Re: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken

Subject: Re: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken
From: "Gene Kim-Eng" <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 07:47:44 -0700

I'm not contradicting your conclusion. I am contradicting your
assumptions. Business writing is "technical" writing in that it:

a) Requires specialized skills and knowledge

b) Uses terminology or treats subject matter in a manner
specific to a particular field

c) Produces documentation that must meet specific rules
and requirements

d) (Finally, the reason that trumps all others) it is performed
by professionals who are frequently employed under the
title of "technical writer."

None of the goals or methods offered by any of the
previous posts on this subject are determining factors,
because for each you can find someone who is doing
the work in an environment or in a manner that runs
counter to the way the person who posted them thinks
they should be done.

Ultimately, the definition of "technical writer" is set not by
the opinions of those who work in the profession, the STC
or the DOL, but by those who hire them and for whom
they work. If you are producing documents for me and
your title is "technical writer," then you are a technical writer.
The particular type of documents you are working on
and the particular skills and knowledge that convinced
me you were qualified to do them does not determine that,
nor does the opinion of anyone else, and I will butt heads
with anyone who tries to tell you that you don't deserve the
title until the cows come home.

Gene Kim-Eng

----- Original Message -----
From: "Lauren" <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>

> However, business writing is not technical writing. Technical writing is
> focused on the technical aspects of the subject matter (like an application
> or system), such as its specifications, how it works, how to use it, and
> what it does. Business writing is focused on the business aspects of the
> subject matter (like the business or a project), such as, what it impacts
> (like, outside groups and businesses), how the subject matter will provide
> benefit, why the audience should be interested, and frequently there are
> business details such as financial summaries.
> If business writing is a specialized form of technical writing, then
> describe how a business plan, which is very much the product of business
> writing, is a technical document. The fact that it provides some technical
> information does not make it a technical document, and I would certainly be
> impressed in how you would describe this clearly business document as
> technical.
> Also, how are the methods to produce a business plan the same as those used
> to produce technical documents? The methods are different. Business
> writing usually requires some independent research that technical writing
> does not require. Technical writing may require some study, interviews, and
> review of documentation that supports the subject matter, but I don't
> usually hear of cases where a technical writer is required to research legal
> documents, competition, financial statements, and sources outside of the
> immediate scope of the project.
> Also, contradicting my conclusion is not an argument. It's just a
> contradiction. I mentioned that there were no arguments against my claim.


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RE: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken: From: Lauren

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