RE: Subject Matter Expertise-YES!

Subject: RE: Subject Matter Expertise-YES!
From: "Beth Agnew" <Beth -dot- Agnew -at- senecac -dot- on -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 11:36:32 -0800

This ignores the majority of technical writers currently employed in the
profession. Our skills as communicators lie not in the subject matter
expertise we may have, but in our ability to rapidly learn what we need to
know about ANY subject, and recompose that information into something that
the audience can understand.

Hiring you to write on fluid dynamics would not be a "dumb thing" at all but
a smart move on the part of an employer who recognizes that you have the
ability to analyze something new, intelligently process that information in
your mind, determine the needs of the audience, and competently communicate
that information to that audience. Please don't sell yourself so short!

People without those cognitive skills are indeed relegated to being
formatters rather than writers.

If we limit our thinking to areas in which we have already acquired
expertise, we are drastically limiting our job prospects and our
opportunities for progression this career. Maybe that is why some of us have
to resort to taking jobs as system administrators and desktop publishers.

-----Original Message-----
From: bounce-techwr-l-118812 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
[mailto:bounce-techwr-l-118812 -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com]On Behalf Of Andrew

And when you posses expertise in one area, it often translates into other
areas. If a person approached me and said, "write a document on fluid
I would not consider myself qualified to do that. If they hired me to do
it would be a dumb thing, since I know nothing of fluid dynamics. That is
those looking to enter tech writing need to consider very carefully what
technical skills they acquire as some are more valuable than others.

Now, if all they wanted was an editor to "pretty up" documents, then sure.
Anybody can do that.


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Re: Subject Matter Expertise-YES!: From: Andrew Plato

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