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Feedback Q&A on Technical Writing

by Ron Kurtus

Readers have sent in a total of 105 comments and questions on Technical Writingissues. They are listed according to date.

You can read them to further your understanding of the subject.



List of most recent 10 letters

Topic

Title

Country

Knowledge Can a writer be a reader? Philippines
 
General How to become a competent Technical Writer UK
 
Process Any barriers for becoming a technical writer? USA
 
Managing Projects Why write up project material? Tanzania
 
General Taking Fundamentals of Technical Writing USA
 
Skills Needed Wants to transition into technical writing USA
 
Type of Docs Needed Guide to write the project documentation proposal Malaysia
 
General Want to be self-employed technical writer India
 
Salaries I want to start my career as Technical writer USA
 
Skills Needed Interested in becoming a technical writer USA
 

Next 10

 





Can a writer be a reader?

Topic: Knowledge

Question

July 2, 2016

can a writer be a reader? is it necessary for the writer to be knowledge able than the reader

lailah - Philippines

27114

Answer

There are jobs where a person proof-reads material from a writer to assure it makes sense. A technical writer should be able to write material so that a reader can understand the material without being very knowledgeable about the subject.

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How to become a competent Technical Writer

Topic: General

Question

March 18, 2016

New to Technical writing, so as a complete beginner would like to know how to become a competent Technical Writer.

Sue - UK

26869

Answer

A good way to learn about technical writing is to get involved in an organization such as the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC) in the UK. Check out their website to see about meetings in your location.

They should have information about skills needed and available job opportunities.

I hope that helps. Best wishes for success in your writing career.

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Any barriers for becoming a technical writer?

Topic: Process

Question

May 24, 2015

I have no engineering degree but have been a maintenance professional, a machinist and designed and built many special purpose machines large and small over a 35 year career. Are there any barriers to me becoming a technical writer? Any certification requirements? Is it possible to do this free lance?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Larry - USA

26028

Answer

Consider the companies you've for in the past. Did they have documentation for the various devices or machines, such as repair manuals, user manuals, etc?

If not, perhaps they could use such documentation or someone knowledgeable to work on their documentation. This is a good area for freelance or contract work.

A few large companies may require certification or a degree in writing, but it usually is not a roadblock.

A good place to start and to get information about the business is through the Society for Technical Communication. Find a chapter in your location and check out a meeting. You can also find out about jobs in your area.

Best wishes for success in your new career.

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Why write up project material?

Topic: Managing Projects

Question

November 18, 2014

Why project writeup?

hamisa - Tanzania

25557

Answer

It is important to write out your plans for a project. This makes sure your efforts are logical and that you do not miss any important points.

Also, writing things out allows others to review and understand the concepts.

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Taking Fundamentals of Technical Writing

Topic: General

Question

November 8, 2013

Hello Ron,

I really enjoyed reading some of the material on your site. I am planning on taking a certification course at the University of Georgia. The course name is Fundamentals of Technical Writing and the instructor's name is Janet Underwood. Are you familiar with this course or can you recommend any courses?

Wali - USA

24178

Answer

I'm not familiar with the course or instructor, but I am sure that it will be worth your while. U of Georgia is a good school.

For added information about technical writing, check the Society for Technical Communication website.

Best wishes in your studies and career.

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Wants to transition into technical writing

Topic: Skills Needed

Question

October 17, 2013

Hi.
I've written a trilogy, two novels, and a collection of short stories. Also, I'm in the process of writing another novel and another trilogy. I'm currently in a Masters program at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA for their Computer Science program. However, I have grown to hate the coding and problem solving that goes with Computer Sciene. and I am finding mysl doign more writing thatn coding. I had several english and writing classess as an undergraduate and I've come to the question, how do I transition from the technical career into a professional career as either a technical writer or creative writer?

Ted - USA

24107

Answer

It is good that you are writing fiction on the side. Have you had your books published or done self-publishing? Note that it is very difficult to make a living doing fiction or nonfiction writing. See Succeed in Fiction Writing for some basics.

As far as technical writing goes, your background in computer science can be useful to companies seeking writers who can understand the nuances of programming. A good place to find out the market for technical writers is through the Society for Technical Communication chapter in Philadelphia. They can give you some pointers on getting started.

Best wishes in your career.

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Guide to write the project documentation proposal

Topic: Type of Docs Needed

Question

September 12, 2012

I need a guide to write the project documentation proposal.

LIN - Malaysia

22896

Answer

See Project Documentation for an overview of the subject.

Also see Writing the Project Proposal

I hope that helps.

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Want to be self-employed technical writer

Topic: General

Question

May 4, 2012

Hi Friend
I've been into technical writing for over 2+years now and planning to go about on my own. I would be grateful, if you could guide me as to how to go about searching and identifying potential clients both within my country and outside my country?

Thanks for your time and response.

With warm regards

Kamakshi - India

22635

Answer

Consider the industry of company where you are working right now. You have expertise in that type of technical writing, so it is good to look to similar companies. Also, if you have some technical background, consider companies that are in that field.

It is not easy to start up as an independent or to be self-employed. One option is to work through temporary agencies. That is a good way to get more contacts. Technical Writers of India might be a good source of information. Also see: Starting a Technical Writing Business for more information.

Best wishes in your efforts.

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I want to start my career as Technical writer

Topic: Salaries

Question

November 4, 2011

Hi,

I want to start my career as Technical writer.I have Engineering degree and persuing MBA currently.

I have excellent writing and communication skills and quite comfortable with HTML,CSS,Javascript.

I have drafted a resume.would you proofread it if i send it to you and let me know if it is suitable for Technical writer job hunt.

Thanks,
Arshia Alam

Arshia - USA

22136

Answer

An engineering degree should help you in getting a technical writing job in industries in your field. However, they may be more interested in having you do technical work. You might be able to combine both writing and engineering.

A good resource is the Society for Technical Communication. They may have a chapter in your area. Their meetings are good place to find job leads.

Feel free to send a copy of your resume. I can look it over and make comments.

Best wishes in your career.

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Interested in becoming a technical writer

Topic: Skills Needed

Question

September 6, 2011

I am almost finished with my associates degree and plan to transfer for a BA in English. I have been encouraged to possibly become a technical writer. What type of college classes would assist in this pursuit?

Thank you for your response.

Donna - USA

21955

Answer

There are a number of colleges that offer degrees in technical writing or communications. Some of the online colleges also offer courses in technical writing.

A good place to start is to check into the Society for Technical Communications (STC). Check their listing of Chapters to find one in your area. It is a good place to get local information about the profession.

Good luck in your career.

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Next 10


Summary

Hopefully, this reader feedback has helped provide information about Technical Writing issues.


Write well


Resources and references

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Websites

Technical Writing Resources

Books

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Questions and comments

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Feedback Q&A on Technical Writing




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