter

                           ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad
Letters of Inquiry

 A letter of inquiry asks someone for specific information.
 Consequently, always make the tone of the letter friendly and make it
easy for the recipient to identify and provide the information you need.

 Format of a Letter of Inquiry
Follow this format in writing a letter of inquiry:
     •In the first paragraph, identify yourself and, if appropriate, your
     position, and your institution or firm.

     •In the second paragraph, briefly explain why you are writing and
     how you will use the requested information. Offer to keep the
     response confidential if such an offer seems reasonable.

     •List the specific information you need. You can phrase your
     requests as questions or as a list of specific items of information. In
     either case, make each item clear and discrete.

     •Conclude your letter by offering your reader some incentive for

                              ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad
Letters of Inquiry: An Example

                           ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad
Letters of Inquiry: An Example

                           ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad
Technical-Information Letters and Memoranda

 Technical-information letters and memoranda are short documents that
announce new technical information, such as a software bug and its
solution, or a new feature.
 Use the memorandum format if the information is being sent inside an
 Use the letter format if the document will be sent to outside individuals.

    The following example is adapted from a technical-information
    memorandum written by Information Systems at the Massachusetts
    Institute of Technology. The document informs users of MIT's Athena
    network of a change in the protocols of MIT's main World Wide Web
    (WWW) server that allows users to place shorter Uniform Resource
    Locators (URLs) in their WWW pages.

                                ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad

 Nearly the most employers read your résumé before they meet you,
  and their reaction to it usually determines whether or not they will
  consider you further by interviewing you.
 In addition, your job interviews will often start with references to your
 Consequently, spend considerable time in developing one or more versions
of your résumé, each one targeted for a specific type of job.

 Your résumé must be readable, neat, and free of grammatical, spelling,
and typographical errors.
 Because it is so crucial in the job application process, edit your résumé
carefully and have someone else review it before you send it out.

                               ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad

Effective résumés contain the following elements:
      The heading should contain your name, full address, and phone number,
      including area code. If you have them, you may also include a FAX number, an
      electronic mail address, and even your World Wide Web page (if you are sure
     that you want all prospective employers to see it).
    • Professional or job objective
    The objective statement is a short, one- or two-line description of the sort of job
    you want and the specific fields in which you are interested. It does not have to be
    a complete
    • Educational history
     Summarize your educational history in reverse chronological order, showing
     how it has prepared you for the sort of job you want. List descriptive titles (but
     not course numbers) of all relevant classes you have taken. If you have not yet
     received your bachelor's degree or if you have just graduated, include the name
     of your high school, the city and state in which it is located, and the dates you
    • Work experience
     List all relevant work experiences in reverse chronological order, using action
     to provide vivid and specific descriptions of all activities that are connected with
      your job objective.
    • Your special skills, activities, and accomplishments directly relevant
    to your professional objective
    List any skill (such as proficiency in a foreign language or expertise in specific
    computer applications) that may be relevant to the position. In addition, list any
    activity or accomplishment that will provide a positive first impression of
    relevant personal qualities, such as your energy level and initiative, your ability
    to work with diverse groups of people, and your communication skills. Do not,
    however, list hobbies or memberships merely to fill out the résumé. Include only
    activities and accomplishments that a prospective employer may find relevant to
    the position.
    •Reference statement
    In most cases, conclude your résumé with "References available on request." List
    the names of your references only if doing so is customary in your profession and
    only if you have secured explicit permission from each individual to include his
    or her name on your résumé.

                                  ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad

Example 1:

             ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad

Example 1:

             ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad

Example 2:

             ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad
©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad
Action Verbs for Résumés and Job Application Letters

 Most employers want to hire active, energetic individuals.
 Use action verbs to emphasize and to describe vividly what
you have done and accomplished.

The following list provides a sample of
effective action verbs to use in résumés and job application letters.

       acted analyzed assembled assessed
       briefed calculated coached compared
       compiled composed computed
       coordinated created demonstrated
       designed developed diagnosed directed
       edited established evaluated executed
       founded implemented instructed
       invented investigated led maintained
       managed negotiated operated organized
       performed planned prepared produced
       promoted reported researched restored
       reviewed searched surveyed
       synthesized taught tested worked

                               ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad

 In a proposal, identify a specific problem and state how you will solve
that problem.
 Most organizations rely on successful proposal writing for their
continued existence. You will most likely spend a major part of your
professional life writing proposals.
 Proposals are carefully prepared and just as carefully reviewed by
granting agencies.
 Proposals do not succeed on the strength of a name or as a result of
flashy rhetoric. Rather, successful proposals demonstrate that you
understand the scope of the problem (its background, theory, and
application) and, furthermore, that you have developed a valid and well-
focused approach for reaching proposed objectives.
 All proposals develop a plan of action in response to a specific need or
problem. Some proposals are external, written in response to a request for
proposals or an invitation to bid that has been published by an external
organization. Other proposals are internal, written in response to a need
within your own organization. In either case, your proposals must show
that you understand the nature of the problem and that you have a specific
and well-developed plan for arriving at a solution.
 Most proposals share a general structure for identifying the motivating
problem, the objectives, and the proposed course of action.

                              ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad

General structure

  Front matter
       Technical approach
       Management requirements
       Work plan
  End matter, or management requirements

Front Matter
 The front matter of a proposal includes the following components:
     •Letter of transmittal
     •Title page
     •Table of contents
     •List of figures and tables

  End Matter

                            ©2007/2008 Dr B. Haddad

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