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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Unit

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

FacultyFaculty of Information Technology
OfferedClayton First semester 2010 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Sita Ramakrishnan


This unit covers problems with paper-based and on-line documentation; types of technical documentation used in software engineering; document specifications; minimalist design philosophy; graphic design of technical documentation; the context of technical writing; the writing process (analysis, planning, generation, testing, revision and maintenance of written texts); document publication techniques (including SGML, LaTeX and XML); the role of hypertext, hypermedia and markup languages in technical documentation; small-volume and large-volume hypertext; collaborative hypertext; intelligent hypertext.


At the completion of this unit students will have -
A knowledge and understanding of:

  • how to organise and write clear technical documentation.
  • the different types and roles of technical documentation, including code documentation (literate programming methods, function header documentation), internal designs, external designs, reference manuals, guides and introductory manuals.
  • the use of the basic types of tools for producing documentation: editors, text formatters, typesetters, desktop publishers, graphics tools, printing and viewing tools.
  • the role of style in writing.
  • different approaches to the writing process and which approach best suits the individual student.
Developed attitudes that enable them to:
  • be sensitive to the aims and uses of effective technical documentation at all stages in a project.
  • be aware of different writing methods and styles and their suitability to different tasks.
  • appreciate the wider use of documentation in evaluating, promoting, and supporting projects.
  • develop a sensitivity to different reader / audience types.
Demonstrated the communication skills necessary to:
  • be able to write effective and clear documentation.
  • be able to use one of each major kind of documentation development and delivery tool.


Practical Examination: 50%; In-semester assessment: 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Sita Ramakrishnan

Contact hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs laboratories/wk


One of FIT1002, CPE1001, CSE1202, GCO1811, MMS1801, MMS1802, CSE1301


CSE1305, CSE1402

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: