TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
In message <199509231222 -dot- FAA01286 -at- netcom7 -dot- netcom -dot- com> - Karen Kay <karenk -at- netco
:>Marilynne Smith said:
:>> A word of advice: the things you learn about writing while you write a
:>> thesis are only good for writing other theses. They should be shed when you
:>> enter the work world. <smile>
:>Really? I should forget about deadlines, consideration of audience,
:>clear visual presentation of information, and how to put in lots of
:>detail without making my sentences too long or clutttered?
:>I wrote an M.A. thesis and a Ph.D. dissertation, both in linguistics,
:>and I found the experience a really solid basis for technical writing.
Since it's my thesis you guys are discussing :) I'll add that I can see both
sides of the issue. On the one hand, I am producing a document that is
tailored to a rather narrow audience (I only need my committe to read and
approve it, then it will no doubt languish in the thesis cemetary), but a
technical document nonetheless. And on a deadline, yes! I need to follow a
certain format, and the more readable I make it, the less fuss I'll have to
put up with in terms of editing it before the final submission. Believe me,
I am very aware of who these readers are and what it is they want because I
want to offer that and get the hell out! :)
I also keep thinking that it is a good example of something that has to be
done and that when it is done, it will be over, which seems like what happens
in the workplace (one gets immersed in a project, it may not be an exciting,
interesting topic but it needs to be done, and once it is done one moves on
to other assignments).
Dang, this thing, it's easier to write ABOUT it than write IT.