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.
In general, I really like Judith Tarutz' book on Technical Editing
as a how-to; also, I've found as a copyeditor, it helps to base your
decisions on a style
guide (for our purposes, we used Chicago). People (1) find out that you're
not changing their stuff subjectively and (2) they can learn the rules,
too, if they want.
I find that the biggest single weakness among tech writers is that
too many of us don't know why some writing is better than others. We know
that it *is* but we can't explain it. I have interviewed tech writers who
can't explain to me the difference between active & passive voice, altho
you'd never guess it from the quality of their writing. We can't educate
others, or expect them to respect our skills, if we--of all
people!!--can't articulate what the tools are that we use in our craft:
tools like parallel construction, dependent and independent clauses,
transition words, and so on.
Unless we can, why *should* anybody take our word for it?
Pardon me, but I get a little nuts about thi!!
Mary A. Durlak
Erie Documentation Inc.
East Aurora, New York
"One should not aim at being possible to understand,
but at being impossible to misunderstand."
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