Re: If you are not a tech writer...

Subject: Re: If you are not a tech writer...
From: Anatole Wilson <aw3a+ -at- ANDREW -dot- CMU -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 3 May 1993 18:16:44 -0400

Peter Montgomery writes:
>In fact, the definiton of TECHNICAL in technical writing really does
>need definiton, does it not? The needs of writers in all kinds of
>fields have a lot in common it seems to me -- to the point that
>the special needs of any one field are minor, compared to the needs
>held in common with others. Perhaps that is why PROFESSIONAL WRITING
>strikes me as a more appropriate name.

As a student in a Masters of Professional Writing program, I find that
often the first question I'm asked in an interview is "what's the
difference between Professional Writing and Technical Writing?" Or from
those who feel they already know the difference, "so why didn't you
major in Technical Writing?"

My answer is to reply that most forms of professional writing INVOLVE
technical writing of some sort or another, if you define technical
writing as taking information from one group of sources and tailor it
for use by another group. To me, this even includes articles I wrote on
Gypsy moths or shrews. Even memos can be considered technical writing if
they're explaining, say, new health benefits.

(My other handicap is an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing. I
can't tell you how many times I've been asked "so are you a Creative
writer or a Technical Writer?")

Anatole Wilson "If anyone objects to anything I say,
----------------- I am prepared not only to retract it,
But to deny under oath that I ever said it
in the first place."

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