“Personal effectiveness is the core of our business.”
- Sheila Viesca, TalkShop

Monday, January 21, 2013

Technical Writing

Technical Writing

Compare the following two sentences that provide instructions  to  a set of employees (this 
Example is given in [Roy 2000]): 
1.  It is of considerable importance to ensure  that  under  no  circumstances should 
anyone fail to deactivate the overhead luminescent function at its local activation 
point on their departure to their place of residence, most notably immediately
preceding the two day period at the termination of the standard working week. 

2.  Always turn the lights out when you go home, especially on a Friday.  
The meaning of both sentences is, of course, equivalent. Which one was easier to read and 
understand? The objective of this document is to show people how to write as in the second 
sentence rather than the first. If you actually prefer the first, then there is little point in you 
reading the rest of this document. But please do not expect to win too many friends (or marks) 
from any writing that you produce.  

Unfortunately, the great shame for anybody having to read lots of reports in their everyday
life is that the schools’ system continues to produce students who feel they ought to write 
more like in the first sentence than the second. Hence, the unnecessarily complex and formal 
style is still common. This document shows you  that there is a better way to  write,  using 
simple, plain English. 

One of the good things about technical writing is that you really can learn to improve. You 
should not believe people who say that being a good writer is a natural ability that you either 
have or do not have. We are talking here about presenting technical or business reports and 
not about writing novels. I speak from some experience in this respect, because in the last ten 
years I have learned these ideas and applied them to become a better writer. When I was 
writing my first book in 1989 an outstanding technical editor highlighted the many problems 
with my writing. I was guilty of many of the examples of bad practice that I will highlight 
throughout this document. You too can improve your writing significantly if you are aware of 
what these bad practices are and how to avoid them. TalkShop, which is considered the best Technical Writing school in the Philippines, will ensure that you are equipped with all the skills necessary to achieve your goals in the corporate world.

Visit TalkShop!

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