Re: Regarding a Career in Techical Writing

Subject: Re: Regarding a Career in Techical Writing
From: "David Loveless" <daveloveless -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: >, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 21 Mar 2006 09:05:44 -0700

Hi there,

It really depends on what you want to do and where you want to do it.
If you are really interested in finding out about a specific market,
contact a technical writer or professional organization in that
market. They would offer much better advice than anything you'll find

As for course work... I would strongly suggest you pursue something
with an emphasis on editing, especially if you are going into English
technical writing. Not being rude, but it is apparent that English is
not your first language. That's okay, you have a solid grasp of many
fundamentals, and it is obvious that you do speak English. Editing
courses will teach you to write better by showing you the reasons that
things are the way they are. Once you understand reasons, your writing
should automatically change. I've recently completed an entire battery
of courses on writing and editing, and the ones that really benefited
me were the editing courses.

If courses in common technical writing programs are not available to
you, I would also strongly suggest going and grabbing an after-market
user manual and learning on your own. I am self-taught in several

Depending on your market, you'll want to study certain programs more
than others. My company (software development) uses MadCap Flare,
Dreamweaver, and InDesign, but I know that many other companies use
FrameMaker, Word, OpenOffice, and GoLive. It all depends on your area
and your company.

Oh, and one last thing. Education always looks good on your resume,
but at the end of the day, this is still a skill based career. The
answer that your employer really needs to know is "can you do the
work?" Education opens the door, your skills let you come inside. It
goes back to that old reading promotion from the '80s... "The More You

Good luck.

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