Re: Popular scientific writing

Subject: Re: Popular scientific writing
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2002 11:19:09 -0800

David Bazell wrote:

I would also like to hear what suggestions people have for marketing my
skills. For example, does the publication of articles in peer reviewed
scientific journals qualify as technical writing?
Close enough, I'd say. However, as you write your resume for technical writing, you might want to explain exactly how this experience is relevant to the type of job you're looking for. This explanation can be as obvious as a bullet point starting "skills relevant to technical writing."

The only people who
read the articles are other scientists with similar interests and
background, so making the articles intelligible to a lay audience is not
Not all technical-writing is directed at a lay audience - in fact, much of the better paying work isn't. If asked, you might compare your work to writing a programming manual, rather than a user's guide.

On the other hand, proposals on cross disciplinary topics,
as some of mine have been

You might use any cross-disciplinary work as proof of your ability to absorb and synthesize new information quickly. This skill is so important to tech-writing that I sometimes think that it's at the core of the profession.

I am especially interested in hearing about the experiences of people
with similar backgrounds. I read the article "Getting Started in
Technical Writing" which had information from people entering tech
writing from different fields. Physics was not one of them.

As you might imagine, most of the science in tech-writing will be applied. For example, some basic physics is relevant to 3D modelling or for data loggers for temperature and relative humidity. On a somewhat more advanced level, biotech and medical companies generally prefer to hire writers with biology degrees. Use your imagination, and target your job search to areas where your knowledge would be an asset - the aerospace industry, perhaps?

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

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Popular scientific writing: From: David Bazell

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