Technical Writing is defined as a writing where the writer is writing about a specific subject that requires direction, instruction, or explanation. It provides specific data, typically within the circle of science and expertise, and could also be used in all kinds of media e.g technical documentation, manuals, scientific articles etc. Every of those types of writing follows its specific algorithm and an effort to write and they have very unique purpose and standards than other writing types such as creative writing, academic writing or business writing.
Characteristics of Technical Writing:
- Stick to a technical subject
- Have a specific purpose
- Maintain an objective
- Convey solid information/facts/data
- Be impersonal
- Stay to the point
- Maintain direction
- Keep style and format consistent
- Content is archival
- Properly refer contributions
Types of Technical Writing:
End User Documentation:
End user documentation gives instructions for the end user of a given product. These instructions should be easily understood by a non-technical reader, but still needs technical expertise. Examples include:
* Writing a user manual guiding home computer users how to set up a basic home networking system
* Writing a “ how-to guide” for using laptops and mobile phones
Traditional Technical Writing:
Traditional technical writing is achieved by people with technical expertise, for people with the same technical expertise. For example:
* Writing a summary of a case for other lawyers
* Writing a precise of a series of medical experiments to be published in a journal of medicine
* Writing an commercial article for a trade publication
Technological Marketing Communications:
Sometimes a technical writer needs to be involved in the marketing materials for a product. In this situation, the writer requires to communicate their expertise in more user-friendly language to help the relative buyer understand and take an interest in the product.
* Writing a sales presentation to a new potential client about a new type of computer hardware or software
* Writing instructional articles for the web to show businesses that using a particular IT consulting service can save them money
* Writing an in-depth case study on how the product brings advantage to a specific company.
So, Technical writing is a simple, uncomplicated, easy to understand explanation dealing with a certain subject. It is a well organised and clear way of explaining something and how it works. It is very structured. It presents information clearly, leaving little to no room for misunderstanding.
It requires the use of simple and concise sentences.It is skimmable so it’s easy for readers to scan through the full document and simply find information they need. Technical writers should include meaningful, descriptive headings and also add a table of contents or index.
Moreover, Technical writing is very detailed and informative, leaving nothing to the imagination.
Technical writing is used in a wide variety of fields, such as engineering, medical,computer, software, chemistry, and biotechnology.
Some examples of technical writing include:
* Training manuals designed which includes information for new employees about their role
* Operations guides for particular tools and products
* Instruction manuals
* Policy manuals
* Process manuals
* User manuals
* Reports of analysis
* Instructions for assembling a product
* A summarization of a long report that highlights and shortens the most essential elements
In case of training manuals, the writer may be required to include the general information, such as an employer’s workplace and operating hours, Company policies, such as paid leave and duties required to be performed by a given position.
Training manuals and other company documents can usually be considered as end-user documentation.
In case of operation manuals, writers must include the Computer software guides informing issues both specific to the program and relevant to its interaction with other systems and engineering guides that inform specific engineering issues related to a product. Operations guides typically included in the traditional technical writing category, but in some cases, they could also contribute to end-user documentation.