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Technical Writing Feedback

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 103 comments and questions on Technical Writing issues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.



List of most recent 15 letters

Title

Topic

Country

Can a writer be a reader? Knowledge Philippines
 
How to become a competent Technical Writer General UK
 
Any barriers for becoming a technical writer? Process USA
 
Why write up project material? Managing Projects Tanzania
 
Taking Fundamentals of Technical Writing General USA
 
Wants to transition into technical writing Skills Needed USA
 
Guide to write the project documentation proposal Type of Docs Needed Malaysia
 
Want to be self-employed technical writer General India
 
I want to start my career as Technical writer Salaries USA
 
Interested in becoming a technical writer Skills Needed USA
 
Looking for a web writer Process Canada
 
Comparing technical writing and literary writing Knowledge Philippines
 
What does technical writing Mean? General New Zealand
 
Learning to use RoboHelp RoboHelp and WBT India
 
Want to learn more about online program General Nigeria
 

Next 15 letters

 





Knowledge

Can a writer be a reader?

July 2, 2016

Question

can a writer be a reader? is it necessary for the writer to be knowledge able than the reader

lailah - Philippines (27114)

Answer

There are jobs where a person proof-reads material from a writer to assure it makes sense. A technical writer should be able to write material so that a reader can understand the material without being very knowledgeable about the subject.

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General

How to become a competent Technical Writer

March 18, 2016

Question

New to Technical writing, so as a complete beginner would like to know how to become a competent Technical Writer.

Sue - UK (26869)

Answer

A good way to learn about technical writing is to get involved in an organization such as the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC) in the UK. Check out their website to see about meetings in your location.

They should have information about skills needed and available job opportunities.

I hope that helps. Best wishes for success in your writing career.

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Process

Any barriers for becoming a technical writer?

May 24, 2015

Question

I have no engineering degree but have been a maintenance professional, a machinist and designed and built many special purpose machines large and small over a 35 year career. Are there any barriers to me becoming a technical writer? Any certification requirements? Is it possible to do this free lance?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Larry - USA (26028)

Answer

Consider the companies you've for in the past. Did they have documentation for the various devices or machines, such as repair manuals, user manuals, etc?

If not, perhaps they could use such documentation or someone knowledgeable to work on their documentation. This is a good area for freelance or contract work.

A few large companies may require certification or a degree in writing, but it usually is not a roadblock.

A good place to start and to get information about the business is through the Society for Technical Communication. Find a chapter in your location and check out a meeting. You can also find out about jobs in your area.

Best wishes for success in your new career.

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Managing Projects

Why write up project material?

November 18, 2014

Question

Why project writeup?

hamisa - Tanzania (25557)

Answer

It is important to write out your plans for a project. This makes sure your efforts are logical and that you do not miss any important points.

Also, writing things out allows others to review and understand the concepts.

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General

Taking Fundamentals of Technical Writing

November 8, 2013

Question

Hello Ron,

I really enjoyed reading some of the material on your site. I am planning on taking a certification course at the University of Georgia. The course name is Fundamentals of Technical Writing and the instructor's name is Janet Underwood. Are you familiar with this course or can you recommend any courses?

Wali - USA (24178)

Answer

I'm not familiar with the course or instructor, but I am sure that it will be worth your while. U of Georgia is a good school.

For added information about technical writing, check the Society for Technical Communication website.

Best wishes in your studies and career.

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Skills Needed

Wants to transition into technical writing

October 17, 2013

Question

Hi.
I've written a trilogy, two novels, and a collection of short stories. Also, I'm in the process of writing another novel and another trilogy. I'm currently in a Masters program at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA for their Computer Science program. However, I have grown to hate the coding and problem solving that goes with Computer Sciene. and I am finding mysl doign more writing thatn coding. I had several english and writing classess as an undergraduate and I've come to the question, how do I transition from the technical career into a professional career as either a technical writer or creative writer?

Ted - USA (24107)

Answer

It is good that you are writing fiction on the side. Have you had your books published or done self-publishing? Note that it is very difficult to make a living doing fiction or nonfiction writing. See Succeed in Fiction Writing for some basics.

As far as technical writing goes, your background in computer science can be useful to companies seeking writers who can understand the nuances of programming. A good place to find out the market for technical writers is through the Society for Technical Communication chapter in Philadelphia. They can give you some pointers on getting started.

Best wishes in your career.

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Type of Docs Needed

Guide to write the project documentation proposal

September 12, 2012

Question

I need a guide to write the project documentation proposal.

LIN - Malaysia (22896)

Answer

See Project Documentation for an overview of the subject.

Also see Writing the Project Proposal

I hope that helps.

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General

Want to be self-employed technical writer

May 4, 2012

Question

Hi Friend
I've been into technical writing for over 2+years now and planning to go about on my own. I would be grateful, if you could guide me as to how to go about searching and identifying potential clients both within my country and outside my country?

Thanks for your time and response.

With warm regards

Kamakshi - India (22635)

Answer

Consider the industry of company where you are working right now. You have expertise in that type of technical writing, so it is good to look to similar companies. Also, if you have some technical background, consider companies that are in that field.

It is not easy to start up as an independent or to be self-employed. One option is to work through temporary agencies. That is a good way to get more contacts. Technical Writers of India might be a good source of information. Also see: Starting a Technical Writing Business for more information.

Best wishes in your efforts.

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Salaries

I want to start my career as Technical writer

November 4, 2011

Question

Hi,

I want to start my career as Technical writer.I have Engineering degree and persuing MBA currently.

I have excellent writing and communication skills and quite comfortable with HTML,CSS,Javascript.

I have drafted a resume.would you proofread it if i send it to you and let me know if it is suitable for Technical writer job hunt.

Thanks,
Arshia Alam

Arshia - USA (22136)

Answer

An engineering degree should help you in getting a technical writing job in industries in your field. However, they may be more interested in having you do technical work. You might be able to combine both writing and engineering.

A good resource is the Society for Technical Communication. They may have a chapter in your area. Their meetings are good place to find job leads.

Feel free to send a copy of your resume. I can look it over and make comments.

Best wishes in your career.

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Skills Needed

Interested in becoming a technical writer

September 6, 2011

Question

I am almost finished with my associates degree and plan to transfer for a BA in English. I have been encouraged to possibly become a technical writer. What type of college classes would assist in this pursuit?

Thank you for your response.

Donna - USA (21955)

Answer

There are a number of colleges that offer degrees in technical writing or communications. Some of the online colleges also offer courses in technical writing.

A good place to start is to check into the Society for Technical Communications (STC). Check their listing of Chapters to find one in your area. It is a good place to get local information about the profession.

Good luck in your career.

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Process

Looking for a web writer

July 17, 2011

Question

Are you available to write a software user manual for a new web based application? Can you write in Robohelp?

Brook - Canada (21822)

Answer

I'm sorry, but I no longer do Technical Writing. A good place to find a writer with your requirements is through the Society for Technical Communication. Check to find a chapter in your community in Canada.

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Knowledge

Comparing technical writing and literary writing

June 21, 2011

Question

differentiate technical writing from literary writing by considering the following factors:
1. porpose
2.subject matter
3. language
4. point of view
5.tone

shelmy - Philippines (21745)

Answer

In technical writing, you are usually writing for a company with the purpose of describing or explaining their products or services. A user manual is a good example of technical writing.

In literary writing, the author is often expressing emotions or telling stories. Poetry, short stories and plays are example of literary writing.

Certainly, the two types of writing are quite different.

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General

What does technical writing Mean?

November 14, 2010

Question

What does technical even mean

lucy - New Zealand (20686)

Answer

Technical writing is usually about descriptions of machinery, computer devices and equipment.

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RoboHelp and WBT

Learning to use RoboHelp

August 7, 2010

Question

from where i have to start to learn RoboHelp?

- India (20198)

Answer

RoboHelp is mainly used for online help for computer applications. It can also be used for creating tutorials.

For information and tutorials, see:

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/robohelp/
http://sarah.gray.tripod.com/RoboHELP.tutorials.html

I hope that helps.

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General

Want to learn more about online program

May 16, 2010

Question

Hi,
I will like more information on online study programme on technical writing including the fees.

Harris - Nigeria (19726)

Answer

The School for Champions website provides free supplementary lessons to help students and other learners to understand a topic.

You can go through our lessons on Technical Writing to help you understand the subject.

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