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 10:57:45 -0500

Lauren,

I haven't seen anyone say that a business writer with no experience
writing about software and the interfaces of that software would be
capable of writing proficiently about it, nor vice versa. And then you
have the very technical nature involved in writing things like Gene and
his people are responsible for writing. However, that doesn't mean that
a business writer, with the proper training and knowledge, wouldn't be
able to write good documentation for an aircraft, for example. It also
doesn't mean they CAN. It simply means that they're trained and
experienced with writing of a different nature that is still technical
writing, as most of the folks on this list seem to see it. As has been
mentioned MANY times previously, knowledge about the subject matter, NOT
in what form you've been trained to write, is the leading indicator of
whether a person can or cannot write proficiently about the subject.
Forms can be learned rather quickly. Subject matter knowledge doesn't
always come so quickly.

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 3:04 AM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken

Michael,

What are you referring to as "abstractions"? Are you having trouble
with
the premises of my argument or my examples of the different types of
writing.

You haven't stated why it would be pointless to not distinguish
technical
writing from business writing. I would never agree that the two are
intertwined in the same project. If that were true, then a business
could
hire a proficient, purely technical writer with no business writing
experience to produce a business plan. This is not the case. The
disciplines required for producing a business plan, for example, are
definitely different than those required for technical writing. Also,
if
your premise were true, then a proficient business writer with a history
of
successful business plans, proposals, and FSRs, could come in and
document
an application or system without having any technical writing
experience.
This also is not true.

Additionally, I have rarely seen cases where business writing projects
were
are part of technical writing projects. When I have seen cases that
come
close to this, it is because a business needed a technical writer to
produce
content for a particular section of a business document or because an IT
group needed a business document. These non-typical situations do not
imply
an intertwining of the two classes of writing.

Lauren


________________________________

From: Michael West [mailto:WestM -at- conwag -dot- com]
Sent: Monday, May 05, 2008 12:01 AM
To: Lauren; techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: RE: Definition of Tech Writer, was STC is broken



"Lauren" wrote:

> However, my argument is that technical writing and business
writing are not
> the same. [...]
> My point has always been that the two are different because
they
have
> different focuses and different purposes.

It's difficult to deal with abstractions in the manner you
propose.
Perhaps we can agree that while they are different categories in
principle,
in specific cases they are often intertwined in the same writing
project.
While it is sometimes useful to distinguish one type from the other, it
is
often pointless to do so.

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

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