RE: Individual vs. Departmental Writer's Voice

Subject: RE: Individual vs. Departmental Writer's Voice
From: "J Bailey" <jbailey -at- megapathdsl -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 15:27:07 -0400

Argument 1 focuses on the writer. Technical documentation is about the
user, not the writer.
Argument 2 focuses on the user. I repeat, technical documentation is about
the user, not the writer.

I heartily agree with Roy, "creativity is . . . involved in solving the
of explaining complex topics clearly, completely and succinctly. . .."


-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-73029 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-73029 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com] On Behalf Of Elizabeth
Sent: Tuesday, June 12, 2001 2:55 PM
Subject: Individual vs. Departmental Writer's Voice

There's an interesting subject that's just come up in my department--whether
it's appropriate for a departmental editor to attempt to enforce a
"departmental voice" in edits.


A department of 6 writers and 1 editor. Each writer creates manuals and help
files for individual modules of a primarily accounting application (each
module has one writer, each writer has many modules). In many cases, but not
all, the modules are aimed at the same basic audience (accounting clerks and
accountants). A few modules are aimed at other audiences such as executives
or the sales force.

The question:

Assuming that two modules are writing to the same general audience
(accounting clerks and accountants), is it appropriate for a departmental
editor to make edits to keep two separate manuals (say one for an Accounts
Receivable module and one for an Accounts Payable module) consistent in tone
and type of language?

We've two writers making the following arguments:

as if they were written by the same person.

One writer (and I'm not saying who) supports her arguments by pointing to an
"industry standard practice" but without supporting evidence beyond her own
experience. I'm figuring if anyone can define "industry standard" it's going
to be this email list, so I'd love to hear what any of you might have to say
on this issue. Thanks for your time.

Elizabeth Estep



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Individual vs. Departmental Writer's Voice: From: Elizabeth Estep

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