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Technical Writing: What is it?
Technical writing is one of the most difficult forms of writing. To be a technical writer you need to be able to convey a technical message in a concise and effective manner. Technical documents must be created using comprehensive and precise information in a brief and understandable style. You will need the ability to be able to correspond with technical experts and have the understanding of all technical terminology. You are the middleman between the designers, engineers, or scientists and the audience of the technical writings. You have to have the ability to under stand what they are saying and the turn it into something that can be understood by someone else.
Simply put it is writing that designs, creates, and upkeeps any kind of technical data such as user manuals, how to guides, and online help just to name a few. To be able to achieve a career in technical writing you must be able to write complex data in a straightforward, easy to understand and articulate fashion. You must be able to word step by step instructions in a way that seems effortless to a consumer.
While doing technical writing one of the most important aspects of your job will be creating for an intended audience. So not only must you understand and convey what you are writing, you must understand whom you are writing it for. In most cases, you are generally trying to explain complex technical information to the average person. But with the diversity in the world today and having such a vast potential audience you must understand the meaning of the words you use and what they could mean to someone else.
Some technical writing projects may also include magazine and newspaper articles. These articles will probably be focused on new technologies and products. In some cases this may be in the form of an advertisement. Or it could just be an introduction to a new product saying hey this is what we have and this is what it a can do.
Although a formal education is always a plus, if you have experience and successful past ventures in technical writing it isn’t always necessary. Knowledge into the multiple components needed for technical writing is required. They key components to what you must know is an in depth knowledge many software programs. These applications can include Visio, Quadralay Web Works Publisher, Microsoft Word, and HTML script writing. Proper formatting, style, and organization of writings are what make them easy to follow. Correct wording, clear sentences, and easy terminology make your technical writings easy the read and comprehend.
If you are employed as a technical writer with a company, you will most likely be working with a team of other writers. You writings will be reviewed for content efficiency as well as any grammar and spelling errors. Depending on the structure of the team they may be working on the same project as you or they may be working on separate projects. Either way the team is assembled as a support group to help make your technical writing be as accurate, effective, and as simple as it can be.
To succeed in technical writing these are the simple rules to follow. Keep it as simple as possible; no one wants to read four pages to find a simple one word answer. Understand the people you are talking to and what you are telling them. If you don’t understand, neither will they. Make sure you get your work proofread or read it aloud to make sure it makes sense. You know what you are trying to say, but your reader does not. You are the carrier for getting information from point A to Point B.
How to Choose Writing Software and a Few Suggestions (writing software) There are many choices available to today’s writers. From the cheapest to the most expensive the choice is entirely yours. Writing software can make you life easier and more organized. Whether you are an established writer or just starting out there is writing software available for you. First, you need to figure out what features you are looking for in the writing software. You do this by first accessing your needs as a writer. What kind of writing do you do? Do you write screenplays, novels, technical writings, or a collaboration of things? By knowing what you are going to expect from the writing software will make it much easier to pick out. From writing poems, to advertisements, to novels there is writing software out there for you. Here are a few that you can consider: Write That Down is software that is geared towards agents, publishers, freelancers, and screen writers. The application has tabs for contests, publications, submissions, accounts, and many more. It offers features from both sides of the writing world, for the writers and publishers. This may be a little too much for some. The Wizard of Words is pretty much a one size fits all as far as writing software goes. It has formatting for novels, articles, short stories, term papers, and so much more. For book writers is has a repair editing wizard that reformats just about any aspect you need it to. It even has tools for creating book proposals and query letters and mass mailing them. It requires Microsoft word 97 and higher. Style Writer is a style and grammar checking. It checks your writing against over 35,000 common language problems. You can change the type of writing it is checking and it adapts to the document type. It has 15 specialized features that will help you in your writing ventures. You can add and delete the grammar and style advice. It will track your progress and show you as you learn to stop making these mistakes on your own. When you install the software it merges itself with your own word processor. Writers Block is a replacement for Microsoft word. This software is a word processor and spread sheet rolled into one. It allows you to write in blocks and then arrange them how you want. It has a power panel in which you enter the writing for the current block. It floats above other programs so you can easily read from one page and type into the power panel. Rough Draft is a free download program. Well they would like donations but that is your choice. It is similar to Microsoft word but is more user friendly. It has special modes for plays and screenwriting. And it has an instant back up feature. Unfortunately, it does not have a grammar checker, tables, pictures, or footnotes. A popular choice for written media publishing is Adobe Page Maker. You can type your text right into the formatted layout and has a new data merge feature that you can merge previously saved spreadsheets or other databases to create new projects. That is just a brief overview of a few of the writing software products out there that looked interesting to me. During your writing journey, search for writing software that have multiple purposes, such as those software titles that create congressional letter, name generators, poetry, and jokes. Whether you are an inspiring new writer, an accomplished novelist that has been writing for years, or maybe a publisher or editor there is software out there for you.
Web Hosting - Email Issues When you build a web site, you often provide a means for users to communicate with you. One of the most common 'add-ons' to a web site is the addition of some kind of email access. Email is used to sign users up for newsletters, provide communication for administrative issues and a hundred other uses. But, as everyone sadly knows, email problems can occur. Virus infection is among the most common, though the situation is actually better today than in the past. Huge efforts, and some progress, has been made over the past 10 years to reduce the number and severity of virus attacks. Hackers haven't surrendered, far from it. But they're on the defensive like never before. Many of those viruses were (and are) spread through email, usually in the form of email attachments. That's the source of the now-common advice never to open an attachment from someone you don't know. Professionals will often extend that advice to suggest you never open an attachment that's unexpected, even if it's from someone you know. Well-meaning, but computer-challenged friends often accidentally forward virus infected emails. Spam has taken over the top spot for email annoyances. It's estimated by various different professional sources that 92-97% of all email sent today is spam. While the definition varies, spam is generally regarded as any unwanted commercial email sent by someone whom the recipient doesn't know or have a business relationship with. Spam clutters email inboxes, requires people to sift through to find valid messages, and often contains offensive messages in some form. But, it's a fact of life and isn't going away anytime soon. Even though laws are in place, thousands of spammers continue to risk fines or jail for the chance of making money from that small percentage who will open the unwanted email. Other forms of email problems are even more severe for many web site owners. When the mechanisms fail that they rely on to send and receive messages to and from their users, that's a problem. Dealing with those problems can range from sending an email or instant message to an administrator, to tracking down the right person to get your site removed from a blacklist. Email is the communications vehicle of choice for millions everyday. When the system burps, someone has to take time to do something about it. Often, that means relying on a person who is already overburdened with too many issues to resolve. So, besides pointing out some sad facts or complaining, what's the point? All of the above shows just one more area you should look at when selecting a web host or deciding whether to move to another. Just as with server or network administration, companies vary in their ability to deal with email-related issues. Some are responsive and super-competent. Others, are simply indifferent or worse. And many are in between. Email administration, like server maintenance or network management, is a professional specialty. Skill in one does not necessarily mean quality work in another. Finding a web hosting company and/or system that has few email problems, and solves them quickly when they occur, is an important task. Spend some time researching who provides superior support in email. You'll be happy you did.