Technical Writing: How Technical Writers Make It Easy for Everyone

As much as assembling and following operating instructions on manuals seem intimidating at first glance, did you know that they are actually made easier to understand by technical writers? In technical writing, technical writers are tasked with preparing information which aids people in using or assembling a certain product. Technical writing however, is not only limited to writing instruction manuals. There are three basic categories of technical writing and these are:

End-user Documentation – This is the type of technical writing that help consumers build, operate, repair tools and devices both software and hardware
Technical Documentation – This is the type of technical writing that includes repair manuals, maintenance guides, and engineering specifications; white papers, research papers, or journal articles; reference guides; and annual reports.

Marketing Copy – This is the type of technical writing that underscores on advertisements, brochures, catalogs, press release and home page content.

Technical writing takes on a different road from other types of writing because it uses a different format, considers varied sources and takes on a unique audience. The gift of technical writers have is of course, their aptitude for explaining complicated procedures in the most simplistic terms.

Format – In technical writing, the format can range from being published online to being published in print and most of the time, there is a specific template to be followed depending on what kind of document a technical writer will produce. Examples of these documents include:

1. Datasheets
2. FAQs
3. Installation Guides
4. Reference Manuals
5. User Guides

Source- Majority of the time spent in technical writing is of course, obtaining information. Technical writers complete a project through a lot of reading, researching and talking to other people with pertinent knowledge. More than just understanding a certain product, technical writers think and write in such a way that they put themselves into their readers’ shoes and anticipate every reader’s inquiries or concerns.

Audience- Technical Writing of course, caters to a specific group of people that have varied technical abilities. Technical writers have to learn and adjust their writing depending on their audience. It all depends on whether they’re writing for the laypeople, experts, or people who are partially familiar but not proficient on that specific topic.

The key to to being an effective technical writer is simply learning how to be STRAIGHTFORWARD. Just like in everything else, practice makes perfect. Once you get the hang of it, you will find yourself easing through it.