Re: Math vs. writing cont.,

Subject: Re: Math vs. writing cont.,
From: "Yves C. Munger, p.eng., M.Sc.A." <yvesm -at- QUEBEC -dot- BERCLAIN -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 10 Nov 1994 15:54:23 PST

Kimberley Lackey writes:
>After rereading my post to the list I decided I better explain a bit more
>clearly my universities stance on writers vs. engineers. I actually think
>this is more of a students perspective on the situation that engineers can't
>write and writers can't be engineers. But when they only require engineering
>majors to take one writing course, 400 level, they should realize that people
>with weak writing skills won't do well in that senior level course.

I am a mechanical engineer and (nothing personal) kinda resent the fact that we
are being a bit single out in this
thread. Frankly, for more than a year, I handled the writing of documentation
for our software offering and I
have come to the conclusion that there might be an aspect of tech writing skills
that we have all ovelooked:

After moving on to other things, I had to start a hiring process to replace
myself at the tech-writing position and
after a few failed attempts (although the people we hired were excellent and
moved on to other positions in the
corporation), we hired an experienced tech writer (who incidentally is also
subscribing to this list) who is more
than doing the job.

I also had a chance to reflect on the requirements for good tech writing,
especially in fields where highly
technical material must be rendered accessible to the average reader or user. I
find that one of the most
important skills that allowed me to do this kind of writing was the fact that I
had several years of experience
teaching CAD and other technical subjects to beginners. This forces a person to
really learn to synthesize
information and package it in a practical and easily absorbed fashion.

Sorry I singled your message out, Kimberley, but you were there and...

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