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New tekom Publication Released

Rule-Based Writing – English for Non-Native Writers

Jörg Michael

With their new guideline "Rule-Based Writing – English for Non-Native Writers", tekom offers a reliable set of rules especially for all non-native speakers of English who write technical English texts either often or occasionally. The guidelines compile, in English, the most important terms, concepts and rules of standardization for technical writing in English on the level of text, sentence and words.

Why are these Guidelines Important?

Do you often find yourself having to write documents in English, though English isn't your native language? If so, like others in the same situation, perhaps you wish you had a help reference with special focus on the needs of authors who are not native speakers. Perhaps you're looking for a reliable handbook that makes accessible the most important rules and common errors in a clear and concise manner, or you need linguistic rules for everyday editing that integrate well into existing editing guidelines.

With their guidelines "English for Non-Native Writers," tekom bridges a gap that many writers and editors have complained about. The guidelines consolidate the most essential standards and rules for technical writing in English. They also offer important suggestions on writing for limited space, such as Opens internal link in current windowinformation products on mobile end-devices.

However, the guidelines are more than just another rulebook for technical English, as they concentrate in particular on the needs of authors who must write in English as a foreign language. The guidelines not only can be used as a basic set of rules for all everyday editing, but can also be expanded as required. The guidelines offer precise rules in the areas of:

  • Text, e.g. headings, index entries, cross-references, glossaries;
  • Sentences, e.g. punctuation, verb tenses, word order; and
  • Word usage, e.g. prepositions, articles, and dealing with abbreviations.

Every rule contains a brief explanation, comprehensive information on and decision guides for implementing each rule, several negative and positive examples and an estimation of the feasibility of automated proofing using language software. This way, each rule can be integrated into existing editing guidelines or used as a basis for introducing editing software.

The guidelines are also supplemented by useful background material. A step-by-step guide makes important project suggestions for introducing a workplace to rule-based writing. The guidelines would thus be an ideal companion to the tekom study "Successful Terminology Management in Companies". An extensive glossary with essential grammatical terms as well as a detailed index assist in navigating the volume. As a result, the guidelines are well-suited both as a working basis for individual study and as foundational material for introducing language rules in a business.

Standardized and Translation-Oriented Writing

Regardless of the source language, two demands always remain central when creating technical documentation: a high re-usability of text in market-specific source-language information products and a cost-effective and fast translation into the required target languages. The tekom guidelines confront both these challenges using the following approach: systematic standardization of text production and appropriate rules for consistent and translation-oriented texts. Beside the objectives of cost reduction and shorter lead times, the rules of these guidelines also help increase text quality by facilitating quality assessment and assurance both in the source language and the translated target languages.

Why Purchase the Guideline?

  • As a non-native English speaker, you wish to increase the text quality of your English-language technical communication and are looking for authoritative, generally accepted writing rules.
  • You are already working with writing rules for English-language texts. You are looking for suggestions for further rules and information on improving existing rules.
  • You would like to write translation-oriented texts to lower your translation costs.
  • You are planning to use a language checking tool, a Opens internal link in current windowcontent management system or a terminology management system or are already in the introductory phase.
  • You would like to develop from the ground up a technical standard for writing for your English-language technical communication and are seeking suggestions for business-specific editing guidelines.
  • You are focused on certain quality criteria.
  • You as yet have no complete editing guidelines for your English-language texts, or you write only occasionally and wish to improve your competence in editing.

For these reasons, the guidelines "English for Non-Native Writers" are an indispensable tool for all non-English native speakers who must occasionally or regularly produce English texts.

The Authors

Elke Erdmann, Kristina Johnson Coenen M.A., Prof. Dr. Lisa Link, James Longbotham M.A., Prof. Dr. Markus Nickl, Dipl.-Übers. Ursula Reuther, Andrea Schöffer, Prof. Dr. Melanie Siegel

Contents of the Guideline

Contents: How to Use These Guidelines, How to Implement Rule-Based Writing, Implementing Rules Faster and More Easily with a Style Guide, Text Rules (Headings, Index Entries, Cross References, Glossaries), Sentence Rules (Avoid Ambiguous Constructions, Avoiding Incomplete Constructions, Avoiding Complex Constructions, Rules for Word Order and Sequence of Sentence Elements, Style Rules, Punctuation Rules, Tense Rules), Word Rules (Language Variant and Style, Numbers and Units, Hyphens in Adjective Compounds, Verb Forms, Upper Case and Lower Case, Genitive Form, Problematic Cases in English, Prepositions, Dealing with Abbreviations), Glossary, Index, Literature

DIN A4, 110 pages, paperback, 2014, ISBN 978-3-944740-05-8

Ordering the Guideline

The guidelines are available in German and English, each as a print or PDF version. The PDF version includes a Opens internal link in current windowcontent license. You must agree in writing to the Opens internal link in current windowcontent license conditions upon ordering. Please use our fax order form for your order and either send us a fax at +49 711 65704-99, or email us at info(at)tekom.de.

The price of the print version is:

  • 60 EUR for tekom members
  • 70 EUR for non-members

The price of the PDF version is:

  • 50 EUR for tekom members
  • 60 EUR for non-members

All prices include VAT. Shipping and handling is additional.