Successful Technical Writing
Recently, I had occasion to purchase a Clavinova. For those who are unfamiliar with this term, it is a high-tech keyboard instrument that can produce an unlimited number of sounds, sound effects, rhythms, and combinations of instrumental effects to emulate entire bands or symphonies, if desired. Within this instrument is a computer system that I cannot even begin to understand; however, I do need to understand how to operate it in order to achieve all of the possible sound capabilities. Enter the user guide/manual! This is a piece of technical essay writing for the layperson, which attempts to make a very complicated system operable. As I have delved into the morass of Clavinova operation and spoken to several “techies” regarding the instructions in this manual, I realize that there is an entire field of professional essay writing composed of technical writers whose job it is to explain high-tech products and systems to others.
Because professional essay writing of a technical nature is often intended for a non-technical audience, the first basic for such writers is to “lose” a lot of the technical jargon and to translate that jargon into a vocabulary that the majority of readers will understand. Consider the following task: You are a technical writer tasked with an essay on technical education related to a new software program that has been implemented in your organization. There are managers, executives, supervisors, clerical staff, and others who are not versed in the language of technology. How, then, are you to prepare this work, so that everyone can read it, comprehend the workings and of the system, and then find practical application for the system as they complete their task responsibilities.
Many organizations seek assistance from custom online essay services that have technical writers capable of providing essay writing help for general audiences. They virtually outsource such technical writing, so that essays and manuals can be prepared for their employees. Unfortunately, they have often looked for individuals from whom they can buy such manuals and guides at a cheap essay price and were then sorely disappointed with the results. As a result, organizations are now willing to pay top dollar for technical writers who can produce easily understandable essays and manuals, and this field is now comprised of individuals who make an excellent living.
If you aspire to technical writing, you would be wise to enroll in some serious technical writing course work that assists you in developing the skills to write for a “lay” audience. Many community colleges offer such course work, as do a wide variety of Internet educational programs. You are not looking for a degree in technical writing; you are looking to enhance your skills. You already have the technical background and knowledge that you need to be able to translate it to writing that others may understand.
If you think you are ready to “go it alone,” here are a few tips:
- Lose the highly technical jargon. Change your vocabulary as much as possible;
- Define your highly technological terms, if you must use them. Analogies, illustrations, and concrete examples work well;
- Prepare your technical essay writing as you would any type of academic essay writing. Have a solid introduction, telling your reader what you are going to tell them. Your body actually tells them, and your conclusion tells them what you have told them;
- Watch how you organize the information. If content is disjointed and skips from topic to topic, you will lose your audience. Have a graphic organizer to guide you as you write.