RE: Baseline Skillset for Technical Writers?

Subject: RE: Baseline Skillset for Technical Writers?
From: "Hovde, Marjorie Rush" <hovde -at- engr -dot- iupui -dot- edu>
To: "'Grega, Will'" <WGrega -at- intelisys -dot- com>, TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 1999 11:46:43 -0500


This is a good question, and one of the best answers I've found is about 15
years old in an article in the 1984 Technical Communication, 4th quarter.
In "A Systematic Analysis of the Technical Communicator's Job," (p. 9-12)
Marcus Green and Timothy Nolan have a very useful chart giving exhaustive
(and exhausting) categories of abilities that Technical Communicators may
need. Some of the details of (e.g. "make photostat of art") have, of
course, changed over the years, but their "general areas of competence" are:
Plan the project
Co-ordinate the project
Research the project
Organize the information
Write the project copy
Plan the illustrations
Conduct project review
Produce the document
Perform administrative functions
Continue professional growth
Train and supervise employees

Not all of areas of competence are "baseline" but I think the list is still

In addition, they list entry level skills as some technical knowledge or
expertise and "proficiency in composition."

What would people add or subtract to this list?

Marj Rush Hovde
Assistant Professor of English and Technical Communications
Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
hovde -at- engr -dot- iupui -dot- edu

-----Original Message-----
From: Grega, Will [mailto:WGrega -at- intelisys -dot- com]
Sent: Friday, December 17, 1999 10:25 AM
Subject: Baseline Skillset for Technical Writers?

I am attempting to articulate the definitive baseline set of skills a
technical writer should have, apart from anything industry-specific. I'm
curious to survey what my colleagues think about this.

Will Grega
Documentation Product Manager
STC Online Help Award Winner - Intelisys HelpCenter
Intelisys Electronic Commerce, LLC
(212) 638-5632
WGrega -at- intelisys -dot- com

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