Re: Do I have to understand the material?

Subject: Re: Do I have to understand the material?
From: Janice Gelb <janice -dot- gelb -at- sun -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 15 Aug 2002 09:24:28 -0700

Sean Brierley wrote:

In terms of the issue that kicked off this thread, does a tech writer
need an Associate's degree in electronics to document electronics?

Also, does the writer need to be as much an expert as the engineer or
programmer, or can the technical writer do a good job with a less-deep
knowledge? For example, let's say you are writing about software that
models hydraulics. Is it enough to understand how the liquids flow in
the system, the components of the system, and the ways to interact with
the software to get things done. Or, is it required that you have the
equivalent background PhD-level civil-engineering degree of those who
created the software?

I used to work for an academic publishing house - we
edited everything from games theory to international
political journals. When we took the calls from the
authors phoning in their galley corrections, they
would often ask us if they would be seeing us at
the upcoming American Sociologists Convention or
the like. Many times I was tempted to say "Actually,
I was a journalism major" but refrained. The fact
remains that we were able to edit work dealing with
a large variety of fields and the authors could not
tell from our edits that we were not intimately
familiar with their particular academic field.

-- Janice

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RE: Do I have to understand the material?: From: Sean Brierley

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