Re: Basic rules of technical writing

Subject: Re: Basic rules of technical writing
From: Laura Johnson <lauraj -at- CND -dot- HP -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 21:56:48 GMT

Mary Moore (mmoore -at- banyan -dot- com) wrote:
: In article <D1CpFF -dot- LM8 -at- news -dot- cis -dot- umn -dot- edu>
: litt0023 -at- maroon -dot- tc -dot- umn -dot- edu (Joseph J Little) writes:

: > Chris Benz wrote:
: >
: > >> The Golden Rules of Writing
: > >> 1. Make it understandable.
: > >> 2. Make it consistent, unless that interferes with Rule 1.
: > >> 3. Make it grammatically correct, unless that interferes with Rule 1 or
2.
: > >> 4. Make it technically correct, unless that interferes with Rule 1, 2, or
: > >> 3.

: How about this:

: 1. Make it understandable.
: 2. Make it technically correct. If that interferes with Rule 1, keep
: trying.
: 3. Make it consistent, unless that interferes with Rule 1 or 2.
: 4. Make it grammatically correct, unless that interferes with Rule 1,
: 2, or 3.

: Why? As someone already said, it's of no use if it's not
: understandable.
: However, "technically correct" must come next, because it won't help if
: it's consistent and grammatically correct if the information is false.
: As someone else already pointed out, though, it doesn't have to be
: technically *complete* -- you can leave out technically correct details
: if they aren't useful to the reader (although I'm the type who prefers
: to put it in an appendix because there's bound to be a few users who
: want to know it and will call Tech Support screaming for the info.)

: For 3 and 4, though, I'm torn about which is more important,
: consistency or grammatical correctness.

: ====================================================================
: Mary M. Moore (mmoore -at- banyan -dot- com)
: Sr. Technical Writer

: All opinions I express here are strictly my own and do not reflect
: the opinions or policies of my employer.
: ====================================================================

--
Laura Johnson
lauraj -at- fc -dot- hp -dot- com
Hewlett Packard NSMD
Ft. Collins, CO


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