In Chapter 1 of Technical Communication Today, we are immediately struck with the importance of developing a workplace writing process. The textbook outlines 5 stages (Planning and Researching, Organizing and Drafting, Improving Style, Designing, and Revising and Editing). “While writing a document or presentation,” the book states, “you will need to move back and forth among these stages” (3). This activity is designed to have you reflect on your own writing process. Doing so, will allow you to better understand the ways in which you approach a writing task and help you consider, with strategies from the textbook, how you might refine your process for the workplace.
First, take a few moments to reflect on your own writing processes. Consider the following questions to help jump start your thinking:
- Where do you write (coffee shop, office, library, etc.)?
- What conditions do you prefer (quiet, listening to music, TV in background, etc.)?
- What do you write with (computer/laptop, tablet, paper/pen, quill/parchment, etc.)?
- What invention (brainstorming) activities do you use (free write, mind map, list, outline, etc.)?
Then, reflect on the ways you compose documents. Do you start with the intro and work all the way through to the end, rewriting and revising when complete in a linear fashion? Or perhaps, you bounce around writing, (re)organizing, and editing along the way, in a more recursive style.
After you have finished reading Chapter 1 and reflecting on your own writing process: (1) create an image (using MS Word, PowerPoint, crayons/markers, or by some other method/material with which you feel comfortable) that best illustrates your writing process, and (2) compose a 100- to 200-word document that explains your image, discusses your writing process reflection, and makes connections to Chapter 1 (pull in quotes and/or examples when appropriate). In this document, also consider how your current writing process might shift or evolve as you develop workplace writing processes.
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