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Technical writing is replete with technical terms that need to be


defined.

Basic Techniques in Technical Writing
The need for defining happens when the report uses technical
terms that are not familiar to the reader or when common terms
are used in the technical way.
Definition
Difficult words may come in various forms:
known words used in differently new sense; new words for
already known things; and new words for unknown things
3 ways of defining a word

Basic Techniques in Technical Writing
informal definition
Definition
a word or a phrase oftentimes called a synonym
examples: compensation or remuneration = pay;
inundation = flood
3 ways of defining a word

Basic Techniques in Technical Writing
formal definition
Definition
in the form of a sentence; an equation-like statement
species/term the word to be defined
3 elements
genus the group or class to which the term belongs
differentia/e distinctive characteristics that make the term
different from other terms of the same class
3 ways of defining a word

Basic Techniques in Technical Writing
formal definition
Definition
Species/Term Genus Differentia
Triangle is a plane figure bounded by three straight lines and
has three angles.
Carbohydrate is a food group including related substances such as
sugars, starches, and cellulose.
Barometer is an instrument that measures atmospheric pressure.
3 ways of defining a word

Basic Techniques in Technical Writing
amplified (extended or expanded) definition
Definition
additional sentences that support a formal definition that
becomes the topic sentence of a paragraph with definition as
method of development
function use of the thing defined
Amplification (extension or expansion) is done in any of the
following ways:
Basic Techniques in Technical Writing
Definition
location placement/position of the thing defined
physical description physical traits (color, size, shape,
etc.) of the thing defined
causation causes or effects of the thing defined
comparison similarities of the thing defined with another
thing
contrast differences of the thing defined from another
thing
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Definition
exemplification concrete examples of the thing defined
etymology/word derivation words from which the thing
defined was derived
analysis parts of the thing defined
basic principle law or principle governing the thing
defined
negation negative statements about the thing defined
Amplified Definition
A drift meter is an instrument used in air navigation to measure
the angle between the heading of a plane and the track.

The simplest form of drift meter consists of a circular plate of
heavy glass set in the floor of the cockpit in front of the pilot. The
plate may be rotated within a ring on which degrees of angle are
marked to the left and right of a zero mark. This zero point is in the
direction of the forward end of the longitudinal axis of the plane. The
plate has a series of parallel lines ruled on it. With the plane in level
flight, the pilot can look down through the plate and rotate it until
objects on the ground are moving parallel to the lines. Under these
conditions, the lines on the plate will be in the direction of the track
being made good, and the angle between the heading and this track
may be immediately read on the scale.

Many modern and complicated types of drift sights have been
devised, but all of them operate on the fundamental principles
described above. In some modern drift sights, a gyroscopic stabilizing
Amplified Definition
system hold the grid lines level even though the plane is not flying
level. Astigmatizers are frequently incorporated to assist in measuring
drift angle, particularly when flying over the water.

In some modern drift sights, a system is incorporated so that the
ground speed may be determined. A pair of wires is marked on the
grid, perpendicular to those set parallel to the apparent motion of the
ground. The time required for an object on the ground to move from
one of these wires to the other will be proportional to the ground
speed. The distance of the plane from the ground must be the
accurate value of ground speed.
Source: Garcia, C. A., Adorable, G. B., & De Asis, B. Z. (2009). Technical report writing.
Manila: Booklore Publishing Corporation.
placement of a definition

Basic Techniques in Technical Writing
in the text (most common)
Definition
in footnotes
in a glossary
in a special section in the introduction (least common)
deals with the physical nature of whatever is being discussed, the
purpose of the device, and how its parts work separately and with
one another and as a whole
Description of a Mechanism
purpose of description to make the reader aware of the
mechanism or machine
Basic Techniques in Technical Writing
mechanism an assembly of movable parts having one part fixed
with respect to a frame of reference and designed to produce an
effect
When describing a mechanism/machine, use the following
outline:
I. Introduction
A. Definition of the machine
B. Description of the machine
C. Function of the machine
D. Main parts of the machine
II. Part-by-part Description
A. Main Part 1
1. Subpart 1
2. Subpart 2

Basic Techniques in Technical Writing
B. Main Part 2
1. Subpart 1
2. Subpart 2
a. Sub-subpart 1
b. Sub-subpart 2
3. Subpart 3
C. Main Part 3
1. Subpart 1
2. Subpart 2
3. Subpart 3
III. Conclusion/Summary of the Main Points
A. Operation of the machine (by the user)
B. Operation by the machine



Basic Techniques in Technical Writing
Description of a Mechanism
A barometer is a meteorological instrument used for the
measurement of atmospheric pressure. Barometers may be classified
into two general types, depending on the ways in which they record
the pressure of the atmosphere. The mercury barometer is the large
and more accurate of the two types while the aneroid barometer is
more compact but less accurate.

The aneroid barometer is a portable meteorological instrument
designed to record changes in atmospheric pressure. It consists of a
thin, hermetically sealed cylindrical metal box, exhausted of air so that
ends of the box tend to approach or recede from one another with
change in the pressure of the atmosphere. A train of levers within the
box magnifies this movement and records it by an index arm moving
over a scale that is graduated to give barometric pressure in feet and
inches of mercury.
Description of a Mechanism
The mercury barometer is a meteorological instrument used for
measuring the pressure of the atmosphere in terms of the height of a
column of mercury, which exerts an equal pressure. In its simplest
form, the mercury barometer consists of vertical glass tube about 180
cm. long, closed at the top and open at the lower end which is
immersed in mercury in a dish. The tube contains no air rater; it
contains a vacuum.
Source: Garcia, C. A., Adorable, G. B., & De Asis, B. Z. (2009). Technical report writing.
Manila: Booklore Publishing Corporation.
a description of each step that constitutes the whole procedure
Description of a Process
always uses chronological order
Basic Techniques in Technical Writing
The steps/stages are sequenced based on the time of occurrence.
classifications of process descriptions
directional/instructional process directions/instructions (imperative
sentences or commands) addressed to the doer or agent of the action
informational process pieces of information (declarative sentences)
addressed to the reader who is not the doer or agent of the actions
When describing a process, use the following outline:
I. Introduction
A. Definition of the process
B. Doer/agent of the process
C. Purpose of the process
D. Purpose of the process description
E. Point of view of the process description
F. Main steps in the process
II. Body/Step-by-step Description
A. Main Step 1
1. Substep 1
2. Substep 2

Basic Techniques in Technical Writing
B. Main Step 2
1. Substep 1
2. Substep 2
3. Substep 3
a. Sub-substep 1
b. Sub-substep 2
4. Substep 3
C. Main Step 3
1. Substep 1
2. Substep 2
III. Conclusion/Summary of the Main Points


Basic Techniques in Technical Writing
Description of a Process
A refrigerator is a machine that is used to keep food or other
items cool. It is based on two scientific principles. First, when a liquid
changes into gas, it absorbs heat from its surroundings. Second, when
gas changes into liquid, it transmits heat to its surroundings.

In detail, a refrigerator works as follows. The refrigerant vapor is
first pumped into the condenser unit which consists of coils of copper
tubing, rather like the radiator of a car. As a result of the pressure
developed by the pump, the ammonia vapor liquifies. The heat energy
that results from the change of state of the ammonia is transmitted to
the air in contract with the condenser unit. The warm air rises and is
replaced by cooler air.

Next, the pressure developed by the pump forces the liquid
ammonia into the copper tubing surrounding the freezing
compartment at the top of the refrigerator. Here, the pressure on the
liquid ammonia is reduced by the sucking action of the pump. As a
Description of a Process
result of this reduction in pressure, the liquid ammonia changes into a
gas. As it vaporizes, the ammonia absorbs heat energy from the
refrigerator and its contents. The vaporized ammonia then reenters
the pump unit and the cycle is repeated.

There are two valves (V1 and V2) in the pump unit. During the
up stroke, while the pump is forcing ammonia vapor into the
condenser unit, valve V1 is open and valve V2 is closed.

The closed down stroke valve V1 prevents the compressed
ammonia from returning into the pump unit. At the same time, valve
V2 opens from the downward stroke of the pump piston, sucks the
ammonia from the tubing which surrounds the freezing compartment
into the pump unit. This reduces the pressure in this tubing. As a
result, the liquid refrigerant contains, vaporizes, and absorbs heat
from the food.
Source: Garcia, C. A., Adorable, G. B., & De Asis, B. Z. (2009). Technical report writing.
Manila: Booklore Publishing Corporation.
a systematic process of dividing materials into different
classes
Classification
Basic Techniques in Technical Writing
grouping similar units in a subclass which in turn falls
under longer class
When classifying, use the following outline:
I. Introduction
A. Definition of the thing classified
B. Basis of classification
C. Main groups in the classification
II. Body/Group-by-group Description
A. Main Group 1
1. Subgroup 1
2. Subgroup 2

Basic Techniques in Technical Writing
B. Main Group 2
1. Subgroup 1
2. Subgroup 2
3. Subgroup 3
a. Sub-subgroup 1
b. Sub-subgroup 2
C. Main Group 3
1. Subgroup 1
2. Subgroup 2
3. Subgroup 3
III. Conclusion/Summary of the Main Points


Basic Techniques in Technical Writing
Classification of Clouds
Clouds are collections of tiny water and ice particles in the air.
Clouds found near the earth are called fog.

Clouds are classified according to their location in the
atmosphere. Clouds are formed when the air at the ground level are
heated by the sun. As the air begins to rise, it cools. When the humid
air is cooled below a critical temperature, the water begins to
condense on tiny particle and forms droplets in the atmosphere.

The first type of clouds are the high clouds. By its name, a high
cloud is located high in the atmosphere. This group composed of
subtypes, which are the cirrus clouds, cirrostratus clouds, and
cirrocumulus clouds.

Cirrus clouds are generally made up of ice crystals, which appear
as feather horse tails. Cirrostratus are thin, white layers of clouds.
Cirrocumulus clouds are fluffy, high, white clouds.
Classification of Clouds
The second type of clouds are the intermediate clouds. This
group is composed of altocumulus and altostratus clouds.

Altocumulus are thick, flattened layers of clouds. Altostratus
clouds are thick, gray layer of clouds, which sometimes completely
cover the sun or moon.

Low clouds are composed of stratocumulus and nimbostratus.
Stratocumulus clouds are large, fluffy cloud layers. Nimbostratus
clouds are continuous cloud layers, which are dark and are seen on
days of constant rain or snow.

Finally, vertical clouds are subclassified as cumulus and
nimbocumulus clouds. Cumulus clouds are huge, fluffy clouds with flat
base bottoms and are piled up into the sky. Nimbocumulus clouds are
dark and are seen during thunderstorms.
Source: Garcia, C. A., Adorable, G. B., & De Asis, B. Z. (2009). Technical report writing.
Manila: Booklore Publishing Corporation.
analysis that divides a singular unit into its components,
steps, or aspects
Partition
Basic Techniques in Technical Writing
characteristics of a partition system
must be sufficient
The divisions must be coordinate, naturally exclusive, must
not overlap, and must be complete.
Partition of a House
Houses in the Philippines and around the world almost have the
same sections.

The carport is usually found on the front part of the house
especially in the house of the prominent family.

The next section of the house is the living room. This is the area
of the house where the family gathers and where visitors are
received.

The dining area is usually found near the living room and the
kitchen area.

The kitchen section is the area where the meals of the family are
prepared.

Then, there is the toilet and bath section and the laundry
section.
Partition of a House
And of course, there is the place for family members to settle
and relax after a days set of activities, the bedroom section.

The partition of the different sections of the house are deemed
to give comfort and happiness to the people living inside.
Source: Garcia, C. A., Adorable, G. B., & De Asis, B. Z. (2009). Technical report writing.
Manila: Booklore Publishing Corporation.