Unit 3 — Technical & Professional Communication Genres

Genres are forms of writing defined by specific purposes and conventions. Technical and professional writing genres include reports, instructions, documentation, manuals, proposals, presentations, employment documents, letters/memos/emails, and much more. To write effectively in any genre requires applying what you’ve already learned about audience analysis and plain language and technical writing style AND then applying genre-specific conventions regarding document formatting and organization.

Writers may find helpful templates available when writing in a new genre. In MSWord, one can find templates for writing common, everyday correspondence, from letters to proposals.

Screenshot of letter templates available in MSWord
Templates available in MSWord


With design programs like Canva or Venngage, one can find templates for design-rich genres like infographics and presentations.


Screenshot of presentation template page in Canva.com
Canva can be used for design-rich genres such as infographics.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Templates

Whether or not you choose to use a template depends on several factors: how much time do you want to spend, how important is it to you that the document is a completely original design, how comfortable are you working within and revising within a template, and–most important–is there a template available that is a good match for the rhetorical situation in question?

A few pros/cons to consider:

Pros and cons of using a template presented in a short two-column format


Content on this page is written by Baye Herald for Technical Communication Across the Professions and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Media Attributions

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  • Canva screenshot
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Technical Communication Across the Professions Copyright © 2022 by Crystal Baye Herald is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.