TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
> I am a student of technical writing and new to the
> list. I've seen a lot
> of technical writing books recommended in the
> archives, but I was
> wondering, what are some of your favorite technical
> writing books?
My favorite technical writing book (laugh if you must)
is "The Dilbert Principle" by Scott Addams. Sure, it's
comedy, but it hits home with regard to how important
clear communication is (remember, clear communication
involves clear signals sent *and* received).
Most of Scott's work is sattire, which means it stems
from real life situations. The humor is in the
over-emphasis of these situations, but that also
serves to highlight true problem areas in
True, Dilbert isn't mainly about communication, but
many of the situations do stem from incompetance on
someone's part in the area of communication.
I find that resources that tell it like it is (a tech
writing text book, for example) aren't very helpful to
me. They are rather cut and dry, and tend to state the
obvious (well, obvious to me, anyway). I much prefer
resources that tickle my brain and make me think about
best practices, not just learn about them.
(because life is too short to be inept)
"As soon as you hear the phrase "studies show",
immediately put a hand on your wallet and cover your groin."
-- Geoff Hart
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