TW Classifications

Subject: TW Classifications
From: Richard Lippincott <rlippinc -at- BEV -dot- ETN -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 18 Apr 1995 10:54:32 EDT

Guy Oliver followed up on Sue Stewart's comments, regarding
what a journalism background might contribute towards tech writ-
ing.

I have a degree in journalism, and worked in the field for a few
years before becoming a tech writer. Having a background in jour-
nalism helped me in the following ways (Keep in mind that it was
"broadcast journalism," this impacts some of the answers):

* I learned interview techniques.
* I learned to take rapid and accurate notes.
* I sharpened my writing skills.
* I learned the importance of accuracy.
* I learned to work under tight deadlines.
*I learned the need to write clearly so that the audience would
understand.
* I learned about organization of information.

I did -not- learn:

* Software skills
* Blueprint reading (critical to my first two tech writing jobs)
* Engineering functions
* Task analysis and breakdown
* Typography or layout
* DTP skills
* Publication process

I learned lots of helpful stuff, but everything that I needed. I -did-
get to interview Robert Dole, George Bush, Henry Kissinger, and Bill Bradley,
but so far that hasn't helped me in tech writing.

Rick Lippincott
Eaton Semiconductor
Beverly, MA
rlippinc -at- bev -dot- etn -dot- com


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