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Not a single type of correspondence defines technical writing. Rather, technical
writing is composed of several different types of documentation. As a future language
teacher, you must familiarize yourself with these different types of technical writing. In this
unit, we shall discuss the following:
• Letters
• Memos
• E-mail
• Resume
• Powerpoint presentations
Unit Objectives
At the end of the unit, I am able to:
1. write different applications of technical writing;
2. peer edit the technical documents of my classmates; and
3. revise my outputs based on self and peer assessment.
Activating Your Prior Knowledge
How much do you know about the different types of technical writing? Read the
following statements, and then decide if they are true or false:
1. Memos are external correspondence.
2. College graduates who are hoping to enter the teaching profession for the first time
should prepare a functional resume.
3. In writing a resume, work experience should be listed in reverse chronological
4. A dark background with light text gives the best contrast in PowerPoint.
5. Letters rarely exceed one page.
6. To make your PPtx slides readable, use at least between 18-point font size and 24point.
7. E-mail is for internal correspondence only.
8. Memos always mean reprimand.
9. Signature is optional in writing a letter.
10. Letters are internal correspondence.
Expanding Your Knowledge
1. Letters
The basic form of technical writing is letters. When you become professional
teachers, you will send and receive tons of letters in your entire career. A good letter should
have the following eight essential components:
• Writer's address
• Date
• Reader's address
• Salutation
• Text
• Complimentary close
• Signature
• Typed name
Take a look at the following sample letter with each of the essential components noted.
Writer’s Address
Reader’s Address
Complimentary Close
Typed Name
Besides the eight essential components, a letter should also contain an Introduction, a Body,
and a Conclusion. For your better understanding, refer to the following all-purpose
All-Purpose Template
Original source: Dr. Steven M. Gerson at Johnson County Community College, Kansas, US
You can use this organizational approach for every type of letter you need to write. Whether
you are writing a cover letter, a sales letter, or a letter of inquiry, you will answer the same
Original source: Dr. Steven M. Gerson at Johnson County Community College, Kansas, US
Sample Cover Letter
Sample Invitation Letter
Original source: Dr. Steven M. Gerson at Johnson County Community College, Kansas, US
2. Memos
Memos and letters have some similarities. Like letters, memos have an introduction,
body, and conclusion. Memos must also possess the five traits of technical writing. However,
memos differ in two major ways from letters. The first difference is memos are internal
correspondence, while letters are external correspondence. For example, memos are
written by teachers in a school to teachers in the same school. On the other hand, letters are
written from within a school to outside administrators, teachers, students, parents, etch.
Secondly, memos and letters have different formats. If letters are consist of eight essential
components as already discussed, memos have the following identification lines:
• Date is the month, day, and year in which you are writing
• To names your reader
• From is your name
• Subject (typed in all capitals) provides your reader with two things: a topic and a
Aside from the identification lines, memos are initialed next to the From line while letters
are signed.
Sample DepEd Memo
Sample CHED Memo
Original source: Dr. Steven M. Gerson at Johnson County Community College, Kansas, US
3. E-mail
In this era of the fourth industrial revolution, computers and the internet are
playing significant roles not just in the field of business but also in education. Hence, for you
not to become digital immigrants in today's fast and instant modes of communication, you
must become knowledgeable about the use of e-mail in professional correspondence.
E-mails have several similarities and differences to letters and memos. If memos are
internal correspondence, and letters are external correspondence, e-mails can be both
internal and external. Faculty can e-mail each other within a school and e-mail
administrators, teachers, students, and parents outside a school. On the other hand, e-mails
must also have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion and must possess the five traits of
technical writing like letters and memos. E-mails like memos have identification lines such
as Date, To, From, and Subject.
Sample E-mail
Original source: Dr. Steven M. Gerson at Johnson County Community College, Kansas, US
4. Resumé
There are two types of resume: reverse chronological and functional resume. A
reverse chronological resume lists your related work experience in reverse chronological
order, starting with your most recent job and continuing backward. For each job, you must
provide the location, the dates, and the name of your school or employer, and briefly outline
your key responsibilities and accomplishments. This format is best suited for students who
just graduated in senior high school or college. Functional resumés, on the other hand, are
more appropriate for older applicants who have had gaps in their employment, or who
want to shift jobs or career fields, or who have a long work history.
Just like the other technical documents, a resume must possess the five traits of
technical writing. It must be clear, concise (you must limit your resume to one page most,
especially if you just recently graduated), accessible, and accurate. A resume also has the
following essential components:
Sample Resumé
Original source: Dr. Steven M. Gerson at Johnson County Community College, Kansas, US
5. PowerPoint Presentations
PowerPoint is a widely used presentation application that originated in the business
world but has now become commonplace in the education technology world. As a future
language teacher, this software will surely be a part of your journey in the teaching
profession. PowerPoint is very popular among educators because of its following
• Using PowerPoint correctly will improve the teaching and learning experience for
both teachers and students.
• It offers support and motivation to teachers by encouraging the effective structuring
of a presentation.
• A presentation can be appealing to several different learning styles and be made
more engaging by carefully combining media.
• The electronic file system enables the delivery and adjustment for students who are
unable to attend or who have impaired visual or auditory problems.
• Editing of PowerPoint slide is effortless with minimal associated reprinting costs.
• The printing of handouts in a variety of formats is made simpler with a range of
embedded choices for printing either the slides themselves (useful if graphics are
involved) or the slide text (outlines).
• For answering expected questions or for providing input to students using the file in
a distance-learning sense, extra information can be 'hidden' within files.
• The portability of the files, especially on USB flash drives or external hard disks with
their large capacity, allows presentations to be given wherever the technology is
available or distributed where appropriate.
Sample PowerPoint Presentation
Original source: Dr. Steven M. Gerson at Johnson County Community College, Kansas, US
Synthesizing Your Knowledge
Activity 1
Technical Writing Assignments
Directions: Accomplish the following technical writing tasks. Then, ask at least two of your
classmates to evaluate your works using the peer evaluation checklists in this
module. After making the necessary revisions, submit your final outputs to
your teacher.
1. Let us assume that you graduated last month. Write a resume and a cover letter. Direct
the letter to an actual school in your municipality.
2. Write a memo to our university president, documenting a problem in our university and
suggesting solutions.
3. Write an e-mail explaining the steps for participating in a webinar.
4. Create a PowerPoint presentation about Technical Writing.
Alred, G. J., Brusaw, C. T., & Oliu, W. E. (2015). Handbook of technical writing.
Bedford/St. Martin's.
Gerson, S. M. (2013). Writing that works: a teacher's guide to technical writing. Kansas
Competency-Based Curriculum Center, Washburn University.
Laan, K. V., & Hackos, J. A. T. (2013). The insider's guide to technical writing. O'Reilly.
Markel, M., & Selber, S. A. (2018). Technical communication. Bedford/St. Martin's.
Tebeaux, E., & Dragga, S. (2018). The essentials of technical communication. Oxford
University Press.