RE: What should an introductory seminar on tech writing cover?

Subject: RE: What should an introductory seminar on tech writing cover?
From: "Guru Kamath" <guru -at- bom5 -dot- vsnl -dot- net -dot- in>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 22:09:32 +0530


The suggestion to evaluate and review writing from the audience is indeed
excellent. I have tried to encourage this but have never suceeded. My
feeling is that Indian technical writers are "shy" of their work. Perhaps,
they are uncomfortable having their writing discussed in front of all. In
fact, it would be a good idea to have a 4 hour Writing Clinic in addition to
the Introductory Seminar. Failing which, an hour (out of 8 hours and not 4
hours mind you) on Reviewing and Revising would be essential.

In addition, I feel that "confidentiality" and "privacy" seems to be a major
concern. So I feel writers are even more reluctant to share their work or
discuss concerns about their writing with an External Consultant.

I make my seminars -- a lot of fun for myself and for the audience! One of
the Exercise I gave was to give a Title to a book on "common mistakes in
technical writing". I had some hilarious and some competent answers. But
none came up with the title of the book which I possess -- "Bugs in Writing"
by Dupre. (This book was gifted to me by my Project Leader when I did a
project in Hong Kong.)

I feel just a one day seminar is not enough. There should be a series of
mini-seminars (4 hours each) throughout the year. Each area could be
covered in the half day -- Technical Editing, Indexing, Online Help.

Even though the seminars are meant to be introductory -- my audience in
India consists of technical writers with 6 months to 2 years of experience.
So even stuff like Usability gets covered in my seminars.

My fond wish is that some of you can come to India and give such seminars or
even talks.

guru -at- bom5 -dot- vsnl -dot- net -dot- in

Barry Batorsky said:

When I used to teach short sessions, I started with pieces of writing from
the audience. I tried to collect these beforehand and let them guide my

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