Cover Page of
The Mayfield Handbook of Technical & Scientific Writing
Table of ContentsWriting TimelineIndexHelpCredits

Section 1.1.5


Make your document appropriate to your goals in writing it, your audience's purpose in reading it, and the specific institutional contexts in which it is written and read.

Because a reader's knowledge or experience determines the level of comprehension of technical material, appropriateness is largely determined by your audience. For example, a fact expressed in a mathematical equation may not be effective in a report addressed to a managerial audience. See Document Density.

All technical writing should also be appropriate to the specific institutional context that motivated its creation. It should not only serve the writer's and the reader's purposes but also conform to the goals and conventions of the institution in which it exists. Institutional goals and conventions are sometimes clear and explicit. For example, in large companies, the specific goals of various documents, as well as the preferred form and style, are often described in company correspondence and style manuals.

Although the context is not always clearly delineated, it always can be worked out. Class work should be done within the context of the goals of the class as well as the specific assignment. Research reports should conform to the general goals and specific conventions of the scientific or technical community in which they are created.

Reference Link Text
## Appropriateness ##
Reference Link Text

[ Home | Table of Contents | Writing Timeline | Index | Help | Credits]