Faculty of Information Technology

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Information Technology
OfferedClayton Second semester 2013 (Day)


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.


Examination (2 hours): 50%; In-semester assessment: 50%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

2 hrs lectures/wk, 2 hrs laboratories/wk

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study



CSE1305, CSE1402

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