Dr. Adkins' Guide to
Technical Communication Resources on the Web

What is Technical Communication?

Defining Technical Communication (Society for Technical Communication)
Occupational Outlook Handbook (BLS) definition of Technical Writer  
Technical Writing on Monster.com
Technical Communications: A Closer Look
TechWr-L: What is Technical Writing? What is Technical Communication?    


Technical Communications resources on Eserver
TechWr-L Research portal

IBM library of papers and presentations  
Federal Plain Language Guidelines  
Research-Based Web Design and Usability Guidelines from the federal government
Copyright FAQs from the U.S. Copyright Office
PoeWar Writing Career Center (includes list of writing jobs that is updated weekly)
Garr Reynolds' Presentation Tips
The History of Modern Technical Writing from ProEdit

Style Guides
CSU guides to documentation systems (includes MLA, APA, CMS, CSE, ASCE)
Chicago-style citation Quick Guide  
IEEE Standards Style Manual  
Apple Computers  style guide

FrameMaker users support group on line
Excel Add-In for Fill Patterns in charts for Office 2007
Kompozer -- a basic, free web page editor
Fillerati--a dummy text generator that is an alternative to lorem ipsum
Don't Click Here: The Art of Hyperlinking from Coding Horror

Reference works
Acronym Finder guide to acronyms
Pudue On Line Writing Lab  
Plain Language Handbook  

Other resources for career preparation and continuing education

Visual design
A Periodic Table of Visualization Methods 

     Web page  (the visualization methods are illustrated in pop-up windows)
     Lengler and Eppler, Toward a Periodic Table of Visual Methods for Management     

Organizations and Publications

TechWr-L web site and listserv
IEEE Communications Society  
ACM SIGDOC (Special Interest Group on Design of Communication)
Searchable publications of the Society for Technical Communication
   Intercom Magazine (available to STC members only)
   Technical Communication (available to STC members and through some library databases)
Association of Teachers of Technical Writing
   Technical Communication Quarterly  
   Book Series in Technical and Professional Communication  
   Contemporary Studies in Technical Communication  
   ATTW Bibliographies  
Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication  
   Programmatic Perspectives  
TC World online magazine of "international information management"
XChanges journal of technical communication, writing and rhetoric, and writing across the curriculum. Publishes articles from undergraduate and graduate students
Orange: A Student Journal of Technical Communication, published by the University of Washington
Baywood series in technical communication  


Historical scientific and technical illustrations from the British Library   (Searches include "science," "machine," "diagram," and "process")
Mathew Honan, "A Photo Essay of Classic Instruction Manuals," Wired 16 (11)

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Breastfeeding Report Card: Progressing Toward National Breastfeeding Goals, 2016
President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology Forensic Science in Criminal Courts: Ensuring Scientific Validity, 2016
U.S. Department of State Office of the Secretary: Evaluation of Email Records Management and Cybersecurity Requirements, declassified 2016
U.S Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report; 2015
United Nations Millenium Development Goals Report: 2015
Consumer's Union, Chain Reaction: How Top Restaurants Rate on Reducing Use of Antibiotics in Their Meat Supply, 2015
McAfee Labs Threat Report, May 2015
Census Bureau, Income and Poverty in the United States: 2014
Report of the New York State Dept of Financial Services: Shining a Light on Shadow Insurance: A Little-known Loophole That Puts Insurance Policyholders and Taxpayers at Greater Risk, 2013
Center for Disease Control: CDC's Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, 2013 
Suicide Data Report, 2012, Department of Veterans
Initial Report of The CCCC Committee for Best Practice in Online Writing Instruction (OWI)
The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned
Space shuttle Columbia report
Report of the 9/11 Commission  
Interview with writers of the 9/11 Commission Report on  NPR's Talk of the Nation
National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) report on the effectiveness and impact of timed writing tests  

Feasibility reports


USDA sample proposal  
Proposal for Registration Authority for ISO 21047 on the International Standard Text Code (ISTC)
Verisign Root Zone Signing Proposal    

How to write guides for busy, grouchy people  
How to write a complaint letter  
How to eat a lobster  
How to cut up a chicken  
How to fill and place sandbags
How to prevent and get rid of bed bugs
How to plant a tree  
How to change the oil in your car
How to patch drywall  
How to get through TSA screening quickly
How to apply for a passport
How to pack a suitcase

How hurricanes form  
How ozone becomes depleted  
How photosynthesis happens
What happens during ACL surgery  
How e-voting works  
How electricity is generated  
How glass is recycled  

Lunar Roving Vehicle Operations Handbook    

Audi's augmented reality interactive owner's manual for smartphone/tablet

Uselessassist: Retweets to remind organizations of the frustration and negative emotions that result from poorly prepared assistance.

Risk and Crisis Communication
Hazardous Materials and Spill Response from the U.S. Postal Service
Hazardous Materials Spill Plan from Stony Brook University 
Hurricane preparedness from the National Weather Service
Emergency Response Guide from Missouri Western

Organization specific style guides
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) Guidelines
European Union Interinstitutional Style Guide  
McCaskill, Mary M. Grammar, Punctuation, and Capitalization: A Handbook for Technical Writers and Editors, NASA publication SP-7084
Van Buren, Robert and Mary Fran Buehler. The Levels of Edit, JPL guidelines
Early guide for online hypertext (1992)     

International/intercultural communication for organizations


Fun with Technical Communication
Links to the Interface Halls of Shame and Fame from Isys Information Architects
Create and edit instructions on WikiHow
Grammar tips from The Oatmeal (Check out the tech toons, too)

The Deadliest Follies Stick Figure Warning Man from Capn Wacky
A Font Conference from CollegeHumor videos
User Friendly cartoons
Medieval Help Desk (Introducing the Book) on YouTube
Comics for Usability Experts  (OK-Cancel)  
How to Comics for Kids   

Know of a link that I should include? Found a broken link or a link that has moved? Send me a message.