Re: Imagine you teach

Subject: Re: Imagine you teach
From: Doug Nickerson <Doug_Nickerson -at- ONSETCOMP -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1998 10:49:40 -0500

>If the course is a technical writing class for students in other majors
>(for example, majors in mechanical engineering), the focus on programming
>may or may not be useful.<snip> A course for these students would
concentrate not on on-line help or
>programming, but on workplace writing issues (including processes of
>writing in workplaces, document versioning, technical presentations,. ..

Hello Johndan Johnson-Eilola,

At the U. of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1989 or so, they
introduced a junior year writing requirement. I was in the computer
department so this course took the form of technical writing. The
professor didn't try
to give us new information about the software process, but rather talked
writing proposals, instructions, and so on.

I wish that course had been better. And I wish I knew what would have made
it better--but it wasn't because of lack of software or on-line help
principles. More help with the particulars of
writing or more experience actually writing (I don't
think the professor pushed us very hard), might have done the trick. Also,
what makes technical writing different than other forms of writing.

I work in software and have written articles books (book) in this field. I
still think
the difficulties are with writing--not the software process.
There has just *got* to be knowledge that's transferrable from "writing"
to technical writing.

Kind regards,

Doug Nickerson
Bourne, MA.
Programmer/Freelance author
doug_nickerson -at- onsetcomp -dot- com

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