Re: tech writing workshop?

Subject: Re: tech writing workshop?
From: Rowena Hart <rhart -at- INTRINSYC -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 7 Jul 1998 08:40:05 -0700

Regarding the tech writing workshop idea by Amy Lodato:

>Let's assume this workshop was both reputable and free-- what would you
>like to see in it?
>Have you ever taken a workshop or course that drastically improved your
>professional writing style?

After the recent postings about incompetence in the field,
I actually found myself thinking "Oh, my, perhaps I'm one of
the dolts who is giving the field a bad rep..." even though I
have fairly extensive training in writing from a university.

The idea of a workshop sprang to mind immediately, but
there are always the problems of:

a. Sharing information that hasn't been "released" yet.

b. Having a local workshop (I can't travel to attend one).

c. Getting people who are capable of wading through
the technical information before they start critiquing the
underlying writing and structure.

That said, I think a workshop is a wonderful idea.

So, as to Amy's question of what I'd like to see... I've part-
icipated in numerous writing workshops, and it usually
starts with a refresher of structure and style. Then it moves
on to critiquing some of the writer's current work. When
that's done, it moves on to an assignment that everyone
does together. Then the class does a full critique of a piece
that the writer put together independently. The hope, by that
point, is that people will be able to see the patterns of poor
writing in their work and "self correct" for the final assignment.

It may seem like a flakey idea, but I would really appreciate
an on-line, e-mail based workshop. Technology would
make this entirely possible, you'd just have to have a group
of people who were interested enough to spend some off-
work time going through other people's stuff. Word's
revision function would come in handy for something like

Is there anyone else out there who would be interested in

- Rowena

Rowena Hart
Technical Writer
Intrinsyc Software, Inc.
Vancouver, B.C. Canada

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