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Technical Writing

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					Technical Writing
Methodology 101

What is Technical Writing?
Taking complicated subject matter and transforming it into easy-to-understand information for the reader.

What do Tech Writers create?
• User’s manuals • System manuals • Step-by-step procedures • On-line help • Training manuals • Quick-reference guides • How-to video scripts

The Process. . . .
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Define the project Estimate project hours Retrieve, analyze & synthesize Design the project Write Edit/Revise Deliver

1. Define the Project
• Who will read the document?
– Executives – System Analysts – Clients – Operators

1. Define the Project
• What’s the Style?
– Persuasive – Motivational – Instructional – Procedural – Historical

1. Define the Project
• What type of document do you need?
– – – – – – – Printed reports Books Fact Sheets Videos CDs On-line A combination of print & electronic

1. Define the Project
• What resources are available?
– Time – People – Equipment

2. Estimate Project Hours
• Estimated time includes:
– Research – Interviews – Information Entry – Document Design – Revisions

2. Estimate Project Hours
Document Item Estimate (hrs/item)

By the page Procedure Glossary term Reference topic Window Field Button Graphic

8-12 8-12 1 3-4 3-6 1 .25 2

3. Retrieve, analyze & synthesize
• Organize your sources
– Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) – Existing documentation – Software testing – Internet research – In-house resources – Library

4. Design Project
• Tools
– The Chicago Manual of Style – RoboHELP – Visio – Inspiration – MS Word – Framemaker

5. Write
• Writers write
– They sit with information and tools. . . – . . . and they write.

6. Edit & Revise the Document
• The content is reviewed & edited for:
– – – – – – – – – – Accuracy Clarity Consistency Conciseness Usefulness Organization Style Format Grammar, Spelling Punctuation

7. Deliver The Project
• It’s well thought-out & edited • Tailored to the customers needs • A reflection of comprehensive methodology

About the Speaker
• Laura has over 14 years’ experience in corporate communication and marketing for major corporations. • As an internet marketing consultant, she plans and executes internet marketing strategies for over 50 firms. • Laura's recent internet marketing & technology related articles have been featured in international magazines.
• Her writing and research serves as the knowledge base for the Inc.com and Small Business Association sponsored site for Internet Advertising and Marketing. • Laura granted Sybex Computer Books rights to distribute her work "PowerPoint Presentations and Templates" on the CDROM accompanying their book Mastering Office 2000 Premium Edition by Gini Courter and Annette Marquis.


				
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posted:4/21/2008
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