Re: Texts to Simulate "Keeping Up w/ Design" etc. Request.

Subject: Re: Texts to Simulate "Keeping Up w/ Design" etc. Request.
From: Glen Accardo <glen -at- SOFTINT -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 23 Jan 1995 17:43:51 -0600


> I regret if I intrude a teacherly question here, but I want the advice
> of "real" writers. I was a tech. writer for over 20 years. Now I am trying to
> teach the subject. There are really no text books that I can find that deal
> with the realities.

It always seemed to me that a real tech writing course would concentrate
on what tech writers do most. Instead, most concentrate on layout,
grammar, simple-minded editing, and other mundane stuff. Granted, all
of these things are important, but do they help us become better
tech writers?

What about the "treasure hunting" process? That is, what about the
process of beginning with a vague rumor and producing a manual? It
certainly brings out the truly grim realities of tech writing. When we
look at tech writing from this perspective, we really reassess priorities
of writing: Is layout important? Well, not if I don't have any information
to layout.

All of the tech writing courses I took concentrated on information which
stood still -- "go to the library and research xxx and write about it."
In interviewing tech writers recently, I've noticed that English majors
believe the world really works that way. Journalism majors seem to know
more about digging and piecing things together and playing one source
off another to get down to the real truth.

I don't know if this is a personality trait, a statistical glitch, or
something taught in journalism school, but whatever it is, it is good
and I like it.

------------
glen accardo glen -at- softint -dot- com
Software Interfaces, Inc. (713) 492-0707 x122
Houston, TX 77084

Did the Corinthians ever write back?


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