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Importance of Knowledge in Technical Writing

by Ron Kurtus (revised 4 May 2003)

In your role as a technical writer, it is important that you are both knowledgeable and skilled in your profession. You can't do a good job at writing if you don't know the rules of writing, the subject matter and how to use writing tools.

Being skilled allows you to do your work better and enhances your career. You gain knowledge through study and skill through application of what you learned.

Questions you may have include:

This lesson will answer those questions.



Knowledge and skill

Being knowledgeable means you are well informed about writing techniques, the subject matter and tools to use. This knowledge can come from schooling and more often from on-the-job experience.

Being skilled means you know how to write effectively and to use the available writing tools. It is the application of your knowledge. This means learning how to write with such commonly used tools as FrameMaker and RoboHelp.

Importance of being knowledgeable

If you know how to write effectively and how to use the required software, you can do your job with less effort and more quickly. Writing according to the technical writing standards is relatively easy. On the other hand, it isn't pleasant having to struggle through the process of formatting pages in FrameMaker, when you really don't know the application.

Also, having knowledge and skill makes you feel better about yourself. Your esteem grows proportionate to the ease at which you can perform your job.

Being knowledgeable is important in doing excellent work and in being valuable to your employer. And that perceived value can result in raises and promotions. Applying your knowledge helps to show your character and even helps reduce work-related stress to the benefit of your health.

Become knowledgeable

The way to gain knowledge in technical writing is to observe, study and read. Writers are known to be voracious readers. There are good books on technical writing techniques, as well as those on how to use the various required software applications.

Taking classes and attending seminars on writing topics can add to your knowledge. Participation in profession organizations such as the Society for Technical Communication (STC) helps you gain knowledge through their presentations and conversations with other writers.

Applying what you have learned and also analyzing the results of your work are good ways to establish your skills.

Summary

Being well informed about writing and subject matters and having skill in using writing tools are important in being a technical writer. Knowledge can make the work easier, increase your esteem and make you more valuable to your employer. You should continuously study to improve your knowledge and skills.


Observe and learn


Resources and references

Ron Kurtus' Credentials

Websites

Society for Technical Communication

Technical Writing Resources

Books

Top-rated books on Technical Writing


Questions and comments

Do you have any questions, comments, or opinions on this subject? If so, send an email with your feedback. I will try to get back to you as soon as possible.


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