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Subject:RE: Rhetoric And Technical Writing? From:mlist -at- safenet-inc -dot- com To:daveloveless -at- gmail -dot- com, bgranat -at- granatedit -dot- com Date:Wed, 22 Mar 2006 15:52:28 -0500
David Loveless talked about his radically different technical manual:
> I guess what I'm trying to say about boring is this: the people who
> have reviewed this manual READ the manual. They didn't just go look
> for information, nor did they read it because they had to. They READ
> the manual because they wanted to, and they enjoyed it. Why shouldn't
> our documentation be written in such a way that inspires reading?
Did I miss a post?
Where's the link?
I really want to see this manual of which you speak.
In fact, I'm surprised that all the other respondents let
this post and your previous one slide past without demanding
to see this paragon of engaging technical writing that you
I guess it depends whether it's primarily task-oriented or
instructional. Isaac Asimov, in his non-fiction, used to
do a decent job of making tech-ish subjects accessible and
engaging, though I don't recall him ever really telling the
reader how to make or use... anything.
I'll be comparing your manual to a manual written for a
flow-charting program that I used years ago (was it
EasyFlow? ...can't be sure now... memory is spotty).
It was written in a humorous and folksy vein - not sure
if there was an actual techwriter involved, but at least
one of the programmers had a big hand in it (former skydiving
buddy and instructor who also had a humerous, folksy and
effective approach to teaching).
Anyway, let's have a look please. I promise not to steal it.
Kevin (reading and writing boring documentation in Ottawa)
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