Re: Examples of good tech writing?

Subject: Re: Examples of good tech writing?
From: Michele Davis <michele -at- krautgrrl -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 10 Jan 2006 16:08:08 -0600

Read, read, read. Not only should you have good examples, you should study bad ones. I have an entire folder of bad technical writing I've found on the web. I haven't read everyone's response but I think it needs to be said that some important characteristics of excellent technical writing include active verbs (voice) as opposed to passive verbs (voice). Don't say: "You can create..." That's passive, instead, say "You create..."

Trimming your sentences to be as concise as possible is also important. Ever notice how some websites yack on for two paragraphs when they could have said the same thing in two sentences? Consider if something is relevant before adding it to a manual.

Dummies books by Wiley & Sons, who bought out IDG, are good because most of their books have the chapters subsisting as solo entities. This means that you don't have references to previous chapters (I should know, I'm writing my third Dummies book right now) and each chapter has to exist on it's own written merit and procedures.

O'Reilly & Associates has a Learning Series of books that are good. Stay away, far away, from Visual QuickPro by Peachpit Press books, they are a good example of bad, bad writing and screen grabs.

Just my two cents worth.


Michele E. Davis, Writer
Kraut Companies
612-309-6903 (cell)
and the uber geek empyre

Rich D wondered: <<Do you have a particular book, website, or instruction manual that you think really captures excellent technical writing? I'm returning to technical writing after a long absence and want to get inspired.>>


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Examples of good tech writing?: From: R D
Examples of good tech writing?: From: Geoff Hart

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