RE: why I like the Dummies books - was Boring documentation

Subject: RE: why I like the Dummies books - was Boring documentation
From: "Neumann, Eileen" <ENeuman -at- franklintempleton -dot- ca>
To: <hokumhome -at- freehomepage -dot- com>, <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 23 Mar 2006 11:27:06 -0500

I've used them, especially for subjects I'm not deeply interested in, but need to know the basics. I like them because:
* They're organized clearly
* Large headings, and clear heading levels (helps to slot info into larger framework)
* Good TOCs and indexes
* They avoid the passive voice
* They have lots of white space in margins and between sections
* Of the cartoons

Business Rules and Procedures

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+eneuman=franklintempleton -dot- ca -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+eneuman=franklintempleton -dot- ca -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com]On Behalf Of Sean Hower
Sent: Thursday, March 23, 2006 11:11 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: why I like the Dummies books - was Boring documentation
David Loveless wrote:
At the very least, we could spend the time to find out why so many people use those books.
* They provide the necessary groundwork for continued study in a topic
* They make relatively difficult topics approachable
* They write for the beginner and take the time to explain things to a beginner at a
beginner's level
* They have a consistent look and feel so that regardless of which Dummies book I pick
up, I know what to expect
* They provide references to additional information, appendices, and glossaries
* They don't make you feel stupid

I, for one, do not mind admitting that there are things that I don't know. I also am a top-down learner: I start with the big picture and work my way down to the details. Dummies books complement this learning style.

As for the chattiness that seems to be the biggest criticism, I've read about 8...I think...of these books and they really are not THAT chatty. Their use of English ain't all that bad, they spelt things the right way, and they have hecka cool stuff inside. Sure, the jokes are hella lame, but it's all good. (note: The last few lines are an example of "chatty" dialog." I have never seen this sort of writing in the Dummies books. Perhaps it has been the topics that I've chosen.)

Anyways, that's my two-cents worth. Anyone else brave enough to admit that they've used a Dummies book? ;-)

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