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What is technical style?

Technical style conveys information about a scientific or engineering topic concisely and clearly. Technical style emphasizes means, actions, and results more than human agents. For example, good technical style in the following sentence places the means in the subject position:

“Efficient column operation in the purification section resulted in 99.5 percent pure ethylene oxide (EO).”

“Efficient column operation” is the means that causes the purity outcome. Contrast that sentence with one that focuses on the human agent:

“The engineer improved the column operations in the purification section to make them more efficient so that the ethylene oxide (EO) in the product stream would be 99.5 percent pure.”

Because of the focus on means, actions, and results, technical style permits more passive voice sentences than some other styles.

Furthermore, technical style emphasizes accommodating the vocabulary, purposes, and decision priorities of decision makers. It ensures that documents, presentations, and visuals are accessible and understandable to the intended audience. It positively connects the writer and audience and meets professional standards. It is consistent with the audience’s culture.

To accomplish these aims, technical style creates syntactic structures that enable readers or listeners rapidly to identify the principal action and its cause. It also uses specific technical terms to reduce the possibility of misinterpretation.

Technical style affects paragraphs as well as sentences. It focuses attention consistently by repeating subjects in a series of sentences and changing subjects only when the logic of the argument requires it.

This brief guide introduces some of the principal techniques for editing to achieve a technical style.

How to edit: focus on the subject! capture the action with the verb!

In general, begin a sentence with its subject, that is, name what you want to talk about:

  • Technical translators must know both the languages well.
  • The infiltration rate decreased over five years.
  • Slash pine forests cover the region where the highway will go.

Use preliminary phrases only when you need to “set the scene” or establish a condition that will help the reader make sense of your claim:

After turning off the power, open the right hatch door.

In most cases, use concrete subjects that form a picture in the readers’ minds:

  • Abstract : Input from first-line supervisors is probably the best source of information to aid in the identification of good prospective candidates.
  • Concrete : First-line supervisors can probably identify good prospective candidates.

Abstractions or generalizations can be good subjects if they are the agents or means of the sentence’s main action:

  • Deformations in the concrete jeopardize the roadbed’s stability.
  • Permeability of the soil increased infiltration.

Once you’ve named the subject, keep the subject consistent in a long sentence:

  • Inconsistent: The recently published study, conducted by Darren Harrison, who is a consultant to several major firms, has finished an extensive profile of landfill problems.
  • Consistent: Darren Harrison, a consultant to several major firms, recently published a profile of landfill problems.
    The author, not the study, finished the work.

Place precise, active verbs in key positions in the sentence to help your readers follow your argument and appreciate your expertise.

Place the subject and the main verb close together:

  • Separated: The delays , principally involving funding and the slow shipment of construction materials for the levies in New Orleans, caused general anxieties about quality of construction.
  • Close together : The delays caused general anxieties about quality of construction: both funding and construction materials arrived slowly for the levies in New Orleans.

Free the action trapped in nouns and “place holder” verbs (verbs with low semantic meaning) by filling in the blanks.

Exercise

Make contact with contact Do an imitation of
Give an approval Send a referral to
Have a harmful effect harm Offer an explanation explain

Questions & Answers

are nano particles real
Missy Reply
yeah
Joseph
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
Lohitha
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
Ali
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
learn
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
learn
Google
da
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Bhagvanji
hey
Giriraj
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
revolt
da
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
Kamaluddeen
yes
narayan
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
Bhagvanji
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
Damian
yes that's correct
Professor
I think
Professor
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
Alexandre
nanocopper obvius
Alexandre
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
Rafiq
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
Damian
How we are making nano material?
LITNING Reply
what is a peer
LITNING Reply
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
LITNING Reply
What is STMs full form?
LITNING
scanning tunneling microscope
Sahil
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Santosh
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
Mahi
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
Rafiq
if virus is killing to make ARTIFICIAL DNA OF GRAPHENE FOR KILLED THE VIRUS .THIS IS OUR ASSUMPTION
Anam
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Anam
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
Hafiz
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
Bob
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
brayan
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Damian
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
Renato
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Source:  OpenStax, Becoming a professional scholar. OpenStax CNX. Aug 03, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10871/1.2
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