RE: Level of writing

Subject: RE: Level of writing
From: Kay Robart <kay -dot- robart -at- integratedconcepts -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2000 16:18:13 -0600

There is no need to write long and wordy text. The rule of technical
is to write clearly and concisely for your audience. If your ONLY audience
highly technical, conciseness is served precisely by using the technical
that audience understands rather than using synonyms or going into unneeded
explanations. Just because you use the technical jargon properly, however,
not mean that you need to write in a pompous or obscure manner. Remember,
besides conciseness, the other key word is clarity.

As long as you are using the proper terminology and explaining the
at the proper level, no one is going to criticize you for clear writing.
Most likely,
no one is going to compliment you either, but that's OK. In good technical
writing, style should be transparent, that is, the reader shouldn't notice
style, but simply understand the content without undue effort.

Kay Robart

> I am curious about what other techwhirlers might do in this situation.
> I had a conversation the other day about a person who is a SME in a high
> level technical environment, possibly scholastic, who writes papers,
> guides, and articles about highly technical information mostly for very
> technical people. The question came up as to what level of writing this
> information should follow. While taking into account the high level of
> technical expertise of the audience (I am not sure exactly what the
> audience is, though I think it varies somewhat), I thought that most
> technical writing should be written in eighth grade English, with
> appropriate technical jargon for easy and fast readability.
> She disagreed. She countered that if the audience thinks in highly
> technical, highly scholastic or technical background, it should be written
> as such, even if the text is long and wordy. If this information is of an
> instructional nature, I would find it difficult to read large amounts of
> text that was written in a level as high as college level and I think most
> people would, especially if they needed the information quickly.
> Patty Meglio
> Technical Communications Specialist
> pmeglio -at- lct -dot- com

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