Re: Creating a Style Guide

Subject: Re: Creating a Style Guide
From: "Poster" <Poster -at- aurora -dot- cotse -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2005 13:50:56 -0400 (EDT)

Martin Bosworth said:
> In my new job here at Walter Reed, I've discovered that the
> developers' documentation is generally solid and easy to understand,
> but it's rife with grammatical errors and inconsistent style usage
> that defeats the purpose...things like capitalizing "telepsychiatry"

Creating a style guide for tech writers is a good and a useful thing.
For other departments? Your mileage will definitely vary. Generally
I've found that developers tend to think that they rule the world
(perhaps it's some of the old "programmer rock star" mentality that is
hanging around) and they won't listen to a "lowly" technical writer.
(When management beats them with a stick, it's different, however. :)

To get their buy in, I think you'd have to stress how the quality of
their input is causing delays and rework for you. Point to specific
examples and reassure them that it's not a personal attack; it's a
process problem. Then suggest the style guide as a common reference
point for everyone. If you management or the process folks involved,
it would stand an even better chance of adoption.



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Creating a Style Guide: From: Martin Bosworth

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