What is technical writing
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What is “ Technical Writing”?. Dr . Mike Downing Technical Writing. Clarity Technical Writing teaches writers how to explain, in simple language, technical and scientific concepts (or processes) that are difficult for the average reader to understand.

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What is “ Technical Writing”?

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What is technical writing

What is “Technical Writing”?

Dr. Mike Downing

Technical Writing


What is technical writing1

Clarity

  • Technical Writing teaches writers how to explain, in simple language, technical and scientific concepts (or processes) that are difficult for the average reader to understand.

  • Examples of technical writing include user manuals, “help” documentation, medical descriptions, scientific writing, process description, white papers, analysis, and step-by-step instructions.

What is technical writing?


You must understand your topic

Comprehension

You cannot write about a topic you do not understand. This means to have to develop your expertise in a particular area before you can expect to be paid to produce documents related to that field.

You must understand your topic


Developing expertise

Expertise

Therefore, it is a good idea for you to being thinking about a particular area of expertise as you move through school so that you can take a few classes in that area. For example, if you are interested in writing about technology, be sure to take at least one computer class.

Developing expertise


Why are you writing

Purpose

  • Understand the purpose of your writing. If you don’t know what you want to accomplish, nobody else will.

  • It is helpful to write a single-sentence purpose statement: The purpose of this document is to explain the functions of GE’s new digital alarm clock (for example).

Why are you writing?


Audience considerations

Audience

  • Always ask yourself: “Who will be reading the text that I have written?”

  • A boss? [Upward communication]

  • A co-worker? [Lateral communication]

  • Someone outside the organization? [Outward communication]

  • People that you supervise? [Downward communication]

  • Anyone who might stumble upon the company website?

  • An expert?

  • All of these factors will play a role in your writing.

Audience considerations


Organizing information

Logical Order

  • Technical writing typically is based on logical order. First, one step, then another, then another.

    • Sometimes, it is important for the reader to be aware of several steps at once.

    • Sometimes it is important for the reader to consider all of the instructions before proceeding.

  • In any event, you must make the reading pattern clear at the outset: READ ALL DIRECTIONS BEFORE CONSTRUCTING ROCKET.

  • You can also use parenthetical information to refer to other points within the document (e.g. See Section One)

Organizing Information


Rewards

Money

  • Excellent technical writers can earn a great deal of money. According to Peter Kent, author of Making Money in Technical Writing, technical writers can make more than $100,000 per year and some make more than $150,000.

Rewards


What is technical writing

Questions?


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