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Want to answer a few questions for my technical writing class?

Discussion in 'Electronics Homework Help' started by Braeden Hamson, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. Braeden Hamson

    Braeden Hamson

    195
    13
    Feb 18, 2016
    Hi guys,
    So I've been given the assignment to ask people in technical fields how they use writing. If you feel like answering one or all of the questions I've written I'd really appreciate it.


    (Optional) What is/was your job and what did you do there?
    1. What kinds of documents have you written. What do you spend the majority of time writing? Reading?

    2. In your opinion why is it important to have effective written communications?

    3. Do you change the style of your writing when it’s going to say, your boss, a colleague, or the public?

    4. If you do change the way you write to your audience do you think about how much they know about the topic you’re presenting?

    5. What makes good technical writing, what makes bad writing? Does good grammar have any impacts?
    Thank you very much, I look forward to seeing what you guys have to say
     
  2. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    8,832
    1,741
    Nov 17, 2011
    1. I do both, more reading than writing.
    2. Because one doesn't have permanently contact to an expert to ask or to online media to watch. But one still needs or wants to beef up knowledge.
    3. Of course. You need to know your audience to write in a style that is accepted.
    4. That's a prerequisite. Too much information will bore an expert, too little information will leave a layman/laywoman out in the cold.
    5. There are a few components to be considered
      - content needs to be technically correct
      - language needs to be clear (style, grammar - why, of course, yes, yes, yes even if it seems to be less valued today)
      - coverage needs to be right: don't bore the reader by too much (irrelevant) stuff, don't leave out essentials
      - content needs to be structured (to make it easy to find relevant information).
      - often a picture is worth more than thousand words
     
    (*steve*) and Braeden Hamson like this.
  3. Braeden Hamson

    Braeden Hamson

    195
    13
    Feb 18, 2016
    Thank you very much sir!
     
  4. Nanren888

    Nanren888

    51
    7
    Nov 8, 2015
    1. What kinds of documents have you written. What do you spend the majority of time writing? Reading? Papers for IEEE & similar, for publication, technical reports, grant applications, contestible funding applications, project logs/lab books, contributions to press releases, progress reports {internal &and external, technical & for management :)}, technical briefs, posters. Reading? technical papers (IEEE), some datasheets, some web pages
    2. In your opinion why is it important to have effective written communications? Effective for what? That's the reason: whatever it should be effective at; whatever effect it should have; otherwise you're wasting everyone's time.

    3. Do you change the style of your writing when it’s going to say, your boss, a colleague, or the public? Absolutely. Publication, or conference, or technical report, or funding application, or interim report on project progress, totally different audience & purpose.

    4. If you do change the way you write to your audience do you think about how much they know about the topic you’re presenting? Main thing. Write for the audience & impact you want.

    5. What makes good technical writing, what makes bad writing? Does good grammar have any impacts? For academic papers the rule tends to be enough information for someone sklilled in the art to duplicate the result. This rule is often broken. For other writing, inspiring confidence is important. Some writing is aimed at not having ongoing support costs. Give them what they need to know in a form that they will actually read, at least when they need it. I've reviewed plenty of papers with poor grammar: it matters.
     
    Braeden Hamson likes this.
  5. Braeden Hamson

    Braeden Hamson

    195
    13
    Feb 18, 2016
    Fanstastic! A quick follow up question, in what ways do you change your writing if your write the public vs a colleague?
     
  6. Nanren888

    Nanren888

    51
    7
    Nov 8, 2015
    Well, the substantial truth of it is, that no way are technical people in my organisation trusted to write for the public. Anything I might contribute in that respect is "appropriately adjusted" if destined for the general public. I'd start from what I thought the general public might know of background, use simplified things I might think interested people might be interested in and offer that to corporate communications. They, in turn, discard all that as too technical & write inaccurate extrapolations of what I said. :) No, generally we reach compromises, but nothing technical goes out destined for the general public.
     
    Braeden Hamson and Harald Kapp like this.
  7. Harald Kapp

    Harald Kapp Moderator Moderator

    8,832
    1,741
    Nov 17, 2011
    +1 on that.
     
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