The elusive Navy QRC

Subject: The elusive Navy QRC
From: "Paul Goble" <pgcommunication -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 2 Mar 2007 17:19:37 -0700

Several years ago at a regional STC conference, the keynote speaker
asked, "How many of you have heard of the Navy QRC?" A half-dozen
hands went up. Then he asked, "How many of you found this to
revolutionize the way you write?" The same half-dozen hands went up,
accompanied by a few cries of "Yes! It's the best thing I ever read!"
(Quotes from memory.)

I've been keeping my eyes open for a copy. Very few printed copies
survive, but a scanned copy just showed up in Google's U.S.
Government search index:

"QRC: Technical Reports for Quick Reader Comprehension" may be among
the first writing guides to propose techniques we now take for
granted: modular documents, extensive use of tables for readability,
and side heads for quick scanning.

The QRC also makes some recommendations that are still a wee bit
controversial: avoiding figure numbers, avoiding cross-references,
creating illustrations before text, forgetting the "rules" and
inventing new forms of presentation, using editors more for planning
than revision, and using headings that summarize rather than just
identify content. Appendix A lambastes "literary" technical writing as
being from "the stagecoach era" and blasts English teachers.

Personal Author(s) : Chadbourne, H. L.
Report Date : JUL 1961

Did anyone on techwr-l find the QRC influential, way back when?

Paul Goble

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