Technical writing

Topics: Passive voice, Writing, Technical communication Pages: 8 (1567 words) Published: February 5, 2014
Technical, Scientific, and
Business English
Lesson Title
Lesson Target

Lesson No.
Date

01
21 Oct
2013

Definition and Nature of Technical Writing
Discuss the nature of technical writing.

References
Title
Author

Handbook for Technical Writing, Technical Writing Style
Shelton, James. Handbook for Technical Writing.
Illinios: NTC Business Books, 1994. Print
Confai. Technical Writing Style. Accessed October 21,
2013. http://www.confai.com/technical-writing-style

Page
Number(s)

5

What is Technical Writing?
 Technical writing communicates specific and factual information to a defined audience for a defined purpose.
 The information is technical in nature, and this is what makes technical writing different from other types of writing.
 Broadly, that audience includes technical readers, managerial readers, or even, at times, general readers.
 The purpose is to inform, instruct, describe, explain, or otherwise document scientific or industrial processes and mechanisms.
Purposes of Technical Writing
1. To inform
It is written to make another person understand or to do something. It is designed to fulfill a need to tell and a need to know.
2. To analyze events and their implications
It will explain how certain systems failed. This system may include education, socioeconomic, political and the needed change.
3. To persuade and influence decisions
It will show how a business or an industry succeeds.
Technical writing is ideally characterized by the maintenance of impartiality and objectivity, by extreme care to convey information accurately and concisely and by the absence of any attempt to arouse emotions.

Basic Principles of Technical Writing
1. Understanding the Reader
The technical writer should know how to adapt his writings and terminologies of the type of the intended audience or readers. Difficult technical terms used must be carefully defined so that the reader will easily understand the information being presented.

If the reader fails to understand what he reads, the writer fails in his mission. The technical writers should know how important his readers are.
The target readers help the writer to know what to write about and how to write it.
2. Knowing the Purpose of Each Technical Report
The technical paper must be organized around a central theme. The reader should understand the main purpose after reading the paper. The purpose maybe is to describe a thing, to report on a specific problem or project, or to analyze and solve a problem.

3. Knowing the Subject Matter
A technical writer must have a thorough knowledge of the subject he is to write about.
If the report is on the result of a technical experiment, the writer who writes the report should explain what the problem is all about, what causes the problem and how the problem is solved.

4. Writing Objectively
A good technical writer must emphasize the facts and the data. The impersonal style is basic to an effective technical writer. He represents facts, figures and statistics skillfully woven around the subject matter or central theme and written in an impersonal manner. 5. Using Correct Format

The format and style of a report attract the attention of the readers first. Companies require neatly-typed communications, reports and project proposals and feasibility studies.
The current trends require that such communication be computerized or typed.
6. Adopting Ethical Standards
A technical writer should undertake comprehensive research work; accumulate the required data through interviews, surveys, referrals and related publications.
He must have to present facts and figures as gathered and required, using only those that are pertinent to the report.
A good technical writer also acknowledges the help he receives from others and cities sources of reference materials.
Effective Technical Writing
1) Write Clear Sentences
 Follow these guidelines for writing sentences which will be clear to the...


References: Illinios: NTC Business Books, 1994. Print
Confai
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