What is Technical Writing?
Technical writing is a branch of communication that provides instructions on how to do something regardless of what the task is, for example, how to operate computer applications, medical procedures or mechanical equipment. The assistance is generally provided through web pages, diagrams, videos, help files, Microsoft Word or text documents. Technical writing involves the creation of support or help documents that can be clearly understood by readers.
Technical writing is performed by writers, who are inclined towards learning new technology and then simplifying it for other people. The technical writers usually begin such work by learning the purpose of the document that they will create, gathering information from existing documentation and from subject-matter experts. Technical writers do not need to be subject matter experts but it surely helps if they become one while working on a domain or suite of products for a long period. A good technical writer needs strong language and communication skills and must understand how to communicate with technology.
Technical writing is generally perceived to be synonymous with online help and user manuals though it is not limited to just that much. It also includes documents product troubleshooting guides, release notes, installation guides, marketing documentation, tutorials, e-learning modules, web content, legal disclaimers, business proposals, and white papers.
The objective of technical writing is to clearly convey the required information to audience in a way that the topic can be understood correctly. Technical writing is a way of analyzing, generating and managing information about various products and technical procedures that need to be explained. For big technical writing projects, a technical writer has to work with user interface designers, software programmers, testers, business analysts, software architects, domain experts, managers, customers, and above all—the end users. But for smaller assignments or in smaller organizations, a technical writer is expected to do the tasks largely by himself. First and foremost thing for a technical writer is to recognize the target audience. Technical writers who know the target audience can advise and execute solutions to the problems that no one else can recognize.
Technical writers must possess the aptitude to comprehend correctly and then be able to clarify it in the best possible manner. A technical writer must have good technical knowledge and good hold over the technical lingo, capability to write in a simple and concise manner with excellent research skills, expertise in various tools such as Microsoft Word, Adobe Robohelp or Framemaker.
Technical writing can be a very useful form of writing and communication for projects, lab reports, standard operating procedures (SOPs), instructions, proposals, and many other forms of professional writing.
For those seeking a career in technical writing, it may prove beneficial to pursue a formal training in technical writing to develop the skills and gain confidence. It can help engineers improve their skills and be able to communicate with individuals, in a better manner, to explain what they have to do, for example, a lot of the work that electrical engineers do is largely based upon technical documents, such as designing audio equipment, which uses many different parts, this could help improve both the ability to understand and write the documents.