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Importance of Character in Technical Writing

by Ron Kurtus (revised 16 March 2012)

In your role as a technical writer, it is important to be have good character. Being conscientious, reliable, and honest in the work you do and in your relations to others is essential in your profession.

Having an honorable character also provides you with personal benefits and can enhance your career.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.

Having character

Having character means that you are honorable and honest, have integrity and are reliable and responsible. It also means you are courageous and determined to finish what you started.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are people who lie, cheat, or steal. They may also be lazy, unreliable or inconsiderate of others.

It is obvious that honesty and integrity is important in the workplace. The same is true for reliability and other forms of character. The technical writer must be ethical and conscientious in his or her writing. This is especially important when working on a team.

Having an honorable character is a natural progression from being healthy, skilled, excellent, and valuable on the job.

Importance of character

Being a person of high character is important in your relationship with other people, your career and your own self worth.

If you are known as an honest and honorable writer, and a person who is reliable and responsible, those with whom you deal will be respected you. Fellow workers, supervisors and customers will trust you, know they can depend on you and want you on their project.

If you are courageous enough to take on a tough assignment and determined to finish it on time, you will also be respected and admired.

The biggest drawback for writers without positive character traits is that others will shun such a person. People don't like to work with someone who lies, steals or is lazy.

Another important factor is that the honorable writer has a greater self-esteem. You feel good about yourself. Finally, there is the religious aspect of being honest, moral and ethical. 

Maintain character

Your actions determine what people think of you and establish your reputation. They also determine how others will respond to what you do and say.

The way to have character is to always make sure that you are honest, honorable and forthright. Make sure there is no implication of dishonesty in any form.

You should also seek to be considerate of others and conscientious in your work. This doesn't mean that you have to be perfect, but it does mean that you are trying to be someone of high character. 


A technical writer needs to be honest and reliable. Your reputation affects how people deal with you. Having good character results in others respecting you and increases your own esteem. Having character requires a constant effort.

Always do the right thing

Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials


Society for Technical Communication

Technical Writing Resources


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