Re: Quality/Usefulness of STC Books?

Subject: Re: Quality/Usefulness of STC Books?
From: "Roberta J. Kirby-Werner" <rjkirby -at- MAILBOX -dot- SYR -dot- EDU>
Date: Fri, 20 Oct 1995 16:06:59 -0400

Hi, Glenda and other techwhirlers.

I'm writing to tell you about my experience with one STC
publication in particular, _Basic Technical Writing_. I've used this
text in courses I've taught in industry because it addresses some really
interesting issues like how an awareness of cognitive psychology can
improve a technical writer's ability to meet audience needs, satisfy
their expectations, improve readability/usability, etc. It also
addresses issues of using or not using passive voice, writing more
concisely, and other staples of technical writing and/or its
instruction. The book is essentially a collection of conference papers
or articles which, though written many years ago, nonetheless addresses
some current "basic technical writing" concerns.

I must warn you, however, that despite being published by the STC, this
is one of the most poorly edited texts I've ever seen. I was embarassed
that STC would allow such a document to circulate--still am, in fact,
since I have not seen the errors disappear in the four years I've used
this text in my classes. If anyone connected with STC has the power or
influence to do so, I really encourage eliminating the gross spelling and
grammatical errors throughout the text before printing anymore copies.
I'd be glad to edit the text myself! As it stands, the poor editing really
reflects badly on STC.

Hope this feedback helps.

rjkirby -at- mailbox -dot- syr -dot- edu

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