RE: Drafts Debate

Subject: RE: Drafts Debate
From: Paul Goble <pg -at- pgcommunication -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 14:25:21 -0600

Andrew T. Brooke wrote:
> I agree with the idea of clearly marking the word "Draft" on
> each page, and perhaps even adding an explanatory note at the
> beginning stating this is a draft which may contain some
> errors and is still being worked on.

Uh-oh. The debate seems to be generating practical suggestions.
Do the list rules permit such a turn of events? :-)

This looks like a good chance to throw in some more ideas
(for dealing with drafts in general, not just ones likely
to be "stolen" from the writer's desk):

For some reviewers, the visual appearance of a document seems
to have a big impact on the way they read it. It seems to be
a law of nature that if the fonts are pretty, people think the
document must be nearly done. I've been known to apply an "ugly
courier" style sheet to help communicate that this is a
ROUGH draft.

Other reviewers seem to be put at ease if there's a "to-do" list
attached to the draft. That removes any doubt that the writer
KNOWS about the flaws. Most reviewers, however, breeze right
past such lists.

Then there are the reviewers who pull apart the pages of a draft,
then accidentally shuffle in a few pages from older drafts or even
other manuals. (Is this a pretty routine issue for y'all?) So each
page of my drafts gets a big red "Title - DRAFT - <date>" watermark.

pg -at- pgcommunication -dot- com

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