Re: Assumption of Knowledge

Subject: Re: Assumption of Knowledge
From: Glen Accardo <glen -at- SOFTINT -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 9 Feb 1995 15:25:48 -0600


> Is the author of a document the person who provides the technical
> content OR is it the person who edits the grammar and does all the
> formatting?
> Why then should the content person take
> credit as the author?

> Should the author be the person who does the original writing(s) and
> edits for technical content? This question begs -- what is a
> Technical Writer? The title seems to state that the original writing
> is done by them.

Well, that's a lotta questions. I'll add even more:

Making a book requires going from absolutely nothing to a finished
entity with words, pictures, information, and stuff. What part does
a technical writer do? What part do YOU do? Should tech writers
be able to do all of it? Where should a tech writer start on a book--
namely, what information should exist?

The answer is: it depends. I call myself an author because I did all
the research, came to an in-depth understanding of the product, planned
the manuals, wrote the text, made the graphics, did the editing (other
folks helped here, however), did the publishing, and only gave up control
for reproduction and inventory.

Other people call themselves authors because they started with a rough
draft and finished up the process. I even know a few folks who are
tech writers who couldn't write themselves out of a wet paper bag (I'm
specifically referring to the ones who misspell their names on their
resumes), but that's the far left side of the bell curve.

I've been interviewing people lately, and I can assure you that I would
NEVER, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES hire anyone who didn't fully
understand what they wrote and how it was written. Even if a person
specializes in one part of the process, or leans towards the writing/grammar
side or the technical/product side, s/h/it should understand the whole
writing process, and any part of the product s/h/it documented.

------------
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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