“The Nature of the Narrator in Technical Writing”. By: Lynn H. Deming Presented by: Anne Crace. Overview. Technical authors should speak to their audience.
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By: Lynn H. Deming
Presented by: Anne Crace
Technical authors should speak to their audience.
Writing of this type is more personal than other types of writing and should be treated on a personal level. Most often, first person, active voice is the best choice of narrative style.
* It is “objective” to use third person
* gives “professional distance”
* helps with credibility
* Write as if they are in the room with you
*Are they experts or novices?
* How old are they?
* Is the topic serious or humorous?
* Correspondence (letters, memos, etc.)
* Empirical Research Reports
* Proposals (first person-third person combination, predominantly active voice)
* Mechanism and Process Definition (third person, active voice)
* Multiple part documents
* Instructional Manuals
For most Technical writing, the tone should be somewhat personal, as if you are having a conversation with the audience, or speaking in front of them, as if on a stage. Doe s third person make sense for this? There are exceptions, but the main point of this article is to include yourself with the audience and vice-versa.