If you are a technical writer or want to become, then this article is for you. This article will generate answers to the following questions:
- What is technical writing?
- What are the uses of technical writing?
- What are the rules of technical writing?
- What are the examples of technical writing?
Overview of technical writing
Technical writing is one of the most growing skills in the professional workplace. According to a survey, the estimated growth of this writing until 2024 will be 10%, which is faster than any other occupation. Technical writing is referred to the writing that is regarding a specific area of dealing, usually in science and technology. The reason is the dealing of technical writing for a specific object, procedure, or an idea.
The tone of technical writing is objective instead of the author’s words because the object is the focus point. The purpose is to transfer the technical information about the object from the company to the user. Below is the list of features that is compulsory for better technical writing:
- Logical: The paper generally contains an object’s introduction, Data and Analysis, Result, and a conclusion. However, there may be some more data according to the product.
- Accurate: As you are transferring the technical information, it should be accurate while telling the facts, theories, and observations. Readers usually choose the product by reading its technical writing.
- Consistent: The written paper should be accurate, consistent, and this includes measuring units, abbreviations, fine grammar, and other relevant writing. Inaccuracy and bad consistency in your writing may confuse the reader about the focused object.
- Clear: The technical writing regarding a machine or an object should be simple, clear, and easy to understand. Write efficient wordings through active voice, limiting the paragraphs, and writing short.
- Concise: Your wording should be up to a point and stick around the object. It should be organized in a way that needs less time to be read.
- Presentation: The presentation of technical writing is an important thing. It should include the original visuals of the object, measurements, reviews, process of using, opinions, and supportive words.
- Interest: The presentation of the writing should maintain the interest of the user.
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Uses of Technical Writing
Nowadays, technical writing is usually used in all the businesses that provide the services or sells a specific object. It is the best way of making the user understandable about your product. Some of the common uses of technical writing are explained below:
This type of technical writing is performed to instruct the user. For example, I got a new Air conditioner that is complex and difficult to organize without the manual or instructions. However, if I get the instructions booklet, I can easily follow it to start using.
An instruction book shouldn’t be complex to understand. Instead, it should be simple and easy to follow. Giving instruction through technical writing is the most common use of technical writing worldwide.
Communication through Technical writing is the best way of simplifying the questions. For example, an advertisement company introduced me to a new building for my office. I even don’t know the location of the building.
However, the marketer will let me know all the information about the spot through technical writing for communication. This writing usually includes the location’s map, Structure details, pricing, facilities, original images, terms, and conditions. This way, I can quickly get an overview of the whole building without visiting the spot.
This type of technical writing is also considered as the transfer of information along with the guidance. The use of technical writing in this field is gigantic.
Having a valid argument means to have a potential power in your hand. The technical writing in a simple wording with easy to understand makes the report widely communicable. But the rules are to use the logical and up to the mark arguments.
Five rules of professional technical writing
Becoming a professional technical writer needs to follow the rules because it sets the standard of the writing. However, below are some of the rules to be followed while writing technical papers.
- Make Persona: The key to writing something is to know your audience and their demands. The writer should know his audience and write according to it. The audience that is reading should be discussed in writing and at each step. This way, the relevancy, along with engagement, will increase. After knowing your audience, you should go for estimating the exact person that is reading your technical writing. This is important for making obvious, like writing for the department supervisor. Another beneficial tip is to write technical writing for a specific person or group instead of a generic audience.
- Stay away from creeps: The content can be increased while planning or writing. In this regard, the technical writers are not limited as they can increase the content through writing the additional information or the user’s instruction. Adding additional knowledge or instructions to your writing is beneficial, but it should be limited. The scope creep does needless work that makes the direction more complex and inefficient.
- Uncomplex writing: As we know that technical writing includes instructions and knowledge about planning, so it should be easy to understand by the users. Before writing, it should be planned about what to write. Time for planning should be half of the writing time. The planning process should include the targeted audience, procedure, and template for writing. The writing should be presented in a way that is easy to understand for every user.
- Be immortal: A technical writer contributes the solution to a problem. The technical writing you wrote should be compatible for now and for future use. This is because the paper may not be needed for the current user, but in the future, it may be useful. For example, a site assessment may not be required for now, but after some decades, it may be required for new residents. The format and content of the text should be such that it can be understood even after 20 years.
- Use Graphics: Graphics of the object helps the user to understand better and faster because the real images help to organize the product completely. The impact of graphics is to make the user understand, not for the decoration. The graphics should be added between the paragraphs and relevant to the writing. Using high quality, related, original, and better-placed graphics would make a better impact while understanding.
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Common examples of technical writing
Software installation guide: Computer software usually comes with the documentation for instructing the installation. However, modern programmers have made this task efficient through automating the process, and the user just sees the alerts. Software developers issue the documentation of installing and organizing for the custom software. Without an instruction book, it might be difficult for users to use or organize the software.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOP): Organizations usually require Standard operating procedures to operate or organize their tasks. SOP is a type of rules or system to be followed. It can be the process of calculating salaries, counting the attendance, or calculating vacation period. SOP is important because it helps to reject the preference and irregularities. Hence the SOP maintains the standard and equality for all the members.
Service Level Agreement (SLA): The agreement between the provider and the buyer over the specific terms. It highlights the deal, including pricing, services, guarantees, and negotiable items.
Request for proposal: This is another type of SLA, but it includes respective services for multiple companies. It covers prospects and projects from both sides.
Legal Disclaimer: It is the term of services by the provider of the object. Whether it’s software or a book, the author needs to set the terms of services. Like, you might have seen the label “Not for Sale.” However, the legal disclaimer is not limited; instead, it can be used to define conditions where the object may be organized, sold, modify, or revised. The technical writing in a legal disclaimer is used by the developers to protect their efforts and restrictions on usage.
Business Plans: Business plans also follow technical writing because the plans include all the knowledge about establishing a business. The technical writing of a business can include the following facts:
- Introduction the business and its services
- Vision and History of the company
- Entire information about the product including the description
- Analysis and reporting
- The designations and their roles in working
- Profit and loss analysis and report
- Complete planning of the business, including financial, growth strategies, and plans.
The scope of technical writing has been increasing consistently because of the increase in digital services. Many websites contain terms and conditions which need to be signed before signing up or using their services.
Numerous updates do technical writing better as the writing needs to be standardized according to the new generation. If we talk about considering the best technical writing, it’s the writing that contains complete information about organizing an object, and it is easily understandable.