The Technical Writing Process

Topics: Passive voice, Writing process, Need Pages: 5 (1332 words) Published: July 8, 2009
Assignment: The Technical Writing Process

The three main steps of the technical writing process are Prewriting, writing, and rewriting. I would use those steps to create my manual as followed:

Since I already know the purpose of my writing, which would be to create a manual to inform, I would need to consider and determining a few more things. Prewriting allows you to gather all your information and thoughts before you actually begin the writing process. I would jot down who I thought my audience would be, which would determine my tone and content, organize all of the information that I would like to include in my manual, and lastly, figure out how I will provide these ideas to my audience.

Once you have all the needed information, it is time to put those thoughts into motion. Two important steps in the writing stage is to organize your document using some sort of logical flow of writing. You want the readers to have little trouble reading your manual. Next, format the writing so that it is easier and more manageable to read. In addition, with those two key steps, you may begin to put the data you gathered in a rough draft.

This stage is the final one, and allows you to spiff up your rough draft however you see fit. You will want to examine the content and make any changes to the tone or the wording. Also, of course, grammar must be corrected. Formatting can also be very important. The formatting of the paper must be satisfactory. You will want to examine headings, fonts, bold, tabs, etc. In the rewriting stage, you are able to perfect your final copy so that you can be proud of the completed project. It’s important to review anything that you may need to fix. Another thing to remember is that any of the three stages can be revisited when ever necessary. Just because you have written your rough draft does not mean you can’t add extra wordage or an extra paragraph to your final product, just make sure that you edit the adage as well, before it is made a part of the final writing.

There are five main objectives of technical writing:

The purpose of any document, in most cases, is to deliver a message or information. If you are not clear in your first attempt, you will just be creating more work for yourself. In the manual, I will want to deliver a message that is clear and concise, that my audience is able to understand without vagueness. To ensure clarity, the following steps can be followed:

Provide Specific Detail- By doing this, you will leave very little question for the audience and get your message across accurately.

Answer the reports questions- Ask the question: who, what, where, when, how, and why. After answering those, there should be little information left, and you have not forgotten anything.

Use Easily Understandable Words- The audience is a mix of people, and not all of them have the same vocabulary or understanding for certain verbiage. Avoid using slang words/terms and be direct.

Use Verbs in the Active Voice Versus the Passive Voice- The audience needs to know what is happening, an action, they do not, nor should they have to, guess what the action will be. For example: Bill is being promoted from mail room to CEO. That would be passive. You may think, “What? Why?” The correct way would be- “ Mr. Smith, the President of the company has reviewed Bill’s work and has decided to make him CEO.” That sentence explains it all!

The purpose of conciseness is to get to the point without adding extra length on to the document when not needed. The audience needs the point. You want to be concise in explaining any information, and in this case, the manual. I will not write paragraph upon paragraph explaining a step that could take two sentences.

Conciseness Saves Time- If a consumer wanted to read a novel, they would pick one up at the library. When they are trying to read...
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