Re: Good tech writing schools?

Subject: Re: Good tech writing schools?
From: "Anthony Markatos" <tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: cul8r_98 -at- yahoo -dot- com, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 10:28:13 PST

Sarah Park asked:

I am uncertain whether I should pursue a degree program or certificate program in technical writing. Can any of you offer suggestions? Also, I was wondering if you know the best schools that offer tech. writing programs?

Tony Markatos responds:

The key to answering this question is to pin-point the major requirement to creating highly usable end-user documentation (irregardless of the delivery vehicle).

I create technical communications for complex business systems. It has always been my experience (15 years) that the major thing that a technical communicator needs to do to creat highly usable documentation is to gain a clear, concise, comprehenisve understanding of the essential end-user tasks that must be accomplished (in order to meet business objectives) and how all of those tasks interrelate.

I would focus on finding a program whose primary purpose is to teach you how to go about obtaining such understanding. I do not know of any such program. The ones that I am aware of only teach the "other" stuff that a Technical Communicator may need to know - Writing, Editing, DTP, Interface Design, etc.

Tony Markatos
(tonymar -at- hotmail -dot- com)

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