MIDDLE TECHNICAL STYLE


Function. A substantial part of technical writing is directed to the "well-educated" layperson. This central group resides between the "specialists" and the average reader, and includes laypeople who may be specialists in other scientific fields. Experts write reports that are used by agencies or industrial boards (?) who collectively, have a wealth of knowledge, but may not be experts in the topic of discussion. It is advisable to think of your intended audience as professional colleagues with a widely varied range of technical knowledge. To reach the majority of your audience, a “middle” technical style of communication is most effective.

Characteristics. This type of technical style is more normal than other styles. Importance is placed on definition and explanation rather than using the highly technical words. The writer may have to use rare words in their definitions which will require readers to consult a dictionary. Including equations and graphs is important but it shouldn’t completely replace text. A mathematical symbol can also be expressed in ordinary sentences.

Advantages. Teaching technical English using the middle style is most successful when teaching science and technology students. As the student learns highly technical terms, the middle style helps them convey complex information to their peers and language instructors. By employing proper structure, composition and correct language, the science or technology student is able to write intelligently to both the language instructor and the scientific writer. Middle technical English allows students from different technical and scientific backgrounds to effectively communicate with one another.

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