IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication

Issue 1 • March 1981

Filter Results

Displaying Results 1 - 19 of 19
  • Contents

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s): 1
    Request permission for commercial reuse | PDF file iconPDF (177 KB)
    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Preface

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s):2 - 4
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (3843 KB)

    MAKING INFORMATION USABLE is an art rather than a science. Although this art depends heavily on traditional writing skills, successful technical writers know that technology and the marketplace are rapidly changing their profession. Not only are devices, machines, and systems getting more complex and sophisticated, and offering the user more function, but they are also being made available to more... View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Making written information fit workers' purposes

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s):5 - 9
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (454 KB)

    This paper discusses research results in occupational literacy studies that have implications for technical writers. Specifically, research conducted by the military and by the authors in civilian settings is discussed briefly. Results that have applications for writers are described in more detail. Such results include the fact that workers approach various types of instructional material quite d... View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Five skills technical writers need

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s):10 - 16
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (530 KB)

    This paper differs from many how-to-do-it guidelines for authors because it proposes that technical writers need to acquire various skills. One valuable skill is that of analyzing how a document will be used. Creating easy-to-read texts also requires the twin skills of language control and judicious selection among graphic and typographic options. Evaluating the cost-benefits of alternative presen... View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Eighty ways of improving instructional text

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s):17 - 27
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (726 KB)

    This paper presents suggestions for improving instructional text under three main headings: prose materials, graphic materials, and typographic considerations. Each suggestion is based on research findings and references are made to this research whenever possible. Readers are reminded, however, that these suggestions are generalizations — often drawn from specific and limited cases —... View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • The user edit: Making manuals easier to use

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s):28 - 29
    Cited by:  Papers (10)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (250 KB)

    Possibly the simplest way to make a technical manual easier to use is a “user edit” — that is, having an inexperienced user try to work with a machine, using only its manual as a guide. His errors and hesitations should tell you where the weak points are. This report describes how to set up such tests, what to be careful of, and some of the benefits you can expect. View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Tutorials for the first-time computer user

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s):30 - 37
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (5061 KB)

    This paper describes a general methodology and principles for the preparation of tutorials, or computer-assisted instructional courses, to introduce first-time users to computer terminals. The methodology and principles are especially designed to prepare tutorials that will make computers seem friendly and that will motivate casual or discretionary users to learn more about computers. Examples are... View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Computer readability editing system

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s):38 - 42
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (2123 KB)

    A computer readability system was developed to serve as an author's aid in improving the ease of comprehending technical manuals and training materials. The system has features to (1) flag uncommon and misspelled words and long sentences, (2) suggest simple replacements for difficult words and phrases, and (3) calculate the readability grade level. Each feature was tested to verify that it provide... View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Forum: Readability formulas: Used or abused?

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s):43 - 45
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | PDF file iconPDF (330 KB)
    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Computerized readability levels

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s):45 - 46
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (289 KB)

    The reading formulas are based on two factors: sentence complexity and either vocabulary or the number of syllables per word. With the aid of computer programs one can reduce technical text from college graduate reading level to text with a reading grade level from six to nine without dilution of the concept content. The reading formulas programmed include the Dale-Chall, Flesch, Fry, Fog, Farr-Je... View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Understanding the limitations of readability formulas

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s):46 - 48
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (329 KB)

    Readability formulas are becoming increasingly popular as a tool that writers use to test and revise their material. Used appropriately, a readability formula can provide a quick and easy general measure of how difficult a text may be for its readers. Writers who use a readability formula, however, should do so with caution. Just as an engineer must know the specifications, uses, and limitations o... View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Ethics of imperfect measures

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s):48 - 50
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (342 KB)

    Computers make it easy to tabulate text style variables [1]. In our laboratory we have gone farther, creating an automated system that uses those tabulations to make detailed editorial comments [2]. Relying on advice from writing experts and psychological research, our “Writers' Workbench” calculates several readability measures, comments on misspelled words and awkward phrases and s... View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Why readability formulas fail

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s):50 - 52
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (320 KB)

    Being able to measure the readability of a text with a simple formula is an attractive prospect, and many groups have been using readability formulas in a variety of situations where estimates of text complexity are thought to be necessary. The most obvious and explicit use of readability formulas is by educational publishers designing basal and remedial reading texts; some states, in fact, will c... View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Readability formulas and technical communication

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s):52 - 54
    Request permission for commercial reuse | Click to expandAbstract | PDF file iconPDF (348 KB)

    The premise upon which readability formulas operate is that short words and short sentences are the measure of readable writing. This premise has (and was acknowledgedly designed with) limitations that are too often overlooked in enthusiastic attempts to reduce all writing to simple, quantitative analysis. Among these limitations two are particularly germane to any discussion of using readability ... View full abstract»

    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Alfred N. Goldsmith award of the IEEE Professional Communication Society

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s): 55
    Request permission for commercial reuse | PDF file iconPDF (2227 KB)
    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Call for papers special issue: More usable information through graphics

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s): 56
    Request permission for commercial reuse | PDF file iconPDF (154 KB)
    Freely Available from IEEE
  • 1981 IEEE Professional Communication Society Conference

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s): 57
    Request permission for commercial reuse | PDF file iconPDF (195 KB)
    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.
  • Information for authors and readers of the IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s): 58
    Request permission for commercial reuse | PDF file iconPDF (200 KB)
    Freely Available from IEEE
  • IEEE copyright form

    Publication Year: 1981, Page(s):59 - 60
    Request permission for commercial reuse | PDF file iconPDF (219 KB)
    Full text access may be available. Click article title to sign in or learn about subscription options.

Aims & Scope

The IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to applied research on professional communication--including but not limited to technical and business communication. It has been published since 1957 by the Professional Communication Society of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
George F. Hayhoe
Mercer University School of Eng.