RE: Please describe value of Information Mapping

Subject: RE: Please describe value of Information Mapping
From: David Hailey <david -dot- hailey -at- usu -dot- edu>
To: Michael West <mbwest -at- bigpond -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2008 10:09:14 -0600

Michael West said:
"The Information Mapping body of doctrine is little more than a moderately successful attempt to codify principals of good discursive writing as they have been known and practised by teachers, trainers and instructional and technical writers for centuries.

I recommend that any professional writers whose work touches on technical and instructional writing familiarise themselves with the Information Mapping method."

I agree with most of what Michael says, but I must suggest that I can find nothing in information mapping that encourages good discursive writing. Rather, information mapping seems to me more about the structure in which the material is formatted -- which is important. Structure, however, is not writing, nor does it necessarily lead to good content. I call you attention to Robert Horn's (developer of information mapping) website If information mapping naturally leads to principals of good discursive writing, I would expect this page to much better and much more accessible. nothing on this page implies good discursive practice.

Michael also says:
"Why these methodologies so easily become religions rather than toolsets baffles me. I can only guess that people without the intellectual tools to work things out for themselves fall upon evangelism as a crutch."

I couldn't agree more. Excellent writing is done by excellent writers who work very hard at the foundations of their craft, not by people who depend on the latest structural fads and usability recipes to guide them.

David E. Hailey, Jr., Ph.D.
Associate Professor -- Professional and Technical Writing
Utah State University
dhailey -at- english -dot- usu -dot- edu


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Re: Please describe value of Information Mapping: From: Michael West

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