RE: Document Review Techniques

Subject: RE: Document Review Techniques
From: "Dan Goldstein" <DGoldstein -at- riverainmedical -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 21 Dec 2005 10:26:50 -0500

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Blount, Patricia A
> Sent: Wednesday, December 21, 2005 9:59 AM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: RE: Document Review Techniques
>
> ... The best editorial review consists of a round table meeting of
> the minds. All team members are present: SME, Editor, Tech Writer
> and a representative or two from the target audience, i.e., end
> users. The Tech Writer facilitates this meeting. Each person
> present has specific expertise. Tech Writers should be writing
> experts who know how to grammatically construct sentences,
> paragraphs, and pages as clearly and concisely as possible.
>

With all due respect, Peggy, if that's the tech writer's primary
expertise at the review meeting, I ain't hiring. Here's a brief overview
of the skills I would expect to find in any good tech writer, all of
which could come into play at an editorial review:

* The tech writer should quickly grasp new technologies -- more
quickly than the industry's average user.
* The tech writer should gather information from a variety of
human and machine sources, many of which are initially uncooperative.
* The tech writer should discern the information that's
essential to the user in a given situation.
* The tech writer should organize the essential information in a
variety of written and graphic presentations.
* Last but certainly not least, the tech writer should have the
skills you describe above.

But that's just me. Others might choose to add to this list...

-- Dan Goldstein

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