Citing Sources -Reply

Subject: Citing Sources -Reply
From: Bill Sullivan <bsullivan -at- SMTPLINK -dot- DELTECPOWER -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 17 Jan 1997 16:59:51 -0800

>It has been gratifying to see that my question regarding alternative
titles for technical writers spawned quite a range of discussion.

If it's not too late, and you are up for a little tongue-in-cheek, I
have always thought that sentence engineer or paragraph architect
were pretty good.

>In the meantime, I have a question regarding the citing of sources.
What are everyone's thoughts on this matter?

General Rule No. 1. For ordinary user manuals, be as informal as
possible, rolling the citation into your sentence. For a technical
reference or some kind of document where citing sources adds to your
credibility, go for footnotes either at the bottom of the page or end
of the chapter.

General Rule No. 2. If you are dealing with long titles that would
interrupt the flow of your text if you included them, go for
footnotes. You might have a reference list in the back, numbering
each reference work as appropriate in the text. William Horton in
Designing and Writing Online Documentation does this.

General Rule No. 3. Always consider your readers. Different
disciplines have different ways of handling this sort of thing. Your
concern should be to figure out what system, if any, your readers may
be used to. If none, then go for concerns such as usefulness,
helpfulness, readability, usability, and credibility.

Bill Sullivan
bsullivan -at- deltecpower -dot- com
San Diego, California

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