Encompasses computer and technology writing, end-user documentation, code documentation, engineering, the sciences, consumer manuals, and more.

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Technical writing — best solutions for gathering and compiling data/information

Seek best solutions for information collection, compilation, aggregation Background I'm a newer technical writer working for an industrial fabrication company. We make an awesome B2B product that ...
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27 views

academic writing: direct quote

I have a simple question regarding scientific quotes. Which of the following alternatives is correct? Alt. 1: The literature has made substantial strides towards identifying causal effects of X on Y ...
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32 views

Can you use et al. in a Bibliography?

In the text, I have, e.g. "...a major role to play in role-playing (Smith et al., 1990)." But can I use the same abbreviation in the bibliography? Smith, K. et al. 1990. Playing major roles ...
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3answers
99 views

How to find the balance between research and the obvious

I'm embarking on writing my first popular science book on a controversial subject. For sure the writing must be rational, coherent with a clear train of thought and littered with references to be ...
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5answers
76 views

technical subjects - non-fiction vs fiction

This is a question I tried to ask in Novelizing non-fiction, is it worth it? But was un-clear and maybe too generic. Let’s say I am a scuba diving expert and I could write a non-fiction book about ...
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3answers
38 views

What is considered an acceptable length for a technical document?

I have written dozens of technical and requirement specifications, and edited dozens more in 8+ years of engineering. The largest I have drafted was perhaps 100 pages, but maybe 30-50% of it was ...
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112 views

The fine line between accurate science, and confusing my reader

I recently wrote a blog post (original here) about a scientific study. At the end, I included some "fine print" which states, among other things: Correlation does not mean causation. It’s ...
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23 views

Footnote placement — inside or outside terminal quote?

When you are referencing inforamtion in the footnote, is it customary to put the footnote number inside the quote or outside? For instance is it: "The pink pig."1 or: "The pink pig.1"
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38 views

Citing an article with multiple authors in APA style

I have been trying to go through Mayfield Book on Technical Writing to find out how to do an in-text and parenthetical citation of a source that I found online. The source is an article from a popular ...
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23 views

How to cite a report in APA style

I have been trying to go through Mayfield Book on Technical Writing to find out how to do an in-text and parenthetical citation of a source that I found online. The source looks like a report with ...
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1answer
67 views

What is it called when an author uses vague words for concrete concepts, “hedging”?

As an editor for an academic press, my pet peeve is when authors write sentences like "attempt to conceive of a possible approach to resolve X" instead of "try to resolve X". Obviously one big ...
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44 views

How to change Microsoft Word Heading style [closed]

For example, Heading 1 is automatically typeset as Chapter 1: Chapter 1 Title. I would like to change this to Chapter 1 - Chapter 1 Title however. How can I achieve this? I'm using Word 2013.
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36 views

Should I write “what do the data show” or “what does the data show”? [closed]

I wonder what the proper way of writing this question is: What do the data show? What does the data show?
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61 views

What is Content Testing?

What is Content Testing? Are there content testing tools available, or is content simply tested manually for quality?
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40 views

Graphical presentation method nomenclature

I'm part of a technical documentation team where I'm suggesting the document designers different methods for graphical presentation. Each time I need to talk about a method I have to look around and ...
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2answers
72 views

How to create a functional document for in-house reference?

I'm the only technical writer in my company with 2 years of experience. I have been assigned with a task of creating a functional document for a web-based (FMCG) product which has been around a long ...
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5answers
183 views

What's the best text editor for a technical reference manual?

It is my first time writing tech manuals and I don't know what to use. Some people recommend me LATEX but I think it's too complex. I basically need a text editor that let me: Type latin characters ...
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2answers
35 views

Ethics of incorporating a supplier's technical documentation into one's own documentation?

A company, M, buys components from company, S, to build into their product. Company S has technical documentation regarding safety and maintenance available in many languages and publicly available in ...
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2answers
59 views

What's the common practice for warranty chapters in technical manuals?

I'm working on a technical manual project for industrial machines and the original documents have some warranty warnings and statements at the beginning. We decided to keep them on the new documents ...
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3answers
108 views

Technical Documentation Voice Preference : “Active Voice” - “Passive Voice” - A Mixture of both

We are working on a technical documentation project which includes the rewriting, modernization, restructuring, enrichment of the content. I'm doing the content rewriting and translation parts of the ...
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56 views

Order of names in title

I and two other students are writing a proposal to a corporation to donate some equipment to the Electrical Engineering department at my school. When I put our names under the title of the proposal, ...
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1answer
60 views

Writing a PhD thesis. Question about (an informal) introduction

I am preparing scientific thesis for the degree of PhD. It is a mathematical thesis. It is usually very difficult to tell your colleagues and friends what are the things you exactly work on with ...
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3answers
80 views

How to structure a sentence containing long code examples?

In the context of a technical manual, I need to write instructions guiding users through several standard manipulations. When providing examples of these manipulations, I have written a short sentence ...
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1answer
48 views

Is the Microsoft Manual of Style appropriate for writing general IT related instructional documents?

I'm currently working for a company's IT department, and one of my tasks is to write documentation for common procedures that we perform, in order to get new employees acquainted with them more ...
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115 views

Ending a PhD thesis by saying “there is more to do”

I am ending the conclusion of my PhD thesis by saying something like this (not even remotely in these words): There was a lot of work gone in the thesis, yada yada yada, however there is room for ...
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1answer
112 views

Any advice on how to learn DITA for technical writing?

My situation is such that I will be looking for a new job next week as this contract ends. For a tech writer, it is good to have DITA on the ole' resume. So, I just wanted to know if anyone has a site ...
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88 views

Technical writer degree with an English BA?

I'm desperately trying to get out of my dead end Federal job. I have a BA in English and a love of a lot of different topics, including several science fields. I would have Majored in science if I ...
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400 views

in English, is it necessary to capitalize after a colon?

I've seen that each language has its own rules when using the colon. In Spanish, it's not needed to capitalize: Los elementos incluyen: secado, lavado, etc. In French is the same, and even they put ...
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4answers
156 views

How to indicate the topic has been changed without using words?

I am writing an an article to share knowledge, not novel. Usually, when you change the current topic, at the beginning of the new paragraph you would like to use some transition words such as ...
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1answer
54 views

Is there any research about the efficacy of illustration and example placement in procedure writing?

In writing procedural documentation, I have the choice of writing the complete step-by-step instructions with references to an appendix of illustrations, For instance: 1. Do task 1 (see Fig. 1) 2. ...
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1answer
186 views

How much detail is considered enough for literature review of a research paper

I and a few of my friends are conducting a small research project to determine the prevalence of hypertension, where we live. I was hoping I could get an opinion on how to write our literature ...
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3answers
129 views

Software for keeping track of book edits?

So I'm writing a new edition of an old textbook, and I need some way of keeping track of what needs to be done, and what I have done. I could use paper - but I tend to lose that. Or even a plain text ...
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2answers
74 views

Documenting Agile Sprints

I'm responsible for documenting a huge ERP - its being changed from an old language to .NET. I'm the only one responsible for documenting ( and I'm doing it off-site - the developers' office is an ...
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2answers
169 views

What is the average cost of software for DITA authoring?

I'm looking to buy some software for technical document authoring with DITA. The tech writing group will have at least 5-10 users, writing 100-pages long documents for several products in various ...
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39 views

How do I build a better blog website? [closed]

I've spent the last few days building a website that I want to use a showcase for my written work, and as a personal blog. What fundamental changes should I make to improve a viewer's experience? The ...
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1answer
116 views

Copyright of examples used in books?

I'm getting into non-fiction technical writing (a blog, but potentially ebook or otherwise). Often the best technical advice come from dissecting and synthesising good and bad examples from the ...
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78 views

How to write “number of cups per user” for short using symbols?

I want to insert a text segment in a figure in my conference paper. Like "number of cups per user", can I use #cups/user ? I think "cups/user" means an average value, right? What I need is a X-Y ...
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1answer
120 views

Use of Registered trademark

I'm writing a book on Windows and I need some guidelines. On the cover of the book, as part of the subtitle, may I include Windows® in it? Inside the book, do I have to use the ® every single little ...
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87 views

Are there books to improve the style?

I've opened a question in another section: http://meta.programmers.stackexchange.com/questions/6911/is-this-question-possible-in-this-section The question is pretty unclear but for me is really hard ...
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2answers
708 views

What software is good for writing a technical book? [duplicate]

I must write a book for the university and I am looking for software. The style that I want is like the books of O'Reilly, Apress or Packt. I need: Insert a table of contents (automatic). Divide ...
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3answers
167 views

How to research and discover topic popularity and trends to determine topic selection for article writing?

I have been asked to write various technical and non-technical articles about computer usage, Windows usage (perhaps some Mac and *nix as well if they let me), Windows repair, and various other ...
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488 views

Do Decimals Bounded Between 0 and 1 (inclusive) Need a Leading Zero?

For a variable bounded between 0 and 1 inclusive, [0,1], should I use a leading zero when quoting a number? E.g. the probability of rain is 0.5 or .5 (I realize this should technically be 50%, but I ...
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2answers
268 views

How should I document a database schema?

I am going to be writing some user-facing documentation for a database that visitors can query. That is, the people writing queries are not the ones who created the database; they can come in, look ...
4
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1answer
106 views

How do I approach rewriting an entire user guide in an agile environment?

I'm tasked with rewriting an entire user guide that hasn't been updated for years at a company and I am the only technical writer on the team. Only release notes were sent out all these years. The ...
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2answers
536 views

Good Examples of and Practices in Code Documentation

I noted in this question: What is the best way to learn technical writing? ...that a rated method to learn how to write technical documents is to imbibe good examples. Can you recommend any ...
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3answers
181 views

Good tools for writing (game) manuals and sourcebooks

As I had asked in another part of Stackexchange (didn't know about this part until some comments there) I'm writing manuals (mostly for computer games, but in addition to this also for tabletop games, ...
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2answers
97 views

Template for IT technical report?

I'm looking for a template or guidelines for how to write a technical report. The report is IT-related and intended for a project manager to review the work of the investigation of a IT-related ...
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4answers
123 views

Is this title suitable for a chapter section?

Suppose I am writing a chapter about some deep technical subject (say, for instance, "boolean variables"). This theme is riddled with idiosyncrasies and misunderstandings, so I would like to present ...
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32 views

Write a presentation of a dissertation [closed]

we have made a dissertation about a type of insect called Pine Processionary Moth. we have upplied some statistical methods on it: data analysis and cluster analysis!! we have almost finished, but i ...
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2answers
329 views

Best Tool to Create User Guides

We are planning to create a user guide for internal use only. It's 150-page document in Word for a self-developed SW tool. The user guide will require constant update. No translation is needed. We ...