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:Sanity check From:David Hailey <FAHAILEY -at- WPO -dot- HASS -dot- USU -dot- EDU> Date:Mon, 26 Aug 1996 12:04:28 -0600
I have a quick question. I would like to check your levels
of agreement with my understanding of the philosophical and
rhetorical natures of help files.
It seems to me that the primary purpose of the help file is
to instruct, and/or inform (without splitting hairs over
whether these are synonyms).
BUT (excuse me for shouting) it seems to me that important
secondary purposes include things such comforting,
encouraging; convincing the user that the software
developer, the software, and the user are all members on a
highly successful team.
Effective writing will provide the user with the best
information in the best configuration, but will also apply
rhetorical tools toward establishing a lasting, friendly,
and professional relationship with the user.
To what extent do you consider this true? And (if you think
this is true) what rhetorical tools to you apply and to what
extent do you apply them?
fahailey -at- wpo -dot- hass -dot- usu -dot- edu
Utah State University
TECHWR-L List Information
To send a message about technical communication to 2500+ list readers,
E-mail to TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU -dot- Send administrative commands
ALL other questions or problems concerning the list
should go to the listowner, Eric Ray, at ejray -at- ionet -dot- net -dot-