This online, virtual (live), seven course program is designed to provide the fundamental technical writing skills for individuals considering an entry level career in technical writing or those seeking to hone or diversify their current writing skills.
Developed and taught by practicing technical communication professionals, this evening program addresses the following areas of study:
- Essential skills
- (including editing and grammar)
- Technical writing
- Information architecture and development
- Basic tools overview
The Benefits of the Duke Program:
- Convenient, live, online evening hours for working professionals
- Application of knowledge learned is demonstrated in final capstone project
- Final project can serve as “work product” to show potential employers of acquired skills
- Learn from multiple instructors working in diverse areas of technical writing
- Certificate earned from Duke University Continuing Studies
Introduction to Technical Writing
This interactive session provides students with an opportunity to meet instructors. Each instructor will introduce his or her class, talk about how they entered into the profession, and discuss various aspects of technical writing. Students will have an opportunity to share about their background, reasons for enrolling in the certificate program, and their goals following program completion. An overview of the program will be discussed, as well as expectations and requirements for completion.
Essential Skills Course
In this review of advanced writing and editing skills essential for all technical communicators, students will practice improving conciseness, punctuation, and sentence structure in sentences drawn from real-world technical and business documents. They will also review basic principles of typography, document format, and permissions for use of graphics.
Technical Writing Workshop
Working individually or in small groups, students will contribute to class projects that are derived from their own interests and those of classmates. Students will work on projects at home and critique the projects during our weekly sessions. Students will learn how to sift through the details of their research to find the content that meets their reader's needs and their own writing objectives.
This class teaches students how to design and deliver information effectively for a specified audience. Students will learn the basic principles of visual design, audience and task analysis, how to organize information, information delivery systems, and topic-based authoring.
Managing the Information Development Process
Students will learn, and put into practice, the process for developing technical information from initial planning to final distribution. We will cover the best ways to plan, schedule, budget, track, and report status -- and then apply those skills to the students' capstone projects. We'll also discuss new developments that are influencing the process and shaping the future of technical communication.
This course will provide an overview of the most commonly used technical writing tools and how to select the best tools for a successful project. (Please refer to the technical requirements section of website for computer specifications which impact this course.)
Final Project Portfolio Course
Applying skills learned throughout the program, students in this course will develop and complete a final written project that can be showcased in a technical writing portfolio. Additionally, individual constructive feedback regarding your project will be provided from a panel of your instructors to help reinforce your learning skill set.