Clear Writing

Subject: Clear Writing
From: Robert Maxey <Bob_Maxey -at- MTN -dot- 3COM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 1998 16:47:16 -0700

>>Amy...your comment goes against everything that I hold near and dear to
little tech-writing heart. Why is a simpler level of understanding
automatically "dumber"?

It isn't. I convert page after page of technical writing and procedures to
minimal documents designed to be (hopefully) understood by the people that
work on our production line. I can tell you that in most cases, simpler is
smarter. I just finished converting 12 pages to a single page. Training of
the new people in the procedure this document is used for, was reduced from
2 hours to 1 minute. Clearly, a better idea, because a failure to
understand something can mean huge potential losses.

As a Technical Writer, I would think that the goal of your writing is to be
understood. The "For Dummies" books are great at doing this. Another grand
idea are the "Getting Started With...." books shipped with many Microsoft
packages. This makes it simpler for people to become productive.


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