Tips for Technical Writing
By: Sana Haroon
Technical writing is also called in lot of other names like business writing, work place, practical, professional, informational, and transactional writing. These different technical writing surrounds us 24/7 from toothpaste tube to the research paper. To write technical writing and then to transform into other language is really difficult so many companies mostly hire services like English technical specifications translation services that provide Language Translator to translate the technical writing in a proper way.
Technical writers work in a variety of industries including hardware and software, finance, chemistry, consumer electronics, Arrow space, Robotics, and biotechnology. Technical writing is writing that helps users solve problems with technologies and technical subject matters.
There are many types of technical writing, which includes Software documentation, Medical writing, Policies and procedure, Grant writing, and scientific writing. Some technical writers write documentation for software products well other write instructions for operating consumer products like TV. Other document and procedure for corporations and human resource professionals write HR policies for their companies. Tech writers also work in engineering, legal, medical, or scientific field, they also write proposals for grants of all types.
How to write perfect technical documentation?
Do not always wait for the perfect first paragraph you will never get started. Often the first paragraph is easy to write and once you have your information organized. If you want to collaborate with other team member’s wiki, work documents, Google drive and Excel spreadsheet are some options to work on. Don’t get hung up on the method just get the information down.
Your outline should include your categories of information you want to cover, for example, How to apply for a loan? Conception background information can also be included in your outline such as what is compound interest?
Once you have gathered the information you need to cover, you can organize it using a card sort. Firstly group topics into categories than put them into proper order. This method is often used when designing websites, but it works well when you need to organize information logically. Start by putting each topic in an index card, than sort the cards into logical groups. Use blank cards to give each group a logical name.
When you are seeing the inverted pyramid method, you put the most important facts first and others following in descending order. This gives readers most important information before they interest, and also makes it possible to easily cut the text from the bottom up. This is an excellent why to write documentation that conserves majority of users immediately and everyone else over time.
Translating technical doc
When technical writers write a guide or any documentation in one language, it is important to transform that in various other versions of languages. When we talk about translating the technical documentation, it means you have to go through a deep down study of technology and the translation.
These both are very important to be known to the person who is translation the technical document. It is really helpful if you take help from language translation services who provide you the services like English Technical Specifications translation services.
These services are really helpful in translating the technical documentation. Language Translators are highly trained in the translation section and they are well aware of technology, that’s why they create an authentic translated technical documentation.
5W and H
5W and H are the questions who, when, where, why, what and how, all of these questions can be answered by the tech writing perspective. For example
- What task are you trying to accomplish?
- Where is going to happen?
- Who can make that happen?
- Why are you going to happen?
- How do you make that happen?
Don’t burry the lead
Burying the lead is putting the secondary information in the beginning of the piece. When writing identify what is most important to lead. It will help guide you writing as well as provide users information they are searching right from the start.
Active vs. Passive Voice
It is a general rule active voice is preferred in technical writing, but using passive voice is not necessarily wrong. In an active voice the action is done by the subject for example “John drives car” John is the subject doing the action and the object is car.
In passive voice the target of the action gets promotes to the subject position, like it becomes “Car is driven by john”. Car becomes the subject of the sentence but is not doing anything; actually the focus of the sentence is changed from Steve to Amy. Passive voice is never wrong but active is more clear, which is what good technical writing should be like.
Remember the commas save lives. The best way is to create an editing checklist and work through it. Check out the grammar but editing is not all about grammar you also need to check the references. For example you refer readers sample or to any exercise make sure they are right.
You should also check out for consistent terminology and punctuations of those terminologies. If you have index make sure there are no straight terms and the punctuation is correct, and same goes for the glossary.
Some writing instructions almost about anything you are writing task for are:
- Write tasks clearly
- Break them into logical steps
- Number the steps
- Use graphics if it will aid understanding
- Avoid extraneous information
- Cautions or warning messages should be noticeable.
Keep it Simple
Your writing would be clear if you leave out unnecessary details, eliminate access words, and explain only one why to perform a task preferably the easiest way. Simple writing would keep reader engaged and make it simple for reader to understand everything easily.
Tech writes use varieties of tools to create deliverables. They include word processing tools like Microsoft word; help author tools, which are used to single source content into variety of deliverables. Presentation tools like power point, project planning tool, flow chart and graphics.