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In article <01930411175310/0004828598NA1EM -at- mcimail -dot- com> Steve Bannister
<0004828598 -at- mcimail -dot- com> writes:
>I'm a subscriber to this list because I believe that technical writing
>is a valuable skill for scientists, and because the writing skills of
>most scientists _ARE MISERABLE_!!!
>Science doesn't exclude communication skills. Scientists do. Techies
>can be trained to write well. I believe that it is the most often
>overlooked career-enhancing skill for scientists. If they ignore it,
>shame on them.
>Far too few scientists develop their writing skills to a level which
>would be judged adequate by their high-school teachers. Those that do
>are rewarded nicely, even if they don't go to work for ESPN.
Thanks for your insight, Steve.
I've believe that one of the first, most important places
to start improving one's communication skills is with the
ability to quickly and easily define:
(1) who one's audience is,
(2) how much they already know about the topic,
(3) what they need to know (that they don't already),
(4) and the appropriate language (writing-level + jargon) to use.
A good exercise, and one which might be very useful for any
programmers listening in, would be an attempt to define this
'context' which I have outlined above for the simple case of
putting _TRULY_USEFUL_ inline comments in a small program.