RE: Concepts (was Technical Writing Tests)

Subject: RE: Concepts (was Technical Writing Tests)
From: "Marguerite Krupp" <mkrupp -at- cisco -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 14 Feb 2003 11:32:02 -0500

STC members can access an interesting article on this subject in the
Publications database. Others may find this piece through university
libraries or Inter-Library Loan. Here's the synopsis:

1999 | Vol.46, Number 8, pp. 16-18
by Wieringa, Douglas R.

"Why do We Really Write Procedures?"

Wieringa discusses the pros and cons of procedures. While noting the
usefulness of procedures for performing many functions, Wieringa also makes
a case for presenting conceptual information about a product for users who
need more than task-oriented information. Because many technical writers are
not familiar with the products they're writing about, they may find
procedures easy to write, especially if the document is a group project.
Concept-driven information is also time-consuming and difficult to obtain
from busy SMEs. To help you break the procedure habit, Wieringa suggests
asking yourself the following questions: (1) Are the tasks self-explanatory?
(2) Do users want to read conceptual topics? (3) Are users familiar with the
concepts that underlie your software? (4) Are you writing the procedure at
the right level? and (5) Are users likely to have problems navigating?



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Re: Concepts (was Technical Writing Tests): From: Jan Henning

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