Re: Thinking Patterns (was RE: Interviews (5 Year Question))

Subject: Re: Thinking Patterns (was RE: Interviews (5 Year Question))
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2001 15:44:38 -0700

John Fleming wrote:
> Is this a good observation? Are we, as writers, better at certain
> kinds of instructions than others?

I think it's an even larger issue than that. First as a university
instructor and later as a tech-writer, I've observed that very few
people - whether writers or not - have a good sense of structure. Many
cannot see the structure of anything longer than a paragraph. Many more
have learned one or two structures that they try to use on all
occasions, and are at a loss when their rote ideas don't work. Only a
handful can adapt their favorite structures, or generate new ones to fit
new information or requirements.

My guess would be that many of the people who passed through your
company fall into the second category. Standard-issue tech-writers,
really - and I say that to observe, not to insult. Unfortunately,
structurally-aware writers are rare, and often expensive.

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"In the bathroom mirror they try that Joan of Arc look again
Two parts Ingrid Berman to one part Shirley MacLaine
The wounds of time kill you but the surgeon's knife only stings
Jerusalem on the jukebox, little angels beat your wings."
-Richard Thompson, "Jerusalem on the Jukebox"


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