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

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5
votes
6answers
268 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
221 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
133 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
267 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
207 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 ...
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
88 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
385 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, ...
3
votes
3answers
538 views

Is there anything like 99designs for text writing?

I'm not a writer, but a technical oriented entrepreneur.. One of the barriers I always run into is that I'm also the lead guy for providing the content for marketing gigs, speaker bio's and website ...
3
votes
1answer
306 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 ...
50
votes
13answers
4k views

What's the modern way to handle gender in tech writing?

Back in my day, I was taught to use masculine pronouns. The user chooses a password, and then he types it in the text box. I'm fine with that. but a male coworker insists on using he/she, ...
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 ...
2
votes
3answers
267 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
119 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
164 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
220 views

Online technical writing classes

anyone aware of or can recommend online training courses for technical writers to improve your technical writing skills? I'm looking for courses that provide video or audio lectures, and teachers ...
6
votes
4answers
405 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
456 views

Does this feel like natural English?

Although I'm pretty confident in my English, I'm not a native English speaker. I need to write a short introduction for a symposium; I'd like to know if you think this paragraph feels like 'natural' ...
9
votes
10answers
277 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
849 views

When is it acceptable to use the first person (“I”, “we”) in technical reports?

When is it acceptable to use the first person ("I", "we") in technical reports?
5
votes
3answers
307 views

Is the idea of single-sourced documentation dead?

Is the idea of single-sourced documentation dead?
8
votes
13answers
1k views

Does a technical writer need a technical background?

Does a technical writer need a technical background?
7
votes
3answers
474 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?
5
votes
2answers
214 views

How can you build an interactive tone into articles?

I was wondering about tone in articles lately. My articles don't tend to be interactive. It feels like most of them are just flowing one way. How does actually tone contribute to the quality of an ...
4
votes
3answers
137 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 ...
8
votes
8answers
1k views

Good Outlining Solutions For OSX?

I write technical non-fiction and find that I cannot write well without first constructing a detailed (10-20 page) outline. Are there any good outlining solutions for OSX? Apps? Templates in Microsoft ...
23
votes
6answers
1k views

Writing first programming book

I was recently asked if I was interested in writing a book for a pretty reputable publisher, which of course I accepted. I am not a writer by trade, I am a software developer with some technical ...
4
votes
5answers
261 views

Using uncommon abbreviations

Something which I see all the time in (popular) science writing is the use of abbreviations to indicate concepts. For (a made up) example: So when we're dealing with Anachronistic Meta Mechanics ...
-1
votes
2answers
126 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, ...
7
votes
6answers
419 views

Quality of my blog writing [closed]

I came here from Jeff Atwood's blog where he mentions that writing a blog can clear your own internal thought processes and that you should take feedback about your writing so that you can improve. ...
2
votes
7answers
827 views

Verb tense for technical document titles

I'm writing a technical manual about creating database systems, and wondered what is the best verb tense for title names. My ideas are: Continuous (-ing) form: (e.g. "Creating a Cluster", "Creating ...
6
votes
8answers
457 views

Verbosity: when's enough enough?

In corporate life I've come across two general styles of writing: terse and cryptic or long and complete. In my own writing I tend to go too much in the "explain all possible interpretations" ...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

How should be the format for literature references that are websites (URLs)?

In technical writings are good established standards for formatting literature references. But that doesn't work this well for URLs. How should these references be formatted?
22
votes
10answers
509 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...