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Services Tips Theory WebPoems Workshops Books Articles Lisa Jonathan


  Internet Prose 1  

How to write prose for Internet or Web delivery.   Based on extensive user testing and research, we recommend strategies that will make your style more effective on information sites, in email exchanges, and in webzines.   (One day). Next offering: May 8th, and online for five weeks after that, starting May 8th, at UCSC in their Santa Clara location.

Writing for Webzines  

For technical writers who want to branch out to electronic journalism.  A survey of the top six economic models for webzines. How to query an editor with email, draft a proposal, and negotiate terms.  How to adapt your style so you, too, can be flamboyant, or at least, entertaining.  (One day).

Testing to Revise  

Usability testing for writers.  The quick and not-too-dirty methods for preparing a test plan, recruiting subjects, and carrying out a series of short but effective tests, to make sure your documentation is really usable. (Half day).

Restructuring Legacy Documents for Multiple Re-Use  

The biggest problem with those old manuals in the four-inch black binders is that they are so poorly organized you can't easily publish them electronically. This workshop shows you how to define standard patterns of structure for every major type of documentation, edit the old material and rewrite it to map to these organizational patterns, creating more effective menus, diagrams, flow charts, and decision trees as access mechanisms. (Two days).

Writing Effective Procedures  

The heart of any useful manual, step-by-step procedures focus on the real tasks a user wants to accomplish.  Our anatomy of the components of a good procedure set helps you identify the material you need to look up and find out, prepare a detailed task list, work from that to produce a table of contents of hierarchically grouped procedures, and write them quickly.  The clear model helps writers avoid common pitfalls, and turn out simple, easy-to-follow instructions. (One day).

Adopting an Object Orientation to Improve Documentation  

Inconsistent organization makes it difficult to fit together a whole set of documents you have inherited from previous generations, when you must mount a department or corporate web site. We adapt the programming ideas of object-oriented databases to the job of technical writing; we define rhetorical objects, and show how writers can use this approach to define a clear, ideal structure for each element of their documentation, from diagrams to procedures, from menus to indexes. With this model in mind, writers can edit the old material with a new ruthlessness, disassembling it, rewriting, and re-assembling in common structures that make sense to users. (Two days).

Designing Online Help  

Based on research in user interface, usability, and online delivery of help, this workshop shows beginners how to develop a help system from scratch.   We focus on major design issues, from planning through maintenance.  (Two days). 

So You Wannabe a Technical Writer?  

Aimed at people who are thinking of changing careers, this workshop provides details on salaries, career paths, ethics, job environments, the production cycle, and the many hats a technical communicator wears in an average day. (Two days).


Copyright 1998 Jonathan and Lisa Price, The Communication Circle
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