How Do Tech Writers Use Visual Elements to Depict Data?

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Technical communicators have many reasons for incorporating visual data (specifically tables, charts, and graphs) into their work: they make text easier to understand, they often save on production costs, and translation to other languages is usually easier. So, the problem for many writers isn’t if to include charts, graphs, etc.; the problem may be when […]

How Do Technical Writers Use Social Media?

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What’s the big deal? Social media is changing the way people communicate—communication is constant, prolific, and global. So, if you’re looking to share your craft with the world, you better jump on the social media bandwagon! This article will explain how and why technical writers are using some of the more popular social media outlets: […]

How to Make the Most of a Style Guide

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What is a style guide? A style guide is a reference for writers. Think of it as a dictionary of sorts, but one that documents decisions rather than definitions. Style guides essentially serve as a roadmap to consistency. Let’s face it: writers have options, and most writers follow their own preferences where they can. But, […]

Guide to Successful Proofreading

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Proofreading a document can be a challenging assignment for many people. But proofreading your own writing can be downright impossible since we often read what we meant to write, and not what we actually wrote. How can you find mistakes in your writing? Here are some helpful tips you can use the next time you’re […]

What Should You Read Before You Write?

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Recommended Reading for Technical Writers (and those who want to be) While the reading needs of technical writers differ, we can offer a few suggestions for essential reading. Consider your own ability, experience, and reason for writing; then, sift through this list of recommendations to find what’s best for you. For General Reading on Technical Communication If […]

Can You be a Technical Writer?

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Describing a Technical Writer If you have a knack for writing well, and you’re a lover of learning, you might just have what it takes to become a technical writer. The purpose of technical writing is to deliver quality technical communication that users may use efficiently, effectively, and safely. So, the two most important skills […]

Comprehensive Editing: Why You Can’t Do It Alone

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The ultimate goal of your published work goes far beyond being grammatically correct. The ultimate goal is to be correct—in all ways. Herein lies the need for comprehensive editing (also called substantive editing). Comprehensive editing includes copy editing, as editing for content and clarity, so that you achieve your documentation/publication goals: Accuracy Clarity Conciseness Correctness […]

How to Avoid Common Stylistic Problems in Technical Writing

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Technical writing isn’t just about writing on technical topics. It also includes writing in a style that allows your readers to quickly and easily understand technical information and put it to work. When writing has errors—grammatical, mechanical, or stylistic—meaning suffers and readers get lost. Many unskilled writers may write grammatically and/or mechanically correct documents that fail […]

Part II: Best Technical Writing Tools—Technical Skills

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You may be intrigued by the state-of-the-art electronic device you just bought—the technology, the innovation, the research and development. But have you taken into consideration what’s behind the documentation that came with the product? The writer, the tools, the training, the experience—these all are a part of the document you’re holding in your hand. A […]

Part I: Best Technical Writing Tools—Personal Skills

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You may be a high school student on the verge of entering college. Or, perhaps you’re a seasoned professional looking for a career change. Regardless of the specific scenario, when you’re considering a career in technical writing, you should seek to own the same skills—both technical and personal—that every successful technical writer has. Below are descriptions of […]