Re: Editing comments too harsh - combined with Techwriting courses & right stuff

Subject: Re: Editing comments too harsh - combined with Techwriting courses & right stuff
From: Peter Gold <pgold -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Sun, 8 Sep 1996 15:17:47 -0700

On Sun, 8 Sep 1996, Moshe Koenig wrote:
[snipped much]

> At any rate, I say, if you have something to say, don't be apologetic
> about it. You're sure to get complaints if you sound spineless. Say
> what you have to say and be ready to stand behind it. That's what it
> means to be professional.

Even if you "tone down" Moshe's comments a *LOT* the point remains:
Technical writers don't often get the respect they deserve, but more
important, the respect they need to contribute professionally to their

While evaluating schools where tech writing is taught, consider if any
part of the curriculum deals with these issues. Also consider if the
*engineering* schools at these institutions deal with them. Is there any
simulation of real life where student tech writers work with student
engineers (or "simulations of information-withholding engineers")?

Maybe a few journalism courses should be included in a tech writing
curriculum. I was told in a beginning newswriting course, you need to
learn to 'walk like a journalist. No door is closed to you, at least in
this country. Well, maybe some are, you just don't entertain the thought
of not going through any one you see in your path. Your job of informing
your readers requires access to the information on the other side.'

I don't recall if it's been mentioned in what's needed to be a tech
writer, but perhaps paramount is the ability to get the information in
the first place, then the ability to make it make sense to the audience
makes more sense.

I think I'm up to $.04 or maybe $.06 by now.

Peter Gold
pgold -at- netcom -dot- com

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