Re: Two Techwriting Issues

Subject: Re: Two Techwriting Issues
From: Ram Bone <jendicot -at- NYX10 -dot- CS -dot- DU -dot- EDU>
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1993 11:23:12 -0700

Matthew Wong asks about use of the second person.

According to "Guidelines For Document Designers" (National Institute of
Education), numerous studies support the use of personal pronouns/second
person, usually because:

a. readers tend to better understand prose that they perceive as
personally meaningful, and use of "you" or "we" reinforces that

b. readers more readily comprehend text that uses familiar words, and
"you" is more familiar than "subject," "user," etc.

In short, research seems to indicate that second person should always be
used by the writer (not to mention active voice) 8).

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