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Handbook of Technical Writing Paperback – 1 Jan 1996

2.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 687 pages
  • Publisher: St Martins Pr; 5th edition (Jan. 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312166923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312166922
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 14.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Product description

About the Author

Gerald J. Alfred is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he teaches business and technical writing. Charles T. Brusaw is presently a business writing consultant for many corporations worldwide. He retired from NCR Corporation after working for twenty years as a technical writer. He has also worked in advertising, public relations, and curriculum development. Walter E. Oliu is Acting Director of the Division of Freedom of Information and Publications Services at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and has taught at Miami University of Ohio and Slippery Rock State University. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

2.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Summary: If you already have an adequate writer's handbook, look elsewhere for advice about technical writing. If you are new both to writing in general and technical writing in particular, you could do worse.
The publisher claims that the handbook "is specifically geared to the art of technical communication". Not so. The majority of information here pertains to all writers--for instance, the explanation of the proper use of italics and discussion of the voice, mood, and tense of verbs. Even the examples are general rather than technically-related: the entry for like/as has the example "She took to architecture as a bird takes to nest building", which it is difficult to imagine finding in a computer manual, progress report, proposal, or even correspondence.
Some readers may find value in the longer entries, such as those about feasibility reports, instructions, process explanation, proposals, and various types of letters. These provide an interesting combination of introduction/recap for these topics. However, some of the longer entries are bewildering--for example, there is an entry about interviewing for a job, the presence of which is difficult to justify, particularly as the discussion is not specific to jobs in technical writing.
Several entries are marked with a symbol that resembles a cross between the European recycling logo and the yin/yang symbol. There is no explanation of the meaning of this symbol... unless the reader happens across the entry for English as a second language (ESL). Ouch.
Although this fifth hardcover edition has a 1997 copyright date, some examples betray the book's earlier origin. The examples of typeface quality (under the entry for word processing) shows a very early laser printer.
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Format: Hardcover
This is billed as a supposed excellent resource for technical writers. Truthfully, this book provides little more than basic mechanics of the English language. When I'm trying to design high-tech documentation for companies like Hewlett-Packard and Intel, I need a book that provides more advice than how to use verb structure and prepositions. It pains me that I have to spend the money to ship this thing back.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm not a technical writer by trade but I do spend plenty of time as a project manager writing functional and design specifications for software and web sites. This book is a true jewel, providing design, layout, and word usage for all of my documents. It's the book you've been searching for all of this time!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.1 out of 5 stars 47 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A handy tool for writers… 21 Jun. 2014
By Silverwing - Published on
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
Although no handbook/guide is completely comprehensive of all the topics in a particular field, this book does a great job in providing instruction/information. This book covers areas ranging from the proper utilization of proper grammar (from basic concepts to those which are more advanced), how to begin and conduct research, how to write papers, reports, and proposals, and numerous other topics. The information is presented clearly and is well organized. A Handbook for Technical Writing will definitely serve as a handy desk reference for years to come.
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Purchase - Reasonable Price 24 Sept. 2015
By Atharva Dhole - Published on
Format: Spiral-bound Verified Purchase
Came a little late, but that was not off significant concern. The book was in great condition, but I'm skeptical to call it new as there were some areas of wear along the edge and corner. However, for the price this was an excellent purchase. Content is great and exactly what was required for my technical writing class
5.0 out of 5 stars Technical Writing book - great for studying for DSST tests. 11 April 2014
By Desiree Shaffer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this text for my son who is studying for a DSST test in Technical Writing so that he can skip the course (and save some money and time in the process). This is an excellent resource that many other DSST test takers have recommended. It is thorough, concise, and easy to navigate since everything is listed in alphabetical order. There are many samples shown of several different types of technical documents. Highly recommended.
5.0 out of 5 stars Handbook of Technical Writing 24 Jun. 2013
By Haven Wildcat - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great book. I still have and use the 2nd edition from when I was in college. I bought this one for my daughter.

It's laid out like a left brainer thinks. Here's an example: you can look up "affect/effect" and it explains them both and tells when to use which one. Way better than a dictionary where you have to look up both and decide.
5.0 out of 5 stars A very useful writing tool 27 Jan. 2017
By Andy - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very useful writing tool. I wish I had it handy a long time ago for my college papers.
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