Re: Tech Writer Responsibilities

Subject: Re: Tech Writer Responsibilities
From: "Bernard A. McCann" <bi975 -at- FREENET -dot- CARLETON -dot- CA>
Date: Thu, 26 Sep 1996 17:04:27 GMT

"Katherine D. Fisher" (kdfisher -at- ix -dot- netcom -dot- com) writes:
> Karl A. Hakkarainen wrote:
>> Marketing communications require some different skills. The materials are

>> >I am curious. Should technical writers, whose normal responsibilities
>> >are within an IS organization, take offense when asked to write or edit
>> >marketing type articles and brochures? Is it proper that writers say,

> It depends on how you want to define "technical writing." My
> understanding has always been that "technical writing" is a very
> broad-based, general term that refers to a body of work containing one
> sentence that contains one technical term. That can include just about
> everything except fiction writing, IMHO. So yes--marketing pieces fall
> under that umbrella.

I would agree with the latter statement and, perhaps, the term, "technical
writer/author" should be made obsolete. I prefer to use terms, eg
commercial, engineering, scientific, software writers, etc. Until we do
this, it's difficult for management to produce accurate job descriptions
and for writers to agree with them. A related aspect (that I've mentioned
before) is seniority, ie the common 6-month jump from student writer to
"senior" writer! When will managers insist there should be a few more
regular or intermediate tech. writers in the business?

Bernie McCann bi975 -at- ncf -dot- carleton -dot- ca
Professional technical writing, remarkable translation, and
efficient turnkey management of engineering and scientific publishing.

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