Re: Structuring Documentation

Subject: Re: Structuring Documentation
From: Tony Markos <ajmarkos -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Tony Markos <ajmarkos -at- yahoo -dot- com>, Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
Date: Tue, 13 Dec 2005 06:43:00 -0800 (PST)

Dick Margulis asks of Tony Markos:

Before you were asking what a structured document was,
implying you doubted that such a thing existed, and
now you've just described two documents as sharing a
common structure [an end-user manual and a properly
done software requirements specification]. So do you
believe that it is possible to write a structured
document or don't you?

Tony Markos responds:

I had previously asked on this listserv if strutured
WRITING existed (outside of formatting considerations
- a relatively minor thing). I specifically asked
what were the concrete, specific steps involved in
structured writing. I got none - only a couple of
comments that it is basically a mysterious,
illdefinable black art that "ya just gotta know".

Addtionally, a fair amount of research on my part
revealed nothing more than loosey-goosey sound bites
as to what structured writing is - no concrete,
specific steps.

(In all candor, to me, all the above is confusing
as I was, prior to this inquiry, told that the major
skill set of a Technical Writer is skill in structured

I did read (pretty sure on InfoMapping web site) that
Charles Horn (structured writing guru) says that
structured writing is really all about analysis. I
also read this on other web sites - which,
additionally stated that actual writing is but a small
part of structured writing.


* It is very possible to properly sturcture a
document - indeed I do this all the time. However,
the creation of a structured document is mainly all
about proper analysis.

* Structured WRITING (again, outside of minor
formatting considerations) does not exist.

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Re: Structuring Documentation: From: Tony Markos

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