Re: Help - my consultants cannot write!

Subject: Re: Help - my consultants cannot write!
From: Phil Snow Leopard <philstokes03 -at- googlemail -dot- com>
To: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
Date: Fri, 7 Oct 2011 21:04:25 +0700

As a language teacher who specialises in composition, I have to agree with that one; 100% on both counts.

1. Rewriting and paraphrasing are the best ways to become a good writer.

2. Most people who can't write well won't believe this until they try it.

Alas, because it involves a lot of hard work, most people won't try it.

For that reason, there are not many good writers.




On 7 Oct 2011, at 20:54, Peter Neilson wrote:

> On Thu, 06 Oct 2011 17:44:59 -0400, Andrew Plato <andrew -dot- plato -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:
>
>>>> I am in desperate need of tech writer training for my consultants. I
>>>> have a bunch of information security consultants who cannot write.
>
> Andrew Warren suggested:
>
>>> Wouldn't it be easier to just hire tech writers and teach them to do security consulting?
>>
>> Ehhhhh, no.
>>
>> It is unlikely a tech writer would have the engineering and security
>> background necessary to do security consulting.
>
> A standard method for learning writing or computer programming, one that goes totally against the grain of people who are good at cutting and pasting, is copying and rewriting. If you can somehow get your consultants to spend time following Ben Franklin's method of learning, or the method for learning programming specified in
> http://learnpythonthehardway.org/book/ex5.html
> then there is a chance for success. Writing is best learned by rewriting. You take something already written and totally rewrite it yourself in your own words.
>
> When I started serious tech writing I did not have any good software available for managing text. Instead I had the IBM Selectric typewriter. It was my friend, because rewriting my paragraphs involved retyping everything. My inherent laziness caused me to want to do less typing, so I took to omitting needless words. (You'll recognize that as Will Strunk's Rule 13.)
>
> Ben Franklin's education in school ended when he was ten. He took to a method in which he would read a chapter of a book, close the book, and write out his version of the material in the chapter. He soon found that he was writing more clearly than the original authors.
>
> It is likely that anyone offered this technique will rebel against it as ridiculous and a waste of time, especially the idea that the material should be written out in longhand or even on a typewriter.
>
> But there is my suggestion. Use or ignore as you please.
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Follow-Ups:

References:
Help - my consultants cannot write!: From: Andrew Plato
RE: Help - my consultants cannot write!: From: Andrew Warren
Re: Help - my consultants cannot write!: From: Andrew Plato
Re: Help - my consultants cannot write!: From: Peter Neilson

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