RE: More on Tech Writing Tests

Subject: RE: More on Tech Writing Tests
From: Jason Willebeek-LeMair <jlemair -at- cisco -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2003 14:05:45 -0600


Oddly enough, with no instruction about the audience, I would assume that
the audience was experienced PB&J Engineers who only needed to know where
the stuff was. Then, I would write detailed instructions about buying bread
on eBay.

But then again, I am annoying.

Jason

-----Original Message-----
From: Baird, LeAnne [mailto:LeAnne -dot- Baird -at- acs-inc -dot- com]
Sent: Tuesday, February 11, 2003 1:09 PM
To: 'LKittle -at- Eidea -dot- com'
Subject: tech writing test

The best one I've ever used is really simple.
Give the writer a workstation and (preferably) software they are used to
writing with, an easily-located (live) browser icon on the desktop, and the
following instruction:
"Write the text of a help topic about making a peanut butter and jelly
sandwich. This topic will eventually be published in HTML, but will be
published in PDF first. Take as much time as you need."
Do not answer any questions the writer asks, just leave them to it. (The
really good ones immediately ask about audience, for instance, but I just
said I had given all the instruction I was going to give.)

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