Re: Question about parallelism in lists

Subject: Re: Question about parallelism in lists
From: Joe Weinmunson <litlfrog -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Rochelle McAndrews <rmcandrews -at- csiu -dot- org>, techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Mon, 10 May 2010 09:03:08 -0400

I've been sick for days so I hadn't been checking the list. I just
migrated files to a new host. I've rewritten the file and made it
available here in case anyone has further comments.

On Wed, May 5, 2010 at 11:01 AM, Rochelle McAndrews <rmcandrews -at- csiu -dot- org> wrote:
> I tried to access your link but was redirected to an "Error: 404 - Page
> could not be found" page.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Joe Weinmunson [mailto:litlfrog -at- gmail -dot- com]
> Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 2:29 PM
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Subject: Re: Question about parallelism in lists
> First off, many thanks to everyone who replied. I appreciate your
> taking the time to help me. At a minimum I'll rewrite the entries for
> consistency and begin each item with a task-based instruction. I may
> switch to tabular format and I'll certainly move the screenshot; it
> was only in the middle because I wanted to break up the "block of
> text" effect in the middle of the page. I'm actually new to technical
> writing as a profession--I've been at this job less than a month. I
> have experience in academic writing, tech support, and internal
> documentation, but this is a much bigger project than anything I've
> worked on before. It is indeed fun, though so far I'm alternately
> writing in bursts of activity and flailing in indecision. The page I
> posted was inherited from a 15-year-old manual, but I had already
> rewritten parts of it. From the sound of things, I still have a lot of
> work to do. :)
> On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 11:56 AM, Leonard C. Porrello
> <Leonard -dot- Porrello -at- soleratec -dot- com> wrote:
>> First, please accept my condolences and congratulations. Condolences
> for
>> having inherited such a poorly written and inferior document.
>> Congratulations on the opportunity to demonstrate that a professional
>> technical writer is worth his or her wages.
>> Several thoughts and observations:
>> It's best to avoid violence in technical writing. For example, we
> don't
>> "hit" keys; we "press" them.
>> I am pretty sure that "screen" is worst name you can use for a dialog
> or
>> window.
>> I couldn't find a "Bill Codes" field. I had to deduce that "Bill
> codes"
>> refers to "Code." Seems like an inauspicious way to start.
>> I can't easily tell which fields are populated by the program and in
>> which I have to enter data.
>> The bullet points above the screen shot are descriptive. Several below
>> the screenshot are prescriptive. I wonder why. Also, the first five
> tell
>> me what type of control I am dealing with. Not so with the rest.
>> I don't understand why the screen shot is in the middle of the page.
>> In general, I find the layout unattractive and difficult to read. I
>> would seriously consider information mapping the whole thing. If that
> is
>> beyond your scope, the page still needs extensive rewriting, and I
> would
>> suggest that you add some space between bulleted items.
>> And finally, in response to your question, yes, parallelism is
>> essential. Parallelism makes it easier for readers to find exactly the
>> info they need. If it seems forced, you need to rethink your paragraph
>> and sentence structure. Again, I would use an approach informed by
> info
>> mapping even if I couldn't info map the page.
>> Leonard
> --
> Joe Weinmunson
> Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or
> believe to be beautiful.
> --William Morris
> This message may contain privileged, confidential information that is
> exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the addressee
> indicated in this message or if it does not apply to you or your
> organization, you may not copy or deliver this message to anyone. In such a
> case, please delete this message and reply to the sender immediately. Thank
> you.

Joe Weinmunson

Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or
believe to be beautiful.
--William Morris

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