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Subject:questions about the field From:Mary Howe <howe -at- KUHUB -dot- CC -dot- UKANS -dot- EDU> Date:Wed, 30 Aug 1995 16:30:54 -0500
I subscribed to this list about a week ago in an effort to learn more
about the field of technical writing. I'm considering changing from an
academic research position to something more applied and this looks as
though it might be right up my alley. I've been particularly interested
in the thread about the need for specific technical skills to do the
What I'd like to find out is whether or not you need training in
technical writing to start out. I'd also like to know if it's possible
to start as a contractor or if you need to work for a company first.
I have a PhD in linguistics. While I was in graduate school I worked as
a contract proofreader for a company that publishes scientific journals.
I've done proofreading for other companies since, and some
copy editing. My current work involves using and teaching other
people to use WordPerfect, dBase, FoxPro, SPSS, and some other
specialized language analysis software. I've written lots of macros, SPSS
programs, DOS batch files, etc. to get what we needed out of our data,
and I wrote (and have twice revised) our lab training manual. Oh yes,
and I like to write.
So my last question is this: Do you think this background will get me
anywhere as a technical writer?
Reply to me privately - no need to clog up the list with answers to my
Child Language Program Phone (913) 864-4789
University of Kansas email howe -at- kuhub -dot- cc -dot- ukans -dot- edu
1082 Dole Center
Lawrence, KS 66045