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The Five W's: An Old Tool for the New Task of Task Analysis

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An audience pays attention to your attempts at communication because they have certain needs that they expect you to solve. As journalists have long known, it's possible to meet the majority of an audience's need for information by answering five "W" questions: what, who, where, when, and why. Although this approach is a core element of journalism, it has obvious applications to technical communicators, who must create information in the context of meeting an audience's needs.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 1996-05-01

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  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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