Tips for Technical Writing

In this blog post, we will give you some tips to improve your technical writing skills.

Recognise your Reader

We have already told you in our last post to understand your reader. Remember that your reader is a layman; that is why they are reading the document.  So be clear in your explanations. And use a crisp and clear language.

Explain

Remember your reader and explain. Always explain an idea with an example from real-life. Examples always help the reader to understand the idea. Moreover, repeat if required. As you explain a system or software, there may be points that must be re-mentioned for the reader to understand the current idea.

Use Tables

A good technical writer always summarise fields or related processes and procedures in a table. Tables provide a good visual way for the reader to further understand the document, using relative comparison, in the form of a table. Name the table and give a description for it.

Figures & Screen shots

Resize the figures or diagrams and screen shots before pasting them on the technical document. Whenever only a part of the screen needs capturing, use that part. Delete the unnecessary part as it may complicate things. Another must is naming the figures and screen shots. This makes reference for the reader as well as for the writer easier. Name the figure or the diagram and give a good caption. This may contain multiple sentences which provide context and explanation.   Only use two different types of arrows or boxes, shading, etc. when they denote distinct concepts.

Use present tense

Writing in present tense will bring clarity and instancy to the process or procedure. The cause and effect nature of a process or procedure (such as first this happens, then that happens) makes the writer to write in future tense. Using present tense does not confuse the reader and allows the reader to skim along. However, write in past tense when describing an experiment or some other action that occurred in the past.

More technical writing tips will follow in subsequent blogs. Stay tuned.

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