RE: Tech Writer screening questions

Subject: RE: Tech Writer screening questions
From: Darren Barefoot <dbarefoot -at- mpsbc -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 13 Jun 2000 09:24:29 -0700

Good morning,

I don't know about anybody else, but (despite my three years as a technical
writer and degree in Creative Writing) I'd pretty much flunk Ms. Charter's
questions. Though, I'd certainly get 100% on Mr. Posada's questions
regarding style guides and bullets, etc. It's my impression that Ms.
Charter's questions are largely theoretical, while Mr. Posada's questions
are much more practical. That is, I think I'd prefer to know the name of a
good style guide as opposed to how to distinguish the difference between
prescriptive and descriptive. But then I've been accused of being a bit
Machiavellian.

What does this tell us? In short, be very careful how you choose your
screening questions because it's going to determine what sort of technical
writer you end with. I know a couple of my more academic colleagues that
might breeze through Ms. Charter's tests, but might be hung up on Mr.
Posada's questions. Caveat Employer. My two cents. DB.


-----Original Message-----
From: Charter, Tara M. [mailto:Charter -dot- Tara -at- mayo -dot- edu]
Sent: Tuesday, June 13, 2000 8:36 AM
To: TECHWR-L
Subject: RE: Tech Writer screening questions


How about the following:

> Q: In what instance would you use an imperative vs a continuance vs a
> directive?
> A: i don't know = not very experienced
> A: An imperative is a ____ and is used to ____; A continuance is a ____
> and is used to _______; A directive is a _____ and is used to ______ =
> somewhat experienced or freshly graduated from college grammar
A: A document has quality and depth if all imperatives are followed
by a continuance and have a directive. An example from my portfolio is
______ = experienced

> Q: How do you distinguish prescriptive from descriptive?
> A: Prescriptive would apply to the writing of requirements while
> descriptive would apply to the writing of definitions.
>
Q: What tool do you use to check the readability of a document?

Q: When does text structure matter and how do you test its depth?

Q: When does the size of the document matter and how do you test it?

etc
etc
etc





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