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The Internet contains thousands of links to documents
addressing technical writing in one way or another. Surfing the net for
the most useful would be most time-consuming. Below you will find some
important documents that should help you further explore the many aspects
of technical writing, including careers as business and technical writers.
Your textbook authors have included additional Web addresses at the end
of each chapter.
Following the Table of Contents, you will find
"Getting the Most from the Internet," some general suggestions for identifying
useful academic sites on the World Wide Web.
Table of Contents
User Friendly Manuals' Website
for Technical Communication
Writing Lab: Business and Technical Writing Sites
Writing Resources Links
Mining Company Guide to Technical Writing
Toolbox: Internet Resources for Writers
Ten Technical Resume Writing Tips
of Scientific & Technical Communicators
Getting the Most from the Internet
Assessing Internet Resources
Selecting Online Sources
"Book Marking" Your Better
About Search Engines
By the end of 1997 there were some 10 million
documents estimated on the World Wide Web, not to mention the other resources--Telnet,
Gopher and FTP sites. Today, there are more than a billion! The organic Internet, sprouting hundreds
of new sites by the hour, is the best example of the principle of free
speech in action. It is a truly global arena through which people around
the world have instant access to one another, who, with only a double click,
splinter the barriers of politics, religion, economics, philosophy, and
geography. Literally anyone with access to a browser can surf a virtual
universe of information, and anyone with a service provider can design
and upload a personal website.
Needless-to-say, on the Internet you will find
information on every conceivable topic. The problem is not so much how
to get to the information, however, but rather, how to evaluate it.
While most worthy information is likely to be found online for just about
every subject, there is also a plethora of most unworthy information
How does a student with only limited time and
resources learn quickly to tell the difference? Here are some tips:
Academic Sites (www. . . .edu)
Look for sites which contain the closing extension
".edu" at the end of the URL (online address). While many colleges and
universities also post FTP sites (which lack the distinguishing extension
".edu"), almost all have educational addresses as well. Because the college
and university sites tend to post academic
information developed by both experienced teaching professors as well as
researchers on their staff, educational sites generally post very reliable
and valuable information. You might want to visit The
World Lecture Hall for links to online course information around the
Organizational Sites (www. . . .org)
and social organizations
have websites on which they post the latest informatoin relative to their
interests and expertise. They will often link
to other sites which contain information which they support or acknowledge
as significant. Look for the extension of ".org" in their addresses.
Government Sites (www. . . .gov)
and national government
agencies also maintain websites. You can find timely,
valuable statistical and other information on these sites about thousands
of topics. Type in the name of the city, county, state, or country in the
search engine of your browser. You'll be greeted with a menu of categories
of information to choose from. Government online addresses will contain
a ".gov" extension.
Online Scholarly Publications
and research associations
maintain websites which also include links to their journals published
online. Often, the online
journals contain the same articles as their hardcopy publications which
you can find in the stacks of your college or university library. If you
don't know the names of some of the professional associations, ask your
librarian for assistance. Libraries have lists of journals to which they
subscribe which you can browse for possible titles.
Type in the name of a journal (like the Harvard
Educational Review)or the field or discipline (like "health"
in the online search engine. Often, the title of the online publication
will be posted very close to the top of the listings. If you have entered
a key word instead of a specific title, the first few options which your
browser reveals will give you clearer ideas about how to refine your search.
One valuable clue to the value of the source is the online description
accompanying the title of the website. The descriptions will often identify
the origin and purpose of the site.
When you find a worthy source (from the accompanying
description or address extension), you often will be given a hypertext
(active link) option to search for "more topics like this one," or something
to that effect. By clicking on this link, you will be able to narrow your
Occasionally, you will find sites
which identify editorial or advisory boards. This means that information
contained has usually been reviewed by a team of people or outside judges,
often by those same people whose names appear as board
members, advisors, or jurists (editors). Their task has been to review
and evaluate all submissions from individual scholars. They have selected
only the better submissions for posting on the website. These sources provide
very valuable information.
of academic textbooks have developed websites to promote both their
books and accompanying online websites supporting one or even a set of
texts. While some sites provide only "teasers" (tantalizing bits and pieces)
as introductions to spark the interest of a surfing professor reviewing
texts, other publishers' sites offer open links to many help web documents
like style pages, grammar checks, as well as content
pages of selected topics.
Your Better Sites
Be sure to save your links to important sites
you discover by "book marking" them. (Some web service providers use different
terminology. America Online, for example, gives you the option of
adding to your "favorite sites.") If you have doubts about how to do that,
consult the online "Help" menu for your browser or homepage for your service
"Search engines" are web programs that search
the World Wide Web for web pages and websites. While you are probably familiar
with two or three of the more popular search engines, it would be a good
investment of an hour or more to explore others. In fact, it might be surprising
to you to know that there are several hundred available to you. Here are
links to some of the more popular ones: Altavista,
But here's a link to Beaucoup!
a list service to more than 800 search engines arranged in various categories!
The types of websites described above are usually
reliable sources of information. Even reviewing these, however, you should
always remain cautious. For those sites not identified above, generally
be wary of web documents that
It is next to impossible to evaluate the credibility
of every site you download, but the guidelines contained here should help
you in your initial review of online resources.
make claims without documenting corroborating information
and recognized authorities;
reflect lack of proofreading and editing;
offer unsolicited advice;
contain incoherent descriptions with their browser
accompany solicitations of products and services;
charge fees for entry into the website;
are not current;
contain unmaintained documents or information; or
solicit credit card or other personal information.
This page was last modified on January
and is maintained by Dr. Geoffrey