Technical Writing – What, Who, and How

May 12, 2022 Surya Nair

If you're wondering what we are referring to when we say we have technical writing experts at ASCENT, here is a short guide that explains it all!

What?

Technical writing is a form of writing that breaks down complex technical information into simple concepts that can be understood easily by various audiences. Although technical writing can sound intimidating, it is all around us – from safety labels on packaged products and dosage instructions on a medicine bottle to user manuals for everyday devices, software installation guides, standard operating procedures, corporate policies and process documentation, online help, white papers, and so on.

Who?

A technical writer is an intermediary between technology and its users. A technical writer need not necessarily be a technical person but one with an ability to learn new concepts and understand technical information or procedures and then explain it in plain terms for the user. In addition to being a decoder of complex concepts, a technical writer is also a researcher, interviewer, analyzer, organizer, and an effective communicator.

How?

If “brevity is the soul of wit”, clarity is the soul of technical writing. The objective is to keep the writing clear and simple. The content should be presented in a factual and accurate manner and the language used should be direct, precise, and not verbose. Also, the content should be organized and structured in a logical sequence that makes it easy for readers to follow. To improve clarity or to better demonstrate a concept, illustrations (as shown below), tables, charts, examples, or other useful references should be included. 

Here are some essential tools used by technical writers:

  • Authoring applications (e.g., FrameMaker, RoboHelp, Captivate, InDesign, Microsoft Office)
  • Screen capture and video/image editing tools (e.g., Snagit, Camtasia, Photoshop)
  • Sample documents and templates
  • Style guides
  • Grammar and spell check references
  • Publishing tools
  • User feedback

If you could benefit from a technical writer authoring, editing, or reviewing your projects, please reach out so we can chat about your needs. 

About the Author

Surya Nair

Technical Writer and Editor<br><br>Surya has been writing and editing technical content for over two decades in multiple industries. How do you transform complex technical content into an easy-to-understand document? Ask Surya - technical writing is her passion! She has been with ASCENT since 2018. She holds a master’s degree in English Literature, and a diploma in Journalism, and is a certified Technical Writer.

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