Technical writing is any form of communication in which writers explain about technical or specialized topics to the target audience in a simplified language. One of the classic examples can be a DVD manual or user guide. If you buy a new DVD player, you will also get a user guide along with it. It will tell you about how to use its remote, or how to use the player, besides other things. This helps in using the technology with ease and comfort.
Tips for Good Writing
You do not have to be a great writer to enter this field, although basic writing skills and passion towards it are essential aspects. The job of a technical writer is to learn the purpose of the document to be created, and gather information from the available documents and from subject matter experts. They need to do a thorough research on the topic, understand it well, and put it in simpler words for the intended audiences. In order to do this, a writer must have excellent language skills, along with good teaching qualities so that he/she can explain about the technology to the readers in a better and simpler manner. Following are some of the crucial tips that you must inculcate in your writing:
Understanding the Subject: Before you start, it is essential for you to understand the topic or the subject, at least technically. Then only you will be able to explain it to others. You must be clear about the center idea so that you can put it in your own simple words.
Know Your Readers: One of the important characteristics is writing according to your readers. You must know the target readers, and should write as per their intelligence levels, which may not be possible every time. However, simplifying the technology to maximum is in your hands.
Simple Presentation: Once you gather all the data and put it in your words, it is important that you present it in a readable manner. For example, tables are one of the best ways to present a large amount of information at a glance. They are easy to read and understand. Instead of writing paragraphs explaining things, go for bullet points to make them more appealing. A good data presentation is not only easy to comprehend but also saves a lot of space on the paper.
Easy Writing: Following are some of the tips for technical writers that will make their final document a good piece:
- Be clear while explaining an idea
- Do not mix two separate ideas, without explaining them individually
- Maintain the logical flow of thoughts or an idea; for example, "how to start the cell phone" comes before "how to change the settings"
- Try to use only one thought per sentence
- Use active voice and present tense
- Be explicit with details, but at the same time, be precise
- Explain all the acronyms, abbreviations, and jargons to avoid confusion
- Try to come with simple words by avoiding the overblown ones
- Though it is technical, try to make it interesting for the readers, without sacrificing on the clarity and quality
- Once you complete writing, read it again and edit it properly, without losing the meaning or essence
Only a degree or certification in it may not be enough, you must practice writing to attain perfection. While reading your material, readers should feel how smart they are to understand everything so easily, and this is what technical writing is all about. Your only goal should be to make technology simple for the readers.