Category: Blog (Page 1 of 2)

FTC’s Year in Review: SparkStem Fest

In the first installment of FTC’s Year in Review article, we covered key events and developments in the club for the 2022-2023 school year. 

Similarly, FTC has been involved in a couple of big projects this year and we are excited to update you on how those events went! In this article, we want to highlight our members’ personal experiences in volunteering for the SparkSTEM Fest.

The SparkSTEM Fest is a four-day event held in February at the Orlando Science Center. The event showcased a variety of STEM experts and organizations from all around Central Florida with the goal of educating and inspiring the general public in STEM-related fields. 

FTC had an amazing opportunity to introduce who we are as an organization along with some topics in technical communications at the SparkSTEM Fest over the weekend. FTC volunteers presented an overview of the technical communication field, types of technical documentation, and careers in technical communications. What’s more, to further engage our audience with technical writing, we decided to incorporate a game called “Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes.” 

The basic premise of the game is that you are alone in a room with a bomb. Your friends outside have the instructions for defusing the bomb, but they can’t see the bomb, and you can’t see them. The audience has to work together to defuse the bomb. Our aim with this exercise is to get our audience involved and to demonstrate the importance of technical writing (and instructions). Who said technical communication can’t be fun?

While volunteers and club members could contribute to many areas of the project, such as designing a Z-brochure and creating the presentation that we used for the SparkSTEM Fest, I want to share my experience in presenting at the Orlando Science Center with other volunteers.

Surprisingly, SparkSTEM Fest was my first time meeting other FTC members. Though I worked with Joy and Dominck, I never got to meet them in person. It was slow that Sunday morning so the group spent the time reviewing our slides and chatting in between handing out flyers to attract visitors to our presentation. I had a great time meeting Joy and Dom and walking around with them to see other exhibits at the science center. 

What stuck out to me the most during my time presenting at the SparkSTEM Fest was that some of the people in the audience were actually technical writers themselves. They told us, “Hey, documentation is what we do at our job!” and it was cool to see and talk to people in the field that we are working towards.

This is what Dominick had to say about his experience at SparkSTEM Fest: “Teaching people about technical communication with my friends was such a rewarding experience because we demonstrated how the field applies to everything, including video games! It was also an excellent team-building experience.”

All in all, volunteering at the SparkSTEM Fest was such a rewarding experience because I learned from not only creating the material for the presentation but also meeting new people who are interested in technical communications. I highly recommend any new members delve into FTC’s future projects, as it will help build connections with other technical communication students and professionals in the field.

Be sure to keep an eye out for our last installation of FTC’s Year-in-Review Article. We’ll see you next time!

FTC’s Year in Review (2022-2023), Part One: A Recap of FTC & STC Florida Events

By Joy Carandang (FTC President) and Chantal Cyrier (FTC Treasurer)

Edited by John Clement

This year, the Future Technical Communicator club (FTC) at UCF has seen and experienced exuberant amounts of engagement, learning, and fun through our array of meetings, publications, and celebrations. Together, we have weathered storms, grown academically and professionally, and fostered connections that will last a lifetime.

In the coming weeks, we are excited to share a 3-part series of Year in Review articles for our club. This first installment will start things off with a recap of our 2022-2023 events, while our next two issues will be deep dives into two of our biggest activities from the year, Spark STEM Fest and the STC Summit.

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FTC Spring 23′ Graduates Spotlight

We at the Future Technical Communicators (FTC) club at UCF would like to say congratulations to each one of our members who are graduating this Spring semester. You have worked incredibly hard to achieve this accomplishment, and we know that you will continue to reach new heights! As you prepare for the next chapter in your life, know that you always have a home at FTC. Additionally, please feel free to keep us updated on your tech comm journey via our FTC Discord server.

Last month, we reached out to our members asking for any graduating students if they wanted to provide a testimonial about their tech comm experience, time at UCF, and future endeavors. Read about our five of our featured Spring 23’ Graduates below!

Michael Otero (he/him/his)

Major: English – Technical Communication

Minors: (1) Mass Culture & Collective Behavior, and (2) Women’s & Gender Studies

How you got into Tech Comm

My strong suit has always been writing. Once I came across the technical writing field, I was drawn to it as a practical application for all types of industries.  Soon enough, my interest in the field expanded into the user experience and other emerging aspects of technical writing. 

What your experience about learning Tech Comm was like at UCF

UCF has been an incredible and accommodating environment to learn about technical communication. The professors have shown themselves to be invested in the success of their students along the way, not simply for the sake of passing the course, but also for understanding how these exercises might translate into real-world experiences. I have also found community and resources abound within FTC, and I cannot recommend it enough to anyone actively studying (or adjacent to) the technical writing field at UCF.

Any achievements or projects you would like to share

I am pleased to announce that my current employer has me working on a process revision/technical writing project with a mentor who acts as the company’s project coordinator. At its conclusion, this project could very well segue into a permanent project management and/or technical writing role in August.

Current endeavors and future plans

Longer term, I would like to perform a similar revision/technical writing process with other areas of my company, as well as begin a private venture in contracting my services, particularly for nonprofits and activism efforts seeking positive impact for marginalized communities.

Alexandria Ashley (she/her)

BA in English Technical Communication; Minor in Writing and Rhetoric

How you got into Tech Comm

I was going for a plain English degree but it didn’t feel right. I asked my dad who works at Lockheed Martin what writing jobs they had there and he briefly told me about technical writing. After hearing about this, I decided this was what I was looking for.

What your experience about learning Tech Comm was like at UCF

I had a good experience, but it could’ve been better if I had known to ask the right questions earlier.

Any achievements or projects you would like to share

I’m in the Burnett Honors College.

Current endeavors and future plans

I plan to work on getting certifications to improve my resume and am currently looking at writing-related jobs at Universal and other smaller companies. My ultimate goal is to work for Universal Creative as a technical writer/manager or work as a technical writer for Lockheed.

Julia Carney (she/her)

Major: English – Technical Communication

Minor: Writing & Rhetoric

How you got into Tech Comm

I’ve always liked to write, and I wanted to include it heavily in my career. During the process of getting my AA at Broward College, I was researching possible schools with programs I was interested in. I discovered technical communication within UCF’s English programs, and I was very interested in what would be offered in the coursework. I researched job prospects and where the field could be applied and decided to go for it.

What your experience about learning Tech Comm was like at UCF

I loved my program. As the semesters carried on, I realized how much was involved in tech comm. I thought it was mostly writing, but the amount of project management and collaboration that goes into projects can take up so much more of your time than writing ever will. I think I’ll always be learning about what’s involved.

Current endeavors and future plans

Within the last month, I accepted an offer for a full-time position at Lockheed Martin as an Associate Technical Writer and was admitted into UCF’s Technical Communication MA program! As well, I plan to work towards earning a Graduate Certificate in Instructional Design. I’m very excited to see how everything works out.

Niyanna Jeffcoat (She/Her)

Major: English – Creative Writing

Minor: Technical Communication / Certificate: Editing and Publishing

How you got into Tech Comm

I got into tech comm because I discovered that I loved writing in a way that made other people’s experiences better. I love technology and I learning about it, so I found tech comm. 

What your experience about learning Tech Comm was like at UCF

My experience learning tech comm here at UCF was great, it was team-focused, collaborative, and I got to challenge myself and learn more about the industry I wanted to be a part of. 

Any achievements or projects you would like to share

I’m proud of my beginner’s guide to the video game Ooblets! It was my first big document that I worked on myself. And I think it taught me a lot. 

Current endeavors and future plans

Currently I’m searching for a job in the technical writing industry!

Dominick Chiovari (he, him)

Major: English – Technical Communication

How you got into Tech Comm
I was previously a biology major for several years. At some point I became dissatisfied with it, but wasn’t sure where to go. I learned about the technical communication program when my brother told me about the English degrees that UCF offered. When I found out the discipline offered valuable job skills and many career opportunities, I jumped at it. It was the best thing I ever did in college.

What your experience about learning Tech Comm was like at UCF
My first semester as a tech comms student felt completely different from my previous major, and I loved it immediately. My college experience immediately improved. Since then, I’ve learned to write and design documents, my teamwork skills improved, and I joined FTC in the fall of 2022. As of today, I am the Secretary and a member of the communications committee. I never imagined, one year ago, how phenomenally things would turn out for me just by finding technical communication. I’ve met lots of great people, found myself in FTC’s leadership, landed a mentorship, and more.

Any achievements or projects you would like to share
I am currently working with my mentor Rachael on an RPG module for SCP:RPG. It isn’t finished yet, but when it is (hopefully before the end of the semester), I would love to share it with everyone. Rachael introduced me to the DnD world, and it’s been really fun so far. She’s awesome, and I’m so grateful for her guidance.

Current endeavors and future plans
After graduation, I will apply to the tech comms master’s program for the spring of next year. Before then, I intend to get my CELTA course from Oxford TEFL, so I can teach English abroad. I haven’t decided my ultimate career path yet, but I know it will show itself in time.

Blogging to Build Your Professional Portfolio

By Alexandra ConteFTC Publication Committee Member, English MA (Tech Comm.)

Hello Knights, 

Have you been thinking about how to improve your writing skills or how to turn writing skills into another employable attribute? If you answered an enthusiastic yes, then let me welcome you to the blogging world.

Low-Stakes Writing 

Blogs are typically websites with multiple short posts of interesting or informative information. What makes blogging unique is that it is personal and allows your personality to shine through in a less formal setting. Blog posts are short (usually between 250-500 words) and have no strict rules. However, some conventions are popular in this writing genre (lists, bullets, images, etc.) 

Employable Skills

Blogging is an excellent skill to have because many companies seek to use company blogs to promote their services to new and existing clients. Thus, this skill is resume-worthy and serves as a writing sample for a portfolio. Technical Communication is a writing-heavy field, and blogging showcases a less formal writing style. It also demonstrates your ability to consider and adapt writing conventions based on the audience and genre. 

Find a Virtual Space

An essential aspect of blogging is determining where to post blog posts. Different options depend on your intended audience and your blog’s purpose. For example Future Technical Communicators (FTC) blog is for students, while the Society of Technical Communicators blog is for professionals and students interested in the field. 

  • FTC
    • Feel free to pitch ideas to FTC leadership! We would love for FTC members to become featured on our club blog! We have a blogging style guide for those interested. 
  • Society for Technical Communication
  • Personal Website
    • WordPress
    • Weebly
  • Personal Website
    • Google Sites

For more information on blogging, contact us for access to the blogging style guide. The style guide is a quick way to understand writing conventions for the genre and is adaptable. 

Alexandra is an English MA (Technical Communication track) student. Her interests include technical writing and editing. In her free time, she enjoys reading and exploring coffee shops. 

Blogging Style Guide from FTC

By Alexandra Conte, FTC Publications Committee Member

Updated Spring 2023

Want to start blogging? Even better, want to get an article published on our FTC blog or our partner, STC Florida’s, newsletter? Start here for some tips!

Why create a blog post? 

Blogs are short pieces of writing which can be informative and/or entertaining. Blog posts help you build an online presence for your career and highlight skills or topics you are learning about or already know. It is a low-stakes writing piece that takes little time and helps educate other students on various skills or issues in the field. Sometimes, you might also be learning about a topic as you put together a post. Blog posts can be put on your resume, and you can hyperlink a few examples for online resume submission. You can include your posts in a portfolio for entry-level jobs. 

What is blogging? 

Each post should assume the reader has five minutes or less to read, with a word count of around 250-500. As a result, the visual aspects of a blog post become more important than the writing itself. This is also reflected in the word count.

A blog post is less formal than most writing styles and has a lot of flexibility. For example, you can use first and second-person pronouns. It is common for writers to start their blog posts with questions for the reader to draw them in. 

Steps for creating a blog post

  1. Pitch an idea
  2. Organize a few ideas for subpoints
  3. Create a rough draft 
  4. Add subheadings 
  5. Edit draft
  6. Add image(s) 
  7. Add title 
  8. Revise for overall consistency 
  9. Add a tag or hashtag related to the content 

Ways to make your post more dynamic

Navigation Aids: 

  • Title
  • Subheadings (1-3) 
  • Bullet-points 

Enhancement Aids: 

  • Images
  • Graphs
  • Maps
  • Links to music 
  • Links to websites

Should I include a short bio? 

Yes! Name, program, and what you’re studying. Position in FTC. List some research interests or things you want to learn about in the field. Include a fun fact or something you do outside of school.

Example: John Doe is a freshman studying Biology with a minor in Rhetoric and Composition. He is currently a member of FTC and STC. His interests are health and science, as well as editing. In his free time, John enjoys kayaking with his dog. 

I want to blog for FTC; what is the next step? 

  1. Email [email protected] and pitch an idea. If you still need to get an idea ready, you can email and ask if the Publications Committee has any article ideas that might interest you. 
  2. Once you select a topic, provide an estimate or deadline of how long it will take you to complete the blog. There is no pressure to have one done quickly; take your time! We ask that you give us a general estimate so we know when to expect your post. We realize school gets busy; if something changes with your deadline, just email us.
  3. Work on your draft. Feel free to email us for advice or feedback. 
  4. Submit your draft and a short bio through email. 
  5. A Publications Committee member will edit your post to adhere to guidelines. 
  6. After revision by the Publications Committee, your post will be uploaded to the FTC blog.
  7. Consider working with us to get your post published in other places, too, like the STC Florida newsletter!

*We often share new FTC articles on social media. Feel free to share our post or make your post on social media!

FTC Blog Style Guide

  1. General Information:
    1. Font: Sans Serif
    2. Size:
      1. Title: 16 pt
      2. Subheadings: 14 pt
      3. Text: 12 pt
    3. Spacing: Double
    4. Word Count for Posts: 250-500 words; more if needed 
    5. Oxford Comma: Yes. 
    6. Numbers:
      1. Spell out one to ten
    7. Underlining: Avoid.
      1. Common to hyperlink in blog posts which makes them harder to find. 
    8. Bold: Only important information and subheadings. 
    9. Acronyms: Spell out the first time you mention it, and place the acronym in parenthesis next to it. After this, you can use the acronym throughout the post.
      1. Example: The University of Central Florida (UCF) is one of the largest universities in the United States. Unlike other universities, UCF has two distinct mascots: Pegasus and Knightero. The Pegasus is the mascot of UCF as an institution, while Knightro is the mascot of the athletic program referred to as the Knights. 
  2. Blog Post Format:
    1. Title of Blog Post
      1. Should have an action verb in the title.
        1. Demystifying the Myths of Technical Communication 
    2. Name of writer
      1. Specify your role in the club, and place your year and program in a line underneath. Italicize this information.
        1. Jane Doe, FTC Communications Committee Member 
          1. Sophomore, Computer Science 
        2. John Doe, FTC Member 
          1. Second-Year English MA (Tech Comm Track) 


  1. Writing
    1. First Paragraph (3-4 sentences max)
      1. Hook 
      2. Introduce the topic and where this post will go.
        1. Using open-ended questions is a common way to begin a post. 
    2. Navigational Aid: Subheading 1
    3. Paragraph(s) A- Content A should remain the same and be no more than three short paragraphs. 
    4. Navigational Aid: Subheading 2 
    5. Paragraph(s) B- Content B should focus on one topic and be no more than three short paragraphs. 
    6. Navigational Aid: Subheading 3
    7. Paragraph C
      1. Note: This is a sample; you do not need three subheadings with multiple paragraphs. Most of the time, posts fall between 1-3 subheadings. 
    8. Conclusion:
      1. 1-2 sentence summary.
      2. Advise or invite the reader to do something. 
    9. Sources:
      1. Most articles do not need sources. However, if you use them, place them at the bottom of the page under the subheading “Information gathered for this post was taken from _____.” 
        1. Hyperlink sources to organizations. 
  2. Subheadings
    1. Subheadings are brief and are typically not complete sentences. It helps to bold the words.
      1. Example A: Get Creative
      2. Example B: When in Doubt, Go Green 

*Note that visuals may be placed anywhere in the text.

Don’t forget to write a short bio with your name and what you’re studying. You can also lust your position in FTC. Another idea is to list some research interests or things you want to learn about in the field. Include a fun fact or something you do outside of school. 

  • Ex. Alex is a graduate-level English MA Technical Communication program student. She is a member of the Publications Committee. Her research experience typically focuses on health writing and project management strategies. Alex enjoys watching trashy reality television shows, reading, and drinking coffee in her free time. 

Additional Resources: 

FTC’s Year in Review (2021-2022)

By John Clement

President, Future Technical Communicators club at UCF

With a plethora of guest speaker meetings and networking events, the Future Technical Communicators club has been as active as it has ever been this past school year. We also had opportunities to make FTC go beyond just UCF in our ventures to Otronicon Tech Expo and the STC Summit, two big initiatives that our attendees had a great and informative time at. Finally, our club continues to be a big family with our social events and our active Discord. To celebrate and recognize all that and more, here is a comprehensive recap of FTC’s 2021-2022 program year.

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