Re: Technical Writing Courses

Subject: Re: Technical Writing Courses
From: "Jane Bergen" <jbergen1 -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "Murrell, Thomas" <TMurrell -at- alldata -dot- net>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 13:19:02 -0500


I saw your original posts, but didn't jump in because I've gotten hate
mail (literally) from this list in the past when we discussed
education for technical communicators. I don't know how long you've
been on the list, but one of our ongoing battles is whether anyone
needs to take courses at all...much less which courses. Everytime
someone mentions professional education for tech writers, someone
chimes in that they were a <insert any occupation from basketweaver to
ferrier> and they are now a tech writer. Problem is that having the
title and producing professional work are not necessarily the same. As
a competition judge, I can tell you that beauty is in the eye of the

As for your courses, I'd think anything listed in a technical
communication curriculum of a reputable university would be of immense
benefit. I applaud you for seeking education. I have an M.A. in
technical writing and for me it was the best decision of my
life....too bad I had to be an old lady by the time I got around to
it, but that's a different discussion. By studying communication
theory, I am much more attune to the needs of my users (I write
software docs) and know how to approach projects in ways I wouldn't if
I only knew the technology or only knew how to write a paragraph that
was grammatically correct.

So, go for it. There are more and more courses offered online all the
time. Good luck.

Jane Bergen
(who's donning her already-charred flameproof britches!)

----- Original Message -----
From: Murrell, Thomas <TMurrell -at- alldata -dot- net>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Sent: Thursday, September 16, 1999 7:09 AM
Subject: RE: Technical Writing Courses

>I guess I'm a bit disappointed that people on the list didn't have
more to
>say about what sorts of courses they would recommend for Technical
>or those who want to learn about Technical Writing. I, too, was very
>interested to see what people would recommend.
>Perhaps I should not admit it, but I've never taken a Technical
>course. I have a BA and an MA in English, with a technical
background of
>having been a system analyst/programmer for a number of years before
>becoming a Technical Writer. I've been doing Technical Writing for
10 years
>now without ever having a course in it. The closest I've come to a
class in
>that time was an Information Mapping class that I took maybe 5 years
>I just wonder if I would be better off if I had a few classes to go
with my
>practical experience.
>Tom Murrell
>Senior Technical Writer, Alliance Data Systems, Inc.
>CAD4A - (614)729-4364
>Fax: (614)729-4499
>mailto:tmurrell -at- alldata -dot- net
>Sponsored by Weisner Associates Inc., Online Information Services
>Don't know where to turn for RoboHELP, HTML, or HTML-based Help
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