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The characteristics of technical communication and good technical documents

Characteristics of Technical Writing That Make it More Efficacious Technical writing is a profession that involves explaining complex technical ideas in simple terms to the user. Are you planning to make a career in this field? For that, you must know the characteristics of technical writing. Read on to know more.

Characteristics of Technical Writing

Penlighten Staff Last Updated: Feb 17, 2018 The aim of technical writing is to translate scientific and technical information in a way that is clear and easy to understand. The specific information conveyed should be helpful to the reader. Technical writing is a form of writing that is extensively used to prepare manuals, description of new electronic products, instructions on how to operate a particular machine, etc.

  • Another writer who works for a non-profit company may publish an evaluation report that shows the findings of the company's research into air pollution;
  • Technical document design stresses proper usage of document design choices like bullet points, font-size, and bold text;
  • If you are interested in technical writing for professional purposes, it is very important to know that this type of writing requires that the writer stick to the subject matter and relay information in a clear and concise manner;
  • The profession of technical writing demands simplicity of language and clarity of expression;
  • Often, images and other visual elements can portray information better than paragraphs of texts;
  • If you use pure jargon, the customer will possibly never know what you want to say.

A technical writer is often asked to create a documentation for a technology. The documentation must clearly explain how to install and use that technology. Technical writing is different from usual essay writing. People often confuse technical writing with essay and creative writing.

However, these are totally different styles of writing. Use of flowery words, double meaning innuendos and explaining the same thing in a different way is often found in essays. On the other hand, technical write ups are precise and essentially focus on the subject, which is explained in the most convincing manner. Yet the data is concise and the language used is straightforward.

This profession, as many think, is not about writing a bunch of technical words. Nowadays, technical writing is used in diverse fields including robotics, chemistry, software and others. An educational textbook on subjects like physics or biology is also a form of technical writing. In order to become a successful technical writer, one must know the characteristics of technical writing.

They are as follows: Clarity It is essential that the technical writer understands the reader's background and needs.

Characteristics of Technical Writing

Making the documentation too technical can confuse the reader. The document is meaningless if the intended audience does not understand what the writer wants to communicate. Writers who are well aware of their audiences are in a position to give a solution to their problems. The profession of technical writing demands simplicity of language and clarity of expression. One must avoid unnecessary words that may put the readers in a quandary.

The written document must be clear and concise so that the text becomes easier to grasp and understand. Descriptiveness Electronic products such as digital cameras or VCRs often come with manuals that tell how to operate it. As the customers may come from a non-technical background, care must be taken that the manual is not difficult to understand.

Certain key concepts to operate the product must be explained as easily as possible for the targeted readers. If you use pure jargon, the customer will possibly never know what you want to say.

Explaining the product in layman's terms is absolutely necessary. Good technical writing conveys ideas in the most effective manner. A well-written technical document always contains answers to anticipated problems in the product or application.

This aspect of technical writing is commonly seen in articles that are related to troubleshooting a particular software or product. Accuracy Accuracy is an important characteristic of any technical document. A slight mistake can have grave consequences. For instance, if you forget to mention some important features of a new mobile phone, the customers may think that there is nothing special in that phone and will not prefer to buy it.

Effective communication requires quality content and language that is accurate and readable.

Technical writing

Technical writing does not mean that you translate information unquestioningly. In this profession, one must know for whom the document is being written and whether it is accurate.

Correctness The grammatical structure of your technical document should be correct and free from any kind of ambiguities.

The intended meaning will not be communicated to the reader if the document has ambiguous sentences. The reader is sure to get annoyed, if your document is replete with misspellings and incorrect construction of sentences. Hence, apart from providing correct technical information, ensure that the data is grammatically correct.

Format The way you present your technical data is also very important from the user's point of view. For instance, suppose you have explained complex technical data in the most simple manner, yet it won't hold the attention of the user if it is presented as one big paragraph.

The point is, you go to be creative when it comes to formatting your technical data.

Characteristics of Technical Writing That Make it More Efficacious

Your technical data must be divided into sub heads. If it is an instruction manual, then instead of sub heading go for bulleted format. However, if the sequence of instructions holds priority, one should go for numbered list.

  1. Penlighten Staff Last Updated. If you are interested in technical writing for professional purposes, it is very important to know that this type of writing requires that the writer stick to the subject matter and relay information in a clear and concise manner.
  2. The goal in targeting this group is to make sure that the information provided is clear, concise and easy for anyone to understand. This is the type of writing that will.
  3. However, if the sequence of instructions holds priority, one should go for numbered list. Learning the characteristics of technical writing is essential if you want to build a successful writing career.
  4. This is the type of writing that will. Characteristics of Technical Writing That Make it More Efficacious Technical writing is a profession that involves explaining complex technical ideas in simple terms to the user.
  5. Technical writing is different from other types of writing in that it is more informative.

Key points pertaining to precautions or warnings may be emphasized using bullets. A document presented in a well-organized manner is very easy to read and the important data that the user is looking for is available at a glance.

To make data easily accessible, one can give technical specification of any product in a tabular form.

  • It is very different from writing opinion pieces, essays, prose, non-fiction or fiction;
  • This profession, as many think, is not about writing a bunch of technical words;
  • Learning the characteristics of technical writing is essential if you want to build a successful writing career;
  • People often confuse technical writing with essay and creative writing.

You also need to complement your descriptive technical data with a graphic image of the product in focus. This is visually appealing and will definitely arrest the attention of the most casual viewer.

  • Yet the data is concise and the language used is straightforward;
  • If you are interested in technical writing for professional purposes, it is very important to know that this type of writing requires that the writer stick to the subject matter and relay information in a clear and concise manner;
  • Are you planning to make a career in this field?
  • In order to portray statistical information like the number of visits to a restaurant or the amount of money a university spends on its sporting programs, technical writers will use graphs and flowcharts;
  • If you are interested in technical writing for professional purposes, it is very important to know that this type of writing requires that the writer stick to the subject matter and relay information in a clear and concise manner;
  • The events of World War I and World War II led to advances in medicine, military hardware, computer technology, and aerospace technologies.

For technical articles to be effective, it is essential to implement the aforementioned characteristics of technical writing.

If you follow the above guidelines, the users will definitely appreciate your technical manuals.