While the original text by Suzan Last was quite complete and stood well as it was, assessing the needs of our college-level students led me to make some amendments and to add chapters that would offer additional guidance.
- The original Common Document Types has been divided into two parts: Communicating Technical Information and Reporting Information. Communicating Technical Information focuses on routine documents, while Reporting Information focuses on reports.
- A chapter on Formatting Documents has been added to Communicating Technical Information so as offer information on formatting options and conventions. In addition, the following chapters have been added to the same section: a chapter on Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), along with a chapter on Inspection and Incident Reports.
- Since our school has adopted the APA style, all citations and reference lists along with information related to citation and documentation have been revised to align with this style. Much of the content of Appendices A, B, and C was integrated into the part on Citing and Documenting Sources (APA Style).
- A section on the job application process has also been added to the text. It includes coverage of the job search process, cover letters, résumés, online applications, and interviewing skills. Thanks to Tom Bartsiokas for sharing this content from his adapted Communication @ Work.
- Some content in the Oral and Visual Presentations section was reorganized, which resulted in the creation of new chapters: Designing Presentations and Presenting Virtually.
While editing the text, I came across a lovely gem of a supplement: University of Victoria’s, Engineering Work Term Report Guide: A Guide to Content, Style and Format Requirements for University of Victoria Engineering Students Writing Co-op Work Term Reports, which had been updated by Last in 2017. Following Suzan’s confirmation that this was an open resource, I adapted this guide for our technical communication students; it is now referenced and linked in this text as A Guide to Writing Formal Technical Reports: Content, Style, Format.
Robin L. Potter