Technical writing is an important part of any production. Writers create technical documentation to convey information in clear language to the end-user. In this article, you will learn about the main stages of the tech writing process.
Careful planning should be at the core of any activity. Before exploring the product and writing the copy, you need to get ready. You can learn more about the orderer’s requirements for your content, determine the amount of work and deadlines, roughly estimate the reader skills, the age of consumers, and so on.
2. Research and Data Structuring
Now that you have gotten to know your future readers a little more, you can start looking for relevant information. Study the project for which you create technical documentation. You can interview employees involved in its development and read public materials in which the company talks about its activities. After that, you need to structure the information received, define the main chapters, headings, and subheadings of your text.
3. Writing Text and Creating Drawings
Starting from the structure you have developed, write your text. Depending on the approach you choose, it may differ, but there are a few unspoken rules to follow. Tech writing professionals advise using action verbs and avoiding passive voice. Try not to write too long, difficult descriptions and opt for simple words and constructions.
What is technical drawing in documentation? It is another way to convey information to readers, making the processes described in the text even clearer. It’s good if you can do drawings yourself as it is part of your profession. However, you can also seek help from an outsourcing specialist. Don’t forget to format your work correctly according to the client’s requirements.
4. Reviewing and Editing
Don’t expect to have the perfect text ready for publication the first time around. Be prepared to review and revise the first draft. First, you have to do it yourself; then, your text might be sent for reading to some specialist responsible for the described product. Be prepared for edits and comments; it’s part of your job.
After you have reread your work and are completely satisfied with it, you can publish it. This stage may differ depending on the specifics of your customer’s business. Sometimes the last step means simply to send the finished text to a client; and sometimes, after writing, you will also have to participate in translating the manual into other languages and even printing it.
Tech Writing Skills
Technical writing is a special type of writing for which you need a specific set of skills. For your work to be effective and understandable for every reader, you may need:
- high knowledge of the language;
- excellent copywriting skills;
- your own writing style;
- basic technical knowledge;
- experience in using text editors and drawing programs.
Strive to constantly improve your knowledge in this area to be a successful technical writer.
Make Complex Process Easier
These steps are universal for technical writing, no matter what field you work in. Although details may vary from company to company, the basic stages are applicable to creating manuals, policies, whitepapers, guides, analytical and review articles, presentations, and more.