Technical Writing

Technical Writing Extension Certificate

Classroom and Online

Please note: Beginning Fall 2016, all required courses will only be offered online.STC_Alberta

 The Technical Writing program is a recognized member of the Society of Technical Communication (STC). 

Students! Learn more about STC events.  

CE Icon - Read Article  Article about the Technical Writing program 

  • Prepare to enter the field of technical writing for science, technology, education, oil and gas, business communications, web-based publishing, freelance writing and editing, and more
  • Advance your technical writing knowledge and skills
  • Earn a credential
  • Develop highly sought-after technical writing skills using the latest tools, methods and key software programs.
  • Complete the 10 required courses plus 22.5 hours of optional courses (172.5 hours)
  • Can be completed within 1 year up to a maximum of 3 years

Requirements

  • A grade 12 level of proficiency in written and spoken English and strong intermediate skills in MS Word and Windows are strongly recommended requirements.
  • Please bring a 4GB USB memory stick to class as some classes will be held in a computer lab.
  • We strongly recommend completion of Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors before beginning other courses in the certificate.
  • Some required courses may require assignments to be submitted within 1 week after the course has finished. 
TECHNICAL WRITING SCHEDULE
Required Courses
Recommended Order
Winter '17
(Jan.-Apr.)
Spring'17
(May-Jun.)
Fall '17
(Sept. - Dec. )
Foundations of Technical Communication
Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors
Document Layout and Design 
Writing User Guides 
Preparing Policies and Procedures 
Editing Basics for Technical Documents
Producing Software Specifications
Site Architecture for Online Media
Design and Authoring for Online Media 
Documentation Project Management
Optional Courses (choose 22.5 hours)   
Grammar and  Punctuation Essentials
Writing and Editing for Digital Media
Creating Training Materials  
Effective Business Writing
The above schedule is subject to change. Courses start on various dates within each semester.
Fall schedule and registration available in June. Winter schedule and registration available in November. Spring/Summer schedule and registration available in March.

 Required Courses

Foundations of Technical Communication
Explore the discipline of technical writing and enhance your writing techniques to meet the demands of today’s marketplace. Study the concepts involved in technical writing, including audience analysis, document organization, and grammar and writing skills to create clear, concise, correct and cohesive communications. Apply these through practical exercises. 
Recommended co-requisite: Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors

Subject code: XTBW 10004 18 Hours. Fee: $429  
CRN 50250
Online May 1-June 5    

Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors
Develop intermediate skills to create professional looking documents.  Learn how to use features and templates to create and format documents with more complex layouts, including styles, tables, pictures and objects, columns, numbering, headers and footers, tables of contents and templates.
Recommended co-requisite: Foundations of Technical Communication
Strongly recommended: Microsoft Word Levels 1 and 2 (available here)

Subject code: XWOP 10011 15 Hours. Fee: $289  
CRN 50238 Online May 29-June 26    

Document Layout and Design
Discover how the principles of page layout, typography and design can help you produce effective and readable technical documents. Put these principles into practice by designing technical documents using MS Word.
Prerequisites: Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors
Required textbook: The Non-Designers Design Book (4th Edition), Robin Williams, Peachpit Press (a division of Pearson Education). Available at the BookStore.

Subject code: XTBW 10022 15 Hours. $409 Not offered this semester

Writing User Guides
Design and prepare effective user guides that enable the reader to successfully operate a product. As well, study and follow through the process of guide and manual creation using MS Word, including task and audience analysis, documentation standards, instruction writing and information organization.
Prerequisites: Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors

Subject code: XTBW 10016 15 Hours. Fee: $409
CRN 50303OnlineMay 15-June 12  

Preparing Policies and Procedures
Preparing effective policies and procedures has become a major focus for technical writers as quality standards like ISO 9000 emphasize their role in developing quality products and services. Examine the essential ingredients of policies and procedures and practice using these to prepare effective policies and procedures using MS Word. Prerequisites: Foundations of Technical communication and Advanced Word for Writers
Required textbook: 7 Steps to Better Written Policies and Procedures, Steve Page. Available at the BookStore or Amazon. PDF format is only available on author's website (approx. $16.)

Subject code: XTBW 10017 15 Hours. Fee: $409  Not offered this semester

Editing Basics for Technical Documents
Editing is a vital step in creating professional, accurate and usable technical documentation. Discuss the role of the editor and the editing process, as well as examining the types of edits that documents can undergo. Practice various edit types through hands-on exercises.
Prerequisites: Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors

Subject code: XTBW 10023 15 Hours. Fee: $409  
 CRN 50516  Online  May 29-June 26    

Producing Software Specifications
Functional requirements and design specifications are vital to any development or manufacturing project. Explore the role these and other technical documents play in developing a software product, and discover the elements they must have to describe a product properly using UseCases and other specification documents. Prepare representative documents using MS Word.
Prerequisites:
Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors

Subject code: XTBW 10024 15 Hours. Fee: $409
 
CRN 50251 Online May 29-June 26    

Site Architecture for Online Media
Information websites, online help and Intranets are prevalent in the business and technology world. Review the benefits and challenges, and examine and practice the skills necessary to design sites that are well organized and easy to navigate. Apply these skills while developing an information site using a combination of XHTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) and a Content Management System.
Prerequisites:
Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors

Subject code: XTBW 10025 15 Hours. Fee: $409  
CRN 50518 Online May 8-June 5    

Design and Authoring Online Media
Discover how to author pages that are organized, readable, easily comprehended and credible. Apply these skills while authoring pages using a combination of XHTML, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) within a managed environment. Information websites, online help and Intranets are prevalent in the business and technology world. Review the benefits and challenges, and examine and practice the skills necessary to author pages. 
Prerequisites: Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors

Subject code: XTBW 10026 15 Hours. Fee: $409  
CRN 50519
Online May 8-June 5    

Document Project Management
Learn techniques for managing documentation projects, including the four stages of project management;  initiating and planning, developing and executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing the project. This course will also explore the relationship between the technical writer and the subject matter expert.
Prerequisites:
Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors

Subject code: XTBW 10032 12 Hours. Fee: $359  
CRN 50521 Online May 29- June 26    

Optional Courses

Choose 22.5 hours

We strongly recommend completion of Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors before beginning any optional courses. 


Creating Training Materials
Learn to design and prepare effective training materials for a variety of training situations. Study the process of creating training materials using MS Word, including task and audience analysis, documentation standards, teaching roles, learning sequences and evaluation techniques. 

Subject code: XTBW 10028 7.5 Hours. Fee: $249            
Not offered this semester

Effective Business Writing
Are your writing skills holding back your career because you struggle to express yourself clearly, concisely and efficiently? Review and apply the principles of effective writing and revising. Learn how to create powerful workplace documents including emails, letters and reports that achieve the results you want. Review the basic design principles and survey professional editing techniques.
Textbook (required): HBR Guide to Better Business Writing, Bryan A. Garner, available at the BookStore.

Subject code: XTBW 10013 15 Hours. Fee: $409  
CRN 50223 Online May 2- 30    

Writing and Editing for Digital Media
The rapid growth and evolution of digital media has presented tremendous opportunities and new challenges for writers and editors. Be introduced to principles, strategies and techniques for writing and editing relevant, compelling content for various digital media platforms.

Subject code: XCOM 20010 15 Hours. Fee: $409  
CRN 50252 Online May 1- 29    

Grammar and Punctuation Essentials
Brush up on basic writing skills. Review parts of speech, grammar and common grammatical mistakes. Explore sentence parts including words, phrases and clauses. Understand punctuation and common punctuation mistakes such as capitalization, abbreviations and numbers. Discuss commonly misused and misspelled words.

Required textbook: Practical Grammar: A Canadian Writer's Resource ( 3rd Edition) , Maxine Ruvinkey, Oxford University Press, 2014. Available at the BookStore.

Subject code: XCOM 20008 15 Hours. Fee: $339  
CRN 50227 3 classes May 5-19 8:30 a.m. -5 p.m. Fri.

Course Materials

Students must provide CE Registration with a current and valid email address. When registered , students will receive a welcome/orientation message by email. Course materials will be available through blackboard prior to course start date. 

 

Once you have downloaded your course materials, please bring them to class on a laptop, iPad or other tablet, or a printed paper copy.

“I liked the exercises a lot. They really help drive home the ideas.”-Foundations of Technical Communication student

“Very practical, relevant and up to date information, good to learn what employers want and how to market myself.”-Portfolios for Technical Writers student

“Clarified exactly what policies and procedures should accomplish, applicable to my current job."-Preparing Policies and Procedures student

“Very useful information, 'hands-on' learning all day long. It's exactly what I wanted to learn.”-Preparing Policies and Procedures student

 

CE Bio - Editing Business Commun - ChandlerMargaret Chandler BA, MEd

Margaret Chandler is a continuing education instructor at Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary. At Mount Royal University, she teaches grammar and punctuation, effective business writing, and editing courses. She also delivers customized workshops for clients in the private and non-profit sectors. When not busy teaching, she works as a freelance editor and writer.

Margaret studied literature and journalism at the Freie Universität in Berlin and has a BA in history and a MEd in Adult and Community Education from the University of Calgary.

She greatly enjoys sharing her passion for the English language and helping people become better writers. Students appreciate the practical tools, techniques, and resources she provides that make the writing process less difficult and more rewarding.
 
ce_img_RichardErlendsonRichard Erlendson

Dr. Richard Erlendson teaches in both the Faculty of Business and Communication Studies and the Faculty of Continuing Education. In the former, he teaches graphic design, technical writing, editing, rhetoric, photography, information architecture, media history and document production in a unique program known as Information Design. In the latter, he teaches technical and business writing, editing, and document design. In the course of his career he has worked as a writer and photojournalist for weekly and daily newspapers and numerous magazines and journals, and for four decade he has served as a freelance writer, photographer, and editor.

He is also a noted photography educator and a much sought-after presenter at conferences and workshops across Canada. He has published several books featuring extended photo essays of his work. He is an award-winning journalist, photographer, and professor. He holds a B. Ed., Dip. J. M. Ed. and Ed. D. Both graduate degrees are from the University of Alberta.

 
ce_img_Michelle_ShawMichelle G. Shaw

Michelle brings over 25 years of industry experience to classroom.  She spent a number of years working in a variety of roles as writer, software developer and manager in the Calgary technology community.  Michelle believes that effective software development relies on clear and well written documentation that is timely and accessible to a range of stakeholders.

She holds a BSc. in Computer Science from the University of Calgary, and is presently working on a Master’s degree.  When she isn’t working, Michelle can often be found hiking in the mountains near Calgary, or riding a bike along our amazing network of bike paths.
Type your expanded text here. May include tables and images.
ce_img_lyndsay_stefflerLyndsay Steffler

Lyndsay Steffler is a native Calgarian, and as such it’s unbelievable she doesn’t work in oil and gas but rather in aviation. She earned her Degree in Applied Communications (Technical Writing) and began her career as a Technical Editor; eventually working her way into a full-time technical writing role. She has added Project Management, Enterprise Content Management, and Adult Education certifications to her portfolio and began teaching for the technical writing program at MRU in 2006. Lyndsay loves working with the students and is always working diligently to support them throughout the program. Although Lyndsay is passionate about her work, when she’s not in the office or the classroom, you are likely to find her enjoying time with her husband and their 3 children, training for her next run, or attending a kickboxing class.
 
 

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Contact us

For information about this program:
cebusiness@mtroyal.ca
403.440.6013 or 1.888.392.3655
Mount Royal University, 4825 Mount Royal Gate SW, Calgary AB   T3E 6K6

Customize this program for your organization through our Corporate Training department.

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