Technical Writing Training
After obtaining a B.S. and an M.S. in Chemistry from Tuskegee University, Robert Peoples joined the pharmaceutical industry as a Research Chemist with a concentration in analytical chemistry at Wyeth/Lederle. While at Wyeth/Lederle Robert was primarily responsible for the analysis of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) in various drug delivery formulations, e.g. aerosols, capsules, creams, ointments, and tablets. He joined Organon/Merck as a Research Chemist responsible for the development of stability-indicating methods of analysis using HPLC.
While at Organon/Merck, Robert transitioned into technical writing. As a Technical Writer, he was responsible for the creation of procedures for instrument qualification, test scripts, IQ/OQ/PQ protocols for sample handling, cleaning validation reports, method transfer reports, method validation reports, stability reports, Change Control and CAPAs. Later he joined Johnson and Johnson as a Technical Writer where he created stability strategies, protocols, and reports as well as SOPs developed training materials and competency profiles in addition to proofreading and improving written reports for other departments. He also edited policies and procedures, user guides, and job aids.
After leaving Johnson and Johnson Robert became a consultant to other pharmaceutical companies where he created SOPs for analytical method validation as well as pharmaceutical stability studies and stability program management. For another client company, he created stability reports that addressed FDA concerns about OOS/OOT results. For yet another client company he created stability reports, protocols and strategies for medical devices. He also created written assessments for software-controlled laboratory instrumentation.
Robert also has extensive experience in data review, stability management, and training.
Training in Technical Writing must begin with the realization that it is labor-intensive. Someone learns to be a Technical Writer by creating Technical Documents. Simply stated, a Technical Writer learns to do by doing.
In order to “Learn to do by doing,” we must define the function of Technical Writers. Exactly what is the job of Technical Writers? Technical Writers translate complex information into clear, concise technical documents to be understood by others. To perform this function Technical Writers must learn certain techniques to create technical documents. The purpose of the webinar is to teach these techniques to budding Technical Writers so that they are not intimidated when confronted by a blank screen. A blank screen can be quite overwhelming to budding Technical Writers when they realize that someone expects them to fill that blank screen with Technical Documents during well-defined, often short timelines.
It is vitally important that Technical Writers identify the target audience. The target audience defines the goals of the written presentation. To determine the goals of the presentation Technical Writers should ask a few questions of the target audience. Who is going to read the technical documents? Why are they going to read them? What message are you, the Technical Writer, trying to convey to the audience? What do you, the Technical Writer, know about the target audience? How much do they know about the subject matter? What value can you, the Technical Writer, add to the knowledge of the target audience? If the target audience is well-versed in the subject matter, the scope of the technical documents will be completely different from if the target audience is unfamiliar with the subject matter.
Technical Writers must research the subject matter. Researching the subject matter leads directly to the issue of planning technical documents. The value of planning technical documents cannot be overstated. Planning technical documents may take as much as 50% of the allotted time.
To determine the objectives of the technical documents Technical Writers return to the target audience. What does the target audience want to know? How can Technical Writers satisfy that need? How many needs or requirements are necessary to address questions of the target audience?
Technical Writers must read and edit the technical documents they create before sending them for peer or supervisory review. The technical documents must be reviewed to ensure that they address the goals and objectives of the target audience. If the Technical Writers’ review indicates inconsistency with the goals or objectives of the target audience or with other parts of the technical documents the sections must be rewritten for consistency. There must be as many rewrites as necessary to achieve consistency.
Creating in-house templates is a common function of Technical Writers. Such templates are presented often as Standard Operation Procedures. Such Standard Operation Procedures are beneficial to organizations to ensure that company procedures are followed. They also ensure intra- and interdepartmental consistency and for training purposes.
All technical documents are subject to peer and/or supervisory review. Budding Technical Writers should not fear the review and approval process. The review and approval process can provide guidance on improving technical documents and new ideas and concepts to provide value to the target audience.
There are 5 points for you the audience to remember about Technical Writing Training:
- Focus on the target audience
- Set goals and objectives that relate to the target audience
- Create a plan for technical documents that address the concerns, questions, and requirements of the target audience
- Do not fear reviewers and approvers
- Technical Writers learn to do by doing!
- Creating Technical Documents
- Define and address the Target Audience
- Comparison of Technical Writing and Creative Writing and/or Journalism
- Parts of a Technical Document
- Editing/Proofreading Techniques
- Technical Writing Concerns
Course Level - Basic/Fundamental
Who Should Attend
- Chemists Engineers
- IT personnel
- Human Resources
- Any highly technical
- highly specialized personnel
Why Should You Attend
Attendees need Training in Technical Writing to address the following situation.
You have been given what can be a daunting task to write a report on work that you or someone else has done, a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), an Instruction Manual for the operation of some instrumentation for training the general public or in-house personnel, a Laboratory Procedure, a manual to explain the use of a new service for the general public. Technical Writing could also involve reporting on work for inclusion in an FDA filing, a justification for the purchase of new instrumentation, an increase in the operating budget for a department, or any number of written presentations. You are quite comfortable in your area of expertise and often excel in that area. Far too often your area of expertise does not include writing and this takes you out of your comfort zone. You stare at a blank screen while realizing that you have to create something! What to do? This webinar is designed to answer that question.
Technical writing must be balanced enough such that the highly technical audience will understand and appreciate what is said but Technical Writing must also be understood by an audience who may not be as well-versed in the subject matter as other members of the audience. Usually, Technical Writing consists of reports and/or Standard Operation Procedures but can also include Instruction Manuals or any written presentation for a highly specialized audience.
Your first consideration: who is the audience? Who will read the document? Why will they read the document? How long will they have to read the document? Are they interested in the document? How do I arouse interest in the document? There are so many other questions that you can ask but these are the types of things that you should consider.
The next consideration is what are you trying to tell the audience? What are the ideas/the concepts/the concerns do you want to convey to the audience?
Attendees require Training in Technical Writing to address the situation described above. This training should begin with attendance at this webinar.