Re: What makes a good Tech Writer

Subject: Re: What makes a good Tech Writer
From: "Wing, Michael J" <mjwing -at- INGR -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 30 Aug 1996 09:47:46 -0500

Sniff - sniff. I think I smell something here.

>Recently there has been a few postings about learning editing and
>writing by
>teaching them. In the postings there were comments on good tech.
>writers-vs-bad tech. writers.

Is it? Nah, it couldn't be.

>Some of the comments seemed a little self-righteous, but maybe that's
>just me.

Yep, it's flame bait!

>Anyway, I was wondering what you all feel makes a good tech. writer.
>Is it
>a good knowledge of the technical end of writing, ie. grammer and
>punctuation? (frankly there seems to be a lot of debate on the list
>what is correct and what is not)

Help, it's getting stronger. I'm weakening.

>Or, is it being able to communicate what you want to say in a simple
>and understandable manner? (so you violate a long standing rule of
>grammer, as long as the point gets across, right) Or,
>is it somewhere in between?

Why do you feel (or at least express it this way) that the skills are
mutually exclusive of each other? Here's my matrix (the Wing Technical
Writer matrix; simplified to contain only an X and a Y axis) for a good
Technical Writer (view in monospace font).

English (Good)|.....................(Excellent Tech Writer)
Skills | .
| .
^ | .
| | .
| | .
| | .
| | .
v | .
|(Poor Tech Writer) .
(Poor) (Good)
Technical Knowledge/Skills

Rats, I just took the bait. Didn't I? Well, off to extract the hook.

Mike Wing

>_/ Michael Wing
>_/ Principal Technical Writer
>_/ Infrastructure Technical Information Development
>_/ Intergraph Corporation
>_/ Huntsville, Alabama
>_/ (205) 730-7250
>_/ mjwing -at- ingr -dot- com

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