Technical Writing and Editing

Subject PUBL90005 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2
Total Time Commitment: 120
Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements: None


Dr Geoff Marnell


Geoff Marnell
Subject Overview:

This subject teaches the writing and editing skills needed in the technical writing profession. The emphasis is on preparing instructional materials (also known as user documentation), both for printed and online delivery. Students will learn how to plan a documentation project, how to tailor writing for various audiences (local and international), how to write effective procedures, how to build subject-specific thesauri, and how to index and design documents.

  • have a capacity for effective teamwork through group discussions and collaborative exercises;
  • have a cultural and ethical understanding through reflection and reading on issues of inclusive and non-discriminatory language and the ethical responsibilities of the editor;
  • have information technology literacy and an understanding of information management through participation in computer laboratory sessions and completion of exercises and assignments; and
  • have a capacity for critical analysis through close engagement with a wide range of texts.
Assessment: Class participation 10%, edited documentation 500 words 15% (due mid-August), product-specific thesaurus 1500 words 25% (due early October), user manual with an index 2500 words 50% (due early November).
Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have a high-level of written and oral communication skills through contribution to class discussions, the completion of exercises and assignments, and wide reading on issues in contemporary technical and scientific communication practice;
  • have acquired skills in the deployment of visual materials both in traditional print genres and through digital media;
  • have skills in research, including the use of online as well as print-based materials in the course of exercises and assignments; and
  • have skills in time management and planning through managing workloads for recommended reading, tutorial presentations and assessment requirements.
Notes: This subject is only available to students enrolled in the Publishing and Communications program, Media and Communication honours or MA by coursework program. Students enrolled in other cognate postgraduate programs may seek approval from the course coordinator.
Related Course(s): Master of Arts (Science, Communication and Society)
Master of Publishing and Communications
Postgraduate Certificate in Arts (Editing and Communications)
Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Editing and Communications)

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