RE: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken

Subject: RE: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken
From: "Sam Beard" <sbeard -at- oico -dot- com>
To: "Lauren" <lauren -at- writeco -dot- net>
Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 10:50:22 -0500

Lauren,

To say that technical writing doesn't require research is just
patently wrong. First off, there's the research in learning about new
technologies and new ideas. Then, there's the research that comes
part-and-parcel with certain types of technical writing or technical
writing jobs. I had a job where I had to research different equipment
from multiple companies, how it was used, where it was used, and which
places used what types and levels of technologies. Then, I had to parse
it all together, write a report detailing that information, and publish
it after getting approval from my supervisor. Even if the reports DIDN'T
include the technical information I researched (which they did), the
whole concept lends itself to being called technical writing. Why? For
one thing, it wasn't creative writing, where things are simply created
from one's imagination. It wasn't business writing, in the sense that
you're talking about: financials, business cases and plans, SOPs, etc.
However, as I stated previously, I still feel that this sort of writing
is rightly called technical writing of business concepts.

In short, just because SOME technical writing jobs don't involve
research doesn't mean that ALL jobs don't involve research. And, in my
opinion, talking with an SME or engineer is in fact research.

Further, there have been numerous arguments against your claims of
distinction between technical writing and business writing. You simply
have chosen to ignore them. Ignoring them doesn't mean they don't exist.
It simply means you don't see them or deny their existence.

Samuel I. Beard, Jr.
Technical Writer
OI Analytical
979 690-1711 Ext. 222
sbeard -at- oico -dot- com


-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+sbeard=oico -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
[mailto:techwr-l-bounces+sbeard=oico -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf
Of Lauren
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2008 3:03 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken

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.

Lauren

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Follow-Ups:

References:
Re: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken: From: Gene Kim-Eng
RE: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken: From: Lauren

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