Most people believe that technical writing is similar to writing for a class: you begin with a thesis, refine it, develop structural sentences, eliminate first-person viewpoint, add an intro, body, and conclusion, and so on. Actually, this is not true at all. Technical writing is different from academic writing in almost every respect, including how to start a paper.
Here are the main assumptions behind technical writing:
1. The reader knows nothing about the topic.
The writer assumes that the reader has no idea what he or she is talking about. The writer must therefore explain the most complicated concepts in simple terms. This is not easy!
2. The reader is familiar with general terminology related to the subject.
If the reader does not know some specific word or phrase, they will have to be explained. However, the writer can use their expertise to simplify unfamiliar words and phrases, thus reducing the need for external help. For example, when writing about chemicals, it is useful if the writer knows the meaning of toxic and non-toxic substances; without such knowledge, they would have to be defined by a person who understands these topics.
3. The reader wants to learn something new.
Technical writing is a sort of writing in which the author writes on a specific subject that requires guidance, instruction, or explanation. This writing style serves a very distinct purpose and has very different qualities than other types of writing, such as creative writing, academic writing, or business writing. Technical writers are usually employed by technology companies to create instructional materials for use by employees or customers.
In general, technical writing can be divided into three main categories: software documentation, process documents, and product manuals. Software documentation includes guides for using computer programs, how-to articles for performing common tasks with a computer, and user manuals. Process documents include guidelines for following processes within an organization. For example, a document might be required to explain how to report problems with computers at your company. Product manuals include instructions for using new or existing products. They can also include additional features or specifications about a product group or category (such as DVD players or laptop computers).
Many technical writers have college degrees in science, engineering, or mathematics. Because technical writing involves both knowledge of language and science/technology, it is not considered "creative" writing. Instead, it is viewed as an extension of human knowledge management.
Technical writers work for organizations that use technology. These may be large companies or small businesses; government agencies or nonprofit groups.
The purpose of technical writing is to present information that is simple to comprehend (B). Technical writing may help a person learn more about a certain subject, such as a new technology or a new medication. Although the content may be difficult, technical writing should make it easier to comprehend. For example, using simple language and avoiding complex vocabulary will make an article easier to read.
Technical writers are needed by companies in all sectors - government, defense, electronics, biotech, pharmaceuticals, chemical industries, and more. They write text documents called guides or manuals that can include instructions on how to use a product or service, FAQs (frequently asked questions), tutorials, training materials, and other similar types of information. The scope of these documents varies depending on their intended audience and specific job role. For example, a product manager might focus on making sure that user guides are easy to understand before they are released to the public while another writer might be responsible for coming up with innovative ways to describe new features in software updates.
Technical writers work under the direction of project managers who determine the overall structure and content of the guide. They may also have editorial input regarding specific sections or topics within the document. Finally, technical writers may provide feedback to users regarding their understanding of the guide's contents through pre-test surveys or interviews. After receiving this feedback, they may need to revise the guide accordingly.
A technical writer's work is, by definition, very informational, with an emphasis on effective and error-free message delivery rather than originality. Technical writers can generate instructional manuals, journals, and documentation based on their knowledge. They may also create user guides for software or products that are not available in a written format.
In general, there are three main types of writing that constitute technical writing: requirements, design, and development. Requirements writing describes the information needed to produce a product or service. It often includes identifying users needs and expectations as well as determining requirements for a system. Design writing involves creating a plan for how a product will look like when it is complete. This might include drawing up diagrams of what will go into the product, modeling how it will function once completed, or any other creative means deemed necessary by the designer. Development writing is all about communicating ideas during the process of planning, designing, and building something. The developer might hold meetings to discuss concepts or use note-taking tools like wikis or Google docs to record ideas.
Technical writing is a field that has many applications including but not limited to science laboratories, office environments, industrial facilities, etc. Writers may be asked to compose procedures, instructions manual entries, or even whole books on specific topics.