Technical writing [Archives:2005/810/Education]

January 24 2005

By Ahmed A.Alfotihe
Computer programmer
A Community College graduate, Sana'a

Technical writing is a skill we need to master so as to communicate effectively with people in the workplace in a formal way. Today, many companies here in Yemen use English as a medium of their inside and outside communication. So, we could be asked to write a report, a fax, a letter, a memo and so forth in an office establishment.

As a technical writer, your writing must follow a systematic approach.

Successful writing on the job is the result of knowing how to structure information using both words (language style) and design (formats) to achieve an intended purpose. The best way to ensure that a writing process is successful is to ensure the following five steps:-




*Writing draft.


These steps must be followed consciously not self-consciously at first. Then with practice, the steps become nearly automatic. This is not to suggest that writing becomes easy. In fact, it does not. However, the easiest and most efficient way to write is to do it systematically. As you master the five steps, keep in mind that they are interrelated and sometimes overlap.

Also, the time required for each step varies with different writing situations. For example, when writing an informal memo, you might follow the first three steps (preparation, research and organization) by simply listing the points in the order you want to cover them. For a formal report, on the other hand, the first three steps require well-organized research, careful note taking, and detailed outlining. In short, the five steps expand, contract, and at times must be repeated to fit the complexity or context of the writing task.

Dividing the writing process into steps is useful for collaborative writing.

When you collaborate, you can generally keep everyone informed of your progress as you follow the steps in the writing process.

*Preparation: How to prepare for your writing?

While prepararing for writing, we must accomplish four major tasks:-

*Establishing the purpose (objective).

*Assessing the readers (audience).

*Determining the scope of the writing.

*Selecting the medium.

On must try and develop a style of writing which is legitimately one's own. It is the writer's potentially characteristic style as much adorable as anybody else's. In this context one must remember: “No writing style is inherently better than another.”

In our next article we will talk about the four majors mentioned above.