Introduction to the Course

Please consult this web page regularly for the most complete
and up-to-date version of the schedule and requirements
for this class. In addition, supplemental materials will be linked
to this page regularly throughout the term.

Teacher: Dr. Eva Thury
Office hours: M 2-3, R 2-3
Office Phone: 895-1711
and by appointment
Office: Macalister 5035


As a technical communicator, you will either write computer documentation, or work with people who do. It's as simple as that.Thus, you need to be familiar with the process of designing effective documentation, both paper and online.

You may already be familiar with some of the principles and conceptsinvolved. In some sense, software documentation represents a particular application of the principles of document design. However,software documentation warrants treatment as a separate area of study because the content area to which these general theories are appliedis sufficiently distinctive and volatile. In particular, the computer places users in a task environment which is or can be nonlinear and which is prone to overload and confuse them with its levels and categories of information.

The basic principles we will cover in this course are these: audience analysis, document organization, and the facilitation of information access. Also relevant are task analysis, layering for multiple audiences, interface design, minimalist design, the social context of documentation, and document testing.

All classes will meet in Korman Room A.