Re: Giving a Document **One Voice**

Subject: Re: Giving a Document **One Voice**
From: John Posada <jposada01 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: Kirk Turner <royj -at- alltel -dot- net>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2006 10:00:14 -0800 (PST)

> than a quantitative method, but before I begin, I would be
> interested in learning what steps members took to achieve
> this common assignment and
> and/or how they approached it on their own projects.

I do this often. The first thing I do is make sure all the documents
are using the same style template. This is one of the reasons I like's easier to enforce strict style usage.

The next thing is I've noticed that architects, because they are
writing about something that isn't real yet, will phrase everything
with a "will" or a "can" and I imagine the legals will use "should"
and alot of "helps" (The feature will enable a user..." and "The
feature should help a user.."). Sinced I'm not writing about features
that are in place, I rewrite every instance of "will or can" to
appear along the lines of "The feature enables a user...".

Some writers will be big on bullets and some on long serial
sentences. My preference is take serial sentences of four or more
items and turn them into bullet lists.

Check that numbering is perfomed consistently and where some us
paragraphs where in reality it is a series of things to do, convert
them to numbered steps.

Make sure that if your style is to start each section with an
Overview (as is mine), make sure this is done consistently. It means
you may have to write some Overview paragraphs.

Make sure the outline structure is uniform with like-headings and
topics at the same outline level. Being in FM, I like Enhance for

Check that important words are are used consistently. For example,
some authors like "Dialog box", some like "Dialogs"...on any similar
iknstance, pick one, any one, and stick to it.

These are the first steps I take and I'm sure there are others, but
these come to mind first. The rest of the steps are dictated by the situation.

John Posada
Senior Technical Writer

"So long and thanks for all the fish."

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Giving a Document **One Voice**: From: Kirk Turner

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