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.
Subject:Re: list of *good* books From:Marilynne Smith <mrsmith -at- CTS -dot- COM> Date:Wed, 17 Jan 1996 21:59:00 PST
A current favorite is "Writing and Designing Online Documentation" by
William Horton (1994) John Wiley, NY. (It's at work and I'm quoting from
memory so that may not be the exact title.) These principles are good for
any kind of writing.
I would buy anything by Bill (William Horton) or Joann Hackos.
I also own "Mapping Hypertext" by Robert E. Horn, (to order call
1-800-890-7003) 1989. This book is a little odd, but I think a lot of the
information and ideas presented are useful to writing in general. This book
is put out by the Information Mapping people, but you can buy just the book.
I like the Chicago Manual of Style for its elegance, and the Government
Printing Office Manual of Style for its practicality. "Books Into Type" is
great, but you only need Chicago or BIT and I have Chicago.
I never refer to Strunk & White. They don't go into enough detail.
Don't use your old college grammar book. I don't know who writes these, but
they always have a few ideas that will get you in trouble. I suspect this
is the result of "publish or perish" in the academic community.
I am quick to buy books that help me learn about the product I am
documenting. That means I also have books about Unix, object-oriented
programming, and such. The more I understand the product the better I can
discuss it with my information sources and the better I can explain it to
the reader. This is one of my secrets of success.
At 12:58 PM 1/17/96 -0600, Frederick Falk wrote:
>apparently I was not clear in my first post as to exactly what
>I was trying to accomplish and what information I needed from
>those of you on this list. First, I am documenting software
>for my company but I am not just looking for books on software
>documentation. Second, I don't want an exhaustive list of every
>book that has ever been published on any and all topics that
>may or may not have anything to do with technical writing.
>Third, I do *NOT* have access to the web to go browsing for the
>information I am looking for. Fourth, what I want is a list of
>books that *YOU* have *PURCHASED* and are using on a day-to-day
>basis that have helped you in your work. What books have you
>paid your hard earned money for that you were especially wowed
>by, that you would recommend to someone else as a *must have*
>book? What books do you constantly review, ie references,
>dictionaries, grammer guides, etc., to help you do your daily
>work? These are the books that I want to know about. And finally,
>yes I received the list of books that was uuencoded and I was able
>to decode it, but there was still a lot of garbage control
>cahracters in it that made it practically useless for my needs.
>I would really like to hear from the following frequent posters:
>Kim Fawcett, Pam Owen, Joe Fockler, Dick Dimock, Betsy Maaks,
>Arlen Walker, Colleen Dancer, Jane Bergen, Eric Ray, Kim Fawcett,
>Mike Starr, LaVonna Funkhouser, Rose A. Wilcox, Misti Delaney,
>Bev Parks, Sue Gallagher, David Ibbeston, Richard Mateosian,
>Karen Randolph, Theresa Hofer, Marci Andrews, Tad Tadfor Little,
>Gwen Barnes, RoMay Sitze, Garret Romaine, Tracy Boyington,
>Connie Winch, K Watkins, Michael Priestley, Sue Ellen Adkins,
>Faith Weber, Alexander Von_obert, Marilynne Smith, just to
>name a few that I have seen post over the last several months.
>Just because your name is not in the list above does not mean
>I am slighting you. There are supposedly 2000+ on this list
>and I just named a few that I would like to hear from. Any and
>all are welcome to send me their list of favorite books. But,
>*please* don't send me a list that is over 10 items long or
>a list that I will have to decode. I don't have the facilities
>to do it properly.
>Again, Thanks to all who have responded and I look forward to
>all future replies.
>Frederick "Magic Fingers" Falk
> He who answers before listening,
> that is his folly and his shame. Proverbs 18:13
mrsmith -at- cts -dot- com