Computer Documentation Writers Survey

Subject: Computer Documentation Writers Survey
From: Mark Haas <haasm -at- COLUMBIA -dot- DSU -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 27 May 1998 08:57:21 CST

I'm not sure if this is the right place to gather research data, but I'd
appreciate any feedback I can get. If you know of a more appropriate
list for these questions, pleasetell me where to go (so to

My name is Mark Haas, Assistant Professor of English at Dakota State
University. I am working on a grant to integrate current technology into a
budding technical writing program. I have written questions for
those of you who are in the field of computer documentation. My goal
is to discover the current state of the industry and plan the
curriculum accordingly.

Please respond to the following questions. Return the answers via
private email.

Name _______________________________

Company ____________________________

1. What does your company produce?

2. Who is the primary audience for your product?

3. Does your company produce print documentation?

Yes __

No __

4. Which software does your company use for print documentation?

Word __

Quark __

QuarkXpress __

FrameMaker __

PageMaker __

Ventura __

Other _________________

Please describe your reasons for using the particular software
(especially FrameMaker or QuarkXpress).

5. Does your company produce on-line documentation?

Yes __

No __

6. Which software does your company use for on-line documentation?

Robohelp __

Winhelp __

HTML editor _______________________

Other _____________________________

Please describe your reasons for using the particular software.

7. Please describe the steps in the documentation process (both for
the individual and within the organization) that lead to the finished



8. Please describe the skills needed for documentation writers in
your company.

Interpersonal --

Writing --

Programming --

9. Describe the environment of the company. What sort of office
space is used (rooms, cubicles, etc.)? What sort of interoffice
communication is used (written memos, email, voice mail, conferencing,
etc.)? How is the company organized (i. e. Where does the
documentation writer fit in the 'chain of command')?

10. Would your company be amenable to a visit from the researcher?

Yes __

No __

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Mark Haas
Assistant Professor of English
Dakota State University
Madison, SD 57042-1799
email: haasm -at- columbia -dot- dsu -dot- edu
office: (605) 256-5268
faX : (605) 256-5020
home page:

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