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.
Another in a series of periodic questions from the world of documenting
My employer has farmed me out to a customer which needs an operation and
maintenance manual written for a flight simulator which its people have
modified. I am not starting from scratch, but instead working on a
document torso which was copied from manual in progress for a related
device and which was then modified by several engineers who were briefly
assigned to the writing project before I was brought in. Not
surprisingly, given the document's lineage, the style in which the
various document elements have been treated is somewhat erratic.
While some of the stylistic components have been prescribed by powers
that are, I still have considerable leeway. I have personal preferences
in some matters, but on others I am still not sure how I want to treat
them. I would like to create a style guide both to remind me what
stylistic decisions I've already made or haven't made and to leave on
site for reference in case anybody else has to revise the manual after
I finish the assignment and return to my regular office in a few months.
I looked at several archived discussions of style guides and sheets and
got some ideas, but none of the discussions seemed to apply to my
current situation: I would like to create a chart/guide both to
facilitate stylistic consistency and to leave a record of what style
decisions were made, but just for a single project. Can folks point me
towards a template of or generate a list of elements which they would
include in such a chart?
Please follow your inclination whether it's more appropriate to reply
directly to me or to the list. I will summarize personal replies for
the list if demand warrants.
Richard Feldman, Technical Writer
Camber Corporation, Simulation Systems Division
feldmanr -at- mtss -dot- kirtland -dot- af -dot- mil (1-505) 256-6708
Bldg. 952, Rm 129 Kirtland AFB, Albuquerque New Mexico USA