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

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1
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4answers
137 views

How can I express this more clearly or concisely?

I'm documenting a block of computer code and would like to make it clear and concise. I'm describing a function that populates a field on a user input screen. Here's my best shot but it still seems ...
22
votes
10answers
539 views

How can one make technical issues more accessible to a non-technical audience?

Most of what I write is non-fiction -- technical books, blog posts on open source topics, political stuff, etc. Lately, I find that some of the topics I am trying to present are much more technical ...
5
votes
2answers
271 views

Why are license agreements, disclaiming letters and others written with capital letters?

We know that reading sentences with capital letters is hard. I noticed that some documents are still written with capital letters. Why are license agreements, disclaiming letters and others written ...
3
votes
1answer
113 views

Which is a better composition?

Consider following sentence composed in different ways, And the worst, when memory is full, creation of new node will return a NULL. And the worst is when memory is full and a new node is created ...
2
votes
4answers
92 views

Advice on interface text in a videogame

[This fits somewhere between technical writing and user experience, so perhaps this is the wrong board] I'm developing a modification to a popular videogame (a Playstation One RPG), with the ...
2
votes
3answers
142 views

Would it be weird if I write “a simple sample something”?

Not getting too technical, I am writing a configuration file for a piece of software I have developed. This software allows others to write "services" and attach them to my software. I have written a ...
3
votes
4answers
70 views

In a “learn to do X” book, should a section review come before the quiz / exercises or after?

I am writing a book on how to program in C#.NET. Each of the sections follows this format: Section Aims Content Section Review Quiz Exercises The section review is there to summarise all of the ...
3
votes
5answers
524 views

How can this technical message be made clearer?

How could this technical sentenced be improved for better clarity? Cannot translate the ‘name1’ concept1 to the ‘name2’ concept2 because the higher precedence ‘name3’ concept3 also exists, which ...
2
votes
2answers
120 views

What are “industry leading royalties”?

In the breakdown description I received from a publisher, they mention that they also pay industry leading royalties of ##%. What does that mean?
5
votes
5answers
191 views

How to write about things which depend on each other

I am writing a technical documentation about a product. Now problem is there are many interrelated and interdependent concepts. I am just confused how to put them in order. I mean if I talk about ...
0
votes
1answer
84 views

Giving something an alias

Within a technical document I want to refer to a system or process by a shorter name. I have no idea what this process is called so searching the internet is not getting me anywhere. Is this correct? ...
1
vote
4answers
122 views

Is this description of my small productivity application clear enough?

I wrote a small productivity application, Tomate. Since I'm not a native English speaker, I'm afraid the description of the project may not be clear enough for potential users. Can you help me improve ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What would sections of a book that are larger than a chapter be called?

I'm writing a technical book, and I want to split my book up into about 3 to 6 very broad sections, each of which would have several chapters in it. Is there a standard name for these broad pieces ...
4
votes
4answers
154 views

Where to find authors for highly technical articles?

I've looked at some of the largest outsourcing sites. These have huge amounts of software developers, and huge amounts of casual writers. I'm having enormous difficulty finding authors that would be ...
5
votes
3answers
251 views

How can you write less to say more?

Sometimes you can write a lot without saying anything, sometimes you can say a lot but get little through the reader. In technical writing the later is very typical (at least for me), one can tend ...
2
votes
2answers
182 views

Is this blog post clear and coherent?

I wrote a pseudo-technical blog post trying to apply some game theory concepts to s/w startup industry. This is my first serious attempt at tech blog writing. Iwas left feeling disappointed by the ...
4
votes
3answers
144 views

Feedback on technical blog post

I've recently composed a blog post about World of Warcraft Authenticators and would love for some feedback as per the quality of writing. Obviously no matter how many times I read it there's no ...
1
vote
3answers
146 views

How do I use my blog as a platform for practice and improvement?

I've recently followed the advice of our very own Jeff Atwood and started a blog site in order to become a better writer and communicator. My goal is to improve my skill at technical writing and ...
0
votes
1answer
524 views

What are the names of the different levels of English?

In a recent discussion regarding software manuals, we came across the issue of different styles of writing / speaking in English. I am having a hard time finding a list of the different styles, such ...
4
votes
1answer
620 views

Is there a style / terminology guide for Android OS application documentation?

This relates to my earlier question: My first professional writing job: any advice? I will be involved with writing documentation for an Android OS business application. Is there an Android style ...
-1
votes
2answers
127 views

What help is there for a technical reseacher/writer that can't edit?

I've got a personal professional goal - I want to write a thesis, build a system, change the world. That's my way of saying that my thesis needs to be something I can develop into a functional system, ...
1
vote
3answers
286 views

How can I manage screen shots and other graphics for maintenance?

Our ~1500-page documentation set contains numerous screen shots and related graphics (schematics, flow diagrams, etc). Sometimes the user interface changes and we have to update all the affected ...
4
votes
1answer
215 views

What tense to use in an academic paper when speaking about correspondence?

What is the correct tense to use in an academic paper when speaking about correspondence? Say one of my source materials is a letter written by someone named William, in which he says he went to the ...
6
votes
2answers
812 views

Should I prefer long or short sentences in scientific writing?

Currently, I am writing papers with rather short sentences: About half of them contain around 20 words, about 10% to 20% even less. I am doing this for three reasons: I find short sentences easier ...
6
votes
2answers
426 views

Breaking Into Technical Writing - Where to Start (from a programming background)

I'm currently in the process of expanding my company from doing coding & web development to more technical writing and freelance tech journalism. Although my background is mainly in technology, ...
7
votes
1answer
3k views

Citing Myself As a Source

I'm writing an academic paper on ethics in robotics. I have a previous paper that I wrote and would like to use material from it. If I use the material from this paper, that I wrote, do I need to ...
1
vote
3answers
939 views

Where should index and glossary appear in a report?

I am writing my thesis and now wonder whether I should typeset index and glossary as an appendix or after them. There's no department-level accepted writing style, so my adviser's opinion might be ...
10
votes
3answers
285 views

Is it legal to write about trademarked material and use the terms?

I am contemplating writing a technical book (and probably self-publishing it) on a proprietary programming interface for a well-known software package produced by a very large company. The company ...
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Numeral Citation Scripts

I am writing a report in Farsi and using ieeetr bibliography style for my references. This style uses numeral references like [1] [2] etc but regarding context (Farsi) I am using Arabic number scripts ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Regarding Professional Report [closed]

I am new in the working world and I happen to be given a lot of tasks related with creating report. Later on I heard people give me comments that my sentence structure and my word choices are not ...
2
votes
1answer
2k views

APA (sixth edition) citation for the Fourth Assessment Report

I'm trying to cite a source from the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/publications_and_data_reports.shtml I'm fairly new to APA in general and I'm struggling to ...
5
votes
5answers
151 views

Interesting and easier-to-read alternatives to the scientific academic article

Short version: What is an equally informative, but more interesting alternative to typical academic-article-style scientific writing? Longer version: I love writing, I do a lot of it – fiction and ...
2
votes
0answers
65 views

How to use His/My/Your permutations in adressing persons [closed]

I'd like to understand the rationale of when, why and how His/My/Your are used in titles of addressing people. For example, the standard commonly accepted uses are: "His Honour"("His Grace", or ...
0
votes
3answers
137 views

Risk Assessment in Technical Standards Documentation

In your experience, are sections on risk and risk management typically part of technical standards documentation? For example, in a document that describes how the Network Time Protocol is ...
0
votes
1answer
194 views

How would I say this in the reverse?

I am sending out a message to all users that have filed a bug report for my last game; the one I shut the server down on. The broadcast message I am sending is going to be an email, but I'm not ...
5
votes
6answers
289 views

Book recommendations for writing better technical papers

My employer has presented me with two books to read to help me write better technical papers and emails. Essentials of English Grammar and Handbook of English Grammar and Usage. I have read through ...
5
votes
2answers
367 views

How do you introduce terms?

There's a few different styles for technical (academic) papers. Which is the preferred style to introducing new technical terms? For example, here is a paragraph I have that I don't like, because I ...
3
votes
1answer
3k views

What counts as a word when dealing with a word limit?

I am trying to determine if it will be feasible to revise a manuscript for a journal that has a 6500 word limit. Currently, the manuscript is between 7500 and 8000 words long, depending on how I count ...
2
votes
2answers
231 views

List of figures and diagrams?

I was wondering what is the most acceptable way of including a large diagram in my thesis. The diagram takes up a full page and splits a paragraph. In your opinion is this bad? Should I put the ...
11
votes
6answers
2k views

Technical Writing Software

I'm interested in newer software/software stack to use in writing technical papers. For the longest time I have been use LaTeX to handle this but in looking at getting longer pieces published, such as ...
6
votes
4answers
519 views

Which goes first: summary, background or justification?

I am trying to write a long expository piece and cannot figure out which information should come first. Here are three candidates: A summary/abstract lists the main points, without necessarily ...
3
votes
1answer
349 views

What is the style used in ISO/IEC publications?

I'm in the process of preparing a document to be sent to ISO/IEC WG14. What is the official style used in ISO/IEC publications (if there is one)? If there is no official style guide, is there a ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views
2
votes
3answers
306 views

Should Game Genre Types Be Capitalised?

I am currently writing a report for college about computer games and I am wondering whether genres need to be capitalised. Usually I do not but for some reason it just feels that I should. For ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Resources for thesis writing

Will be writing my master's thesis in a few months. I have never written a thesis yet though. I was unlucky enough not to be required to have a thesis during my undergrad years. Anybody know some good ...
1
vote
2answers
181 views

What free tools are there to help me improve my English?

I am in the process of writing a research paper in Computer Science. Are there any free tools/browser plugins/web sites/latex plugins that would help me improve my English? I am looking for some nice ...
9
votes
10answers
285 views

An alternative to saying 'users' when describing features

I'm creating some copy describing new web-app features for a number of different audiences (users, managers of sections of the site, owners of sub-sites which use our platform etc.). I'm finding ...
10
votes
5answers
3k views

How much time do you spend writing one page on average? [closed]

I'm writing a technical book about one programming technology and would like to compare how much time other authors spend on one page (on average). I rarely write a page and am done with it, quite ...
5
votes
3answers
313 views
8
votes
3answers
519 views

What are the key skills for a new technical writer?

For those that are just starting out, what are key skills they should have or learn to be a good technical writer?