Technical Communication

Part A: Email/Text Problems

Emails and texts are used for personal or workplace communication. However, poorly written or hastily written email or texts can cause various problems to the reader. Poorly written emails could have a disrespectful tone causing misunderstandings or offending the reader. Since emails and texts are quick ways of communicating, hastily written messages could have disrespectful tones hence offending the reader. 

Another problem of poorly written email and text messages is that they often use unknown words or terminologies. This might be confusing to the reader, and the intended message would not be communicated. Unknown terminologies might also cause the reader to feel confused and question whether the message was meant for him or her. 

Some poorly written emails also contain a lot of information. Emails and text messages are meant to be brief, straight to the point, and all the important points should be in the first half of the subject line. However, too much information might cause the reader to overlook or misread some of the important information. The reader might then need to do follow ups in order to address problems.

Hastily written emails and texts can be sent to the wrong recipient, and this can be embarrassing to the person sending the email. Sending email or texts hastily can ruin relationships as messages find their way to the wrong person. Messages should always go to the right person as sending the message to the wrong person could cause irreparable damages.

Emails and messages are meant to be brief, concise, and straight to the point. However, poorly written or hastily written emails can cause problems in communication as the sender might not be able to communicate effectively. Sending a poorly written email or text means that the message is not communicated. 

Part B: Writing a Process Description

One process description that I understand well and has several distinct steps in the process of upgrading Adobe reader in the windows computer. This process is broken down into several distinct steps that are easy to understand and follow. For instance, there is the introduction, step to step directions and conclusion. 

The process begins with an introduction informing the reader that the new version of Adobe reader is available and that one has the option of downloading it. The process also states the purpose and scope of the process so that the reader understands what he or she is doing. The process is also broken down into several steps whereby the user is informed on what to do. For instance, the reader is informed where the new version is available and where to click in order to download it. 

The instructions also specify the amount of time taken for the download to complete. There is also the instruction on where to find the downloaded file and what to do with it. The step to step descriptions of the instructions are written in a brief and concise manner whereby there is the definition of the step, the purpose of the step, provision of the necessary context and brief description of any components that are involved. 

The process description for upgrading Adobe reader also has a conclusion whereby the reader is informed that the download or upgrade process is complete and that the application is ready to use. Most process descriptions involving downloading or upgrading programs from the internet are usually well written with distinct steps that are easy to understand. This enables communication, and the reader is able to follow through all the instructions.

Part C: Difficult to Follow Instructions

The most difficult set of instructions to follow are in a food product with a set of chopsticks that I bought. The instructions read:

Using chopsticks 

  1. Chopstick A is used for support. Put this chopstick between your middle and ring fingers.
  2. Put chopstick B between your middle and index fingers and hold it with your thumb.
  3. Open the tips of the chopsticks and try to pick up food with them

The above instructions are difficult to understand and use due to various reasons:

  • The explanation of the steps does not enable the readers to understand what to do. The instructions start by asking the user to place chopstick A between fingers. However, there were two identical chopsticks that were not adequately labeled. While giving instructions on how to various parts, it is important to label these items before giving out instructions.
  • The instructions do not provide examples to enable readers to do the procedures correctly. Since the items were identical, it would have been important for the person writing the instructions to provide demonstrations on how to use the chopsticks. In this particular case, instructions are not enough to enable users to do the instructions correctly. 
  • The instructions sound contradictory. According to the instructions, the reader is required to place chopsticks between fingers. However, there are two chopsticks, and one cannot tell which should be placed the middle and the index finger or between the middle and ring fingers. Such instructions are confusing to the reader and make it more difficult for a person to use the item. While writing instructions, one should avoiding contradictory statements. 
  • Lack of supplementary discussion. While writing instructions, it is not enough to tell readers to do this or to do that. Instructions need additional information to explain how the item should look before and after a step. However, the instructions in the food product did not provide supplementary discussion and so the instructions appear vague and difficult to follow. 

Part D: Ted Talk Lecture Evaluation

In the Jay Walker: The world’s English mania video on Ted.com, there is a number of evaluation criteria that are most salient for this speaker:

  • Organization- The speaker started with a clear introduction on what he was going to talk about. He starts by introducing the word ‘mania’ and gives examples.
  • Visual aid- the speaker made a good use of visual aids in the form of powerpoint presentations. The audiovisuals used in the presentation were very helpful in enabling the audience to follow the aspect of ‘mania’. 
  • Confidence- the speaker looked relaxed and confident and appeared as if he had a proper understanding of the topic. The speaker also established and maintained eye contact throughout the talk.
  • Presence- the speaker appeared need and well-presented while giving the talk. His posture and body movements were appropriate. 
  • Delivery- the speaker showed enthusiasm while presenting the talk and appeared well prepared for the presentation. His delivery method was effective.
  • Grammar- the speaker used appropriate words and avoided using vocabularies and distracting words. He was also very audible and clear. 
  • Speech- the speech used by the speaker was varied and not too rushed. The intonation was also varied and appropriate stressing on the important points and enabling the audience to understand what the speaker is talking about,
  • Timing- the talk was well-timed, and the speaker used the visual aids to summarize all the points he wanted to address the topic. He also divided his time well from introduction to conclusion.
  • Discussion management- the speaker engaged in most of the discussion of the topic and took a lot of time before initiating discussion with the audience. The speaker could have initiated discussion sooner so as to address all the relevant questions and engage the audience more.
  • Content- the speaker was in control of the subject, and he covered all that he intended to cover in the given time. In addition, he referred to other resources and examples hence showing knowledge and understanding of the topic.

 

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