Re: Writing for absolute beginners

Subject: Re: Writing for absolute beginners
From: Eric Hansen <ehansen -at- COMWARE -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 16 Sep 1998 11:33:38 -0400

All:

I'm new to the list, but bold enough to contribute.

I often use a technique similar to Mike's: I imagine myself as the
audience, completely ignorant of the topic but not stupid. (As a former
freelance writer currently employed at a vendor supplying computer-based
training, web-based training and electronic performance support systems
to clients, that is often the actual case.)

Some specific things to watch out for are acronyms, jargon and vague
wording.

As a rule, spell out all acronyms on first use.
Don't use jargon. Use wording that can be understood by anyone.
Replace vague words with concrete words-the more concrete the better.
For example, a more concrete term for vehicle is car and a more concrete
term for car is `57 Chevrolet.

Hope this helps.

Eric Hansen



-----Original Message-----
From: Huber, Mike
[mailto:mrhuber -at- SOFTWARE -dot- ROCKWELL -dot- COM]
Sent: Wednesday, September 16, 1998 11:00 AM
To: TECHWR-L -at- LISTSERV -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU
Subject: Re: Writing for absolute beginners

> From: Bianca Thomas [mailto:bmt -at- icon -dot- co -dot- za]
> ...editor says I assume too much knowledge on the part
of the
> readers and I must simplify more. I am finding this
really
> hard and am wondering whether any of you have similar
problems? How do
> you deal with them? It is a real struggle for me.

I imagine explaining it to one of my children.
And sometimes, I actually DO explain it to one of my
children.

Then I write down what I said or imagined I said, and
rework it to fit the
style and format of the publication.

---
Office:
mike -dot- huber -at- software -dot- rockwell -dot- com
Home:
nax -at- execpc -dot- com





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