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Blicq, Ron S.

Scarborough (Ont.), Prentice-Hall, c1987. 428pp, paper, $17.95, ISBN 0-13-898776-9. CIP

Grades 12 and up
Reviewed by Don Precosky

Volume 15 Number 2
1987 March

This is the third edition of a well-known technical writing text. As with previous editions, its aim is comprehensiveness. It instructs students in all manner of technical communication including reports (formal and informal), correspondence, visuals, speaking, and being interviewed for a job. For the most part, it is a thorough and well-planned and organized volume. My only complaint about its organization is the placement of a forty-page chapter, entitled "The Technique of Technical Writing," as the eleventh of twelve chapters; the theoretical orientation seems to me to be delivered a bit late in the book.

For those of you not familiar with Technically-Write! I should tell you that it is built along the model approach. The students using it are introduced to HI. Winman and Associates of Calgary and its affiliate Macro Engineering Inc. of Toronto. Most of the large number of assignments are done under the assumption that the students are employed by one of these companies and are doing their letters or reports as a part of a real job. The theory behind such an approach is that it will provide continuity and motivation, which a traditional writing course might not have. The jury is still out on that issue.

This new edition is about 120 pages longer than the second edition. One of its key new sections is a twenty-five-page chapter on "Communicating With Prospective Employers." This addition is a reflection of the tough times we find ourselves in. Recruiters are not lining up to hire technology graduates from community colleges the way they once did. Graduates have to be able to go out and find the employers and convince them of their elegibility. For my money this is the most thorough and useful of the Canadian technical writing texts.

Don Precosky, College of New Caledonia, Prince George, B.C.
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