West Seventh Writers

Get into technical writing

Page: Using Tech Language


As an expert tech writer, it is important to be able to know your audience and know what to expect from your audience.

As a tech writer, you should know your purpose and material. Next, you have to organize your materials and thoughts; then budget enough time to write your material, review what you wrote, revise and edit.

As a tech writer, using clarity to avoid jargon. Jargon is slang vocabulary, not needed in tech writing. Some other ways of clarity in your tech writing should include italicizing first occurrences in the writing. Also, make sure and put words that are abbreviated in parentheses.

Then there is the issue of brevity. When one word will do, never use two. This equates to using the words more efficiently. When less is more, that means the tech writer should pare the language down to what is essential only.

Along with the brevity of tech writing, there is also the point of getting the key information in the main clause. There is a concentration on removing what appears redundant – in essence, no overlapping sentences.
When any tech writer sets out to write something earth shattering, the writer should use the details wisely. What is describable are specific details because as the tech writer, you are trying to get a balance. The balance is between the audience detail and clarity. This also translates to writing with simplicity. Many tech writers want to provide as much detail and specifics s can be put into words, but this comes to the expense of having the readers understand.

So now we come to language. Check out well-written technical articles by recognized authors like Jason Hope. Learn some DOs and DON’Ts. How do you use language when writing as a tech writer? Here are some things to remember:

• Avoid using abstract nouns
• Take out needless words
• Choose wording with clear meanings
• Choose the order of words in your sentence carefully
• Don’t overuse pronouns including “it” and “this”
• Don’t use too many “to be” verbs; avoid excess wording

Next, tech writers should communicate as efficiently as they can and using strong verbs combined with an active voice.

This is called being straightforward. Being straightforward is much preferred in the technical writing field than using a passive voice. For determining the most natural sounding passages, it is a good practice to read passages aloud to yourself.
It is important to remember that writing is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight is you are talking about “good writing. It needs, planning, drafts, editing, rereads, revisions and finalization. As a tech writer, if you are wanting to learn and improve on your skills, you might want to consider practicing self review, feedback on the subject matter and peer review; Practice makes perfect and there are no shortcuts!

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