Technical Writing

Technical Writing Extension Certificate

Online

STC_Alberta
The field of technical writing continues to experience rapid growth. Businesses need technical writers who can combine the skills of effective communication with practical experience using the latest tools and technology. This program will provide students with experience developing reports, procedural manuals, training guides, design specifications, editing, online documents and various other communication forms.

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

Students! Learn more about STC events.

 

Important Notice

The Technical Writing Extension Certificate program is being revised for winter 2021.  Visit this page again in the coming months for further details. Our team is here to support you as you embark on or work towards completion of your certificate.
  • 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
  • Identify common types of technical communications, including but not limited to manuals, guides, design specifications and online documents
  • Demonstrate skills in using key software programs commonly used by technical writers
  • Apply a systematic approach to creating technical documents
  • Identify and apply appropriate styles of writing for specific technical communications purposes
  • Conduct an audience analysis to organize and present technical information
    evaluate the effectiveness of the content and presentation of a technical communication form
  • 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
  • Some required courses may require assignments to be submitted within 1 week after the course has finished.

Recommended Preparation

  • A grade 12 level of proficiency in written and spoken English and strong intermediate skills in MS Word and Windows are strongly recommended requirements.
  • We strongly recommend completion of Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors before beginning other courses in the certificate.
TECHNICAL WRITING SCHEDULE
Required Courses
Recommended Order
Fall
(Sept.-Dec.)
Winter
(Jan.-Apr.)
Spring
(May-June)
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 (classroom)
Grammar and Punctuation Essentials (online)
Writing and Editing for Digital Media 
Effective Business Writing (classroom)
Effective Business Writing (online)
Creating Training Manuals 
The above schedule is subject to change. Courses start on various dates within each semester. Classroom delivery of courses unavailable until further notice due to COVID-19
Fall schedule and registration available in June. Winter schedule and registration available in November. Spring/Summer schedule and registration available in March.

Required Courses

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.

Recommended Preparation:
Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors

Subject (for registration): Technical & Business Writing

Subject code: XTBW 10032 12 Hours Fee: $379
CRN 90277 Online Oct. 19 - Nov. 16

 


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 Preparation:
Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors

Subject (for registration): Technical & Business Writing

Subject code: XTBW 10004 18 Hours Fee: $449
CRN 90011
Online Sept. 8 - Oct. 20

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.

Recommended Preparation:
Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors

Subject (for registration): Technical & Business Writing

Subject code: XTBW 10026 15 Hours Fee: $429
CRN 90276
Online Sept. 21 - Oct. 26

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 Preparation:
Foundations of Technical Communication

Strongly
recommended: Previous knowledge in Microsoft Word Levels 1 and 2 (available here)

Subject (for registration):
Computers - Word Processing

Subject code: XWOP 10011 15 Hours Fee: $309
CRN 90165
Online Oct. 26 - Nov. 30

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 Use Cases and other specification documents. Prepare representative documents using MS Word.

Recommended Preparation:
Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors

Subject (for registration): Technical & Business Writing

Subject code: XTBW 10024 15 Hours Fee: $429
CRN 90411
Online Oct. 5 - Nov. 9

Site Architecture for Online Media
Digital media is redefining the way our world communicates, accesses information and shares ideas. According to online statistics, there are as many as 2 billion websites currently in operation throughout the world. With the explosion of social media and mobile technology in recent years, how users interact with those sites is changing on a regular basis, creating incredible new opportunities for website designers and content creators.

Recommended Preparation:
Foundations of Technical Communication and Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors

Subject (for registration): Technical & Business Writing

Subject code: XTBW 10025 15 Hours. Fee: $429
CRN 90413
Online Nov. 9 - Dec. 14

Writing User Guides
Design and prepare effective user guides that enable the reader to successfully operate a product. 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.

Recommended Preparation: Strong working knowledge of English grammar, punctuation, spelling, and style.

No text required.

Subject (for registration): Technical Business Writing

Subject code: XTBW 10016 15 Hours Fee: $429
CRN 90409 Online Sept. 8 - Oct. 13

Preparing Policies & Procedures
Documenting 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. Students will examine the essential ingredients of policies and procedures and practice using these to prepare effective policies and procedures using MS Word.

Recommended Preparation: Strong working knowledge of English grammar, punctuation, spelling, and style.

Textbook (required): 7 Steps to Better Written Policies and Procedures by Page, Steven B., Process Improvement Pub (1999). ISBN-13: 978-1929065240

You can purchase a copy of the required textbook at the Cougar Campus Store or Amazon.ca.

Subject (for registration): Technical & Business Writing

Subject code: XTBW 10017 15 Hours Fee: $429
CRN 90410 Online Oct. 19 - Nov. 23

Document Layout & 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 Microsoft Word®.

Recommended Preparation: Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Word, English grammar, punctuation, spelling, and style.

Textbook (Optional): The Non-Designers Design Book (4th Edition), Williams, Robin., Peachpit Press (a division of Pearson Education). Available at the Cougars Campus Store.

Subject (for registration): Technical & Business Writing

Subject code: XTBW 10022 15 Hours Fee: $429
CRN 90226 Online Nov. 9 - Dec. 14

Editing Basics for Technical Documents
Editing is a vital step in creating professional, accurate, and usable technical documentation. This course will discuss the role of the editor and the editing process, as well as examine the types of edits that documents can undergo. Various edit types will be learned through hands-on exercises.

Recommended Preparation: XTBW 10004 Foundations of Technical Communication & XWOP 10011 Advanced Microsoft Word for Writers and Editors

No text required.

Subject (for registration): Technical & Business Writing

Subject code: XTBW 10023 15 Hours Fee: $429
CRN 90275 Online Sept. 28 - Nov. 2


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.


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): Chandler, M. (2017). Good Writing is Good Business . Green Fuse Inc. Available at the Cougars Campus Store . eBook available at www.goodbusinesswriter.com

Subject (for registration): Technical & Business Writing

Subject code: XTBW 10013 15 Hours Fee: $429
CRN  90203
Online Sept. 14 - Oct. 19

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 (for registration): Communications

Subject code: XCOM 20010 15 Hours Fee: $429
CRN 90319
Online Oct. 26 - Nov. 30

Creating Training Manuals
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 (for registration): Technical & Business Writing

Subject code: XTBW 10028 7.5 Hours Fee: $269
CRN 90413
Online Oct. 26 - Nov. 23

 

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.

Recommended:  Complete this course and Effective Business Writing before beginning Editing Fundamentals.

Required textbook: Ruvinsky, M. (2014). Practical Grammar: A Canadian Writer's Resource (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press Canada.

Subject (for registration):  Communications

Subject code: XCOM 20008 20 Hours Fee: $359
CRN 90463 Online Sept. 14 - Oct. 26

Refer to your Confirmation of Registration for specific course and textbook information.

Textbooks may be purchased independently or through the Cougars Campus Store.

Course materials are provided on Blackboard 3 days prior to class start.
ce_img_RichardErlendsonRichard Erlendson

Dr. Richard Erlendson has the distinction of serving as a long-time professor in both the Faculty of Business and Communication Studies and the Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension at MRU. In both faculties, he has taught professional writing, editing, reporting, design, publishing and visual communication. He is a career journalist and photojournalist, and has received the Canadian Word Award for magazine writing. Richard is also a recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Award at MRU. He holds both a masters and doctorate from the University of Alberta with undergrad degrees in journalism and education.
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.
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.
Glynndon Dobson BA, MA.

Glynndon Dobson is a Technical Writing and Professional Editing Program Instructor in Continuing Education here at MRU. Having previously taught University courses at the University of Saskatchewan he brings both passion and experience to the classroom and is excited to be a part of the Mount Royal instructional team. Glynndon completed his Bachelor's Degree in English Literature at the University of Alberta. After working in Finance for a number of years he pursued a Master's of Arts at the University of Saskatchewan. The focus of his Master's Degree was Violence in Male Identity: Post 1950's American War Literature. He now works as a freelance Technical Writer in Calgary.

Contact us

For information about this program:
cebusiness@mtroyal.ca
403.440.6861 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 unit.