Monday, March 15, 2010

5 basic principles of technical writing

Technical Writing

Five Basic Principles of Good Technical Writing

The five basic principles of good technical writing could be taken as the foundation on which further development of the skills in writing should be developed. Comments by different authors of technical writing books refer to these principles as so important that in fact it should comprise the basics of technical writing. However, these principles are so basic and important that it encompasses the whole development of the subject, technical writing.

  1. Always have in mind a specific reader, real or imaginary, when you are writing a report; and always assume that this reader is intelligent, but uninformed.
  2. Before you start to write, always decide what the exact purpose of your report is; and make sure that every paragraph, every sentence, every word, makes a clear contribution to that purpose, and makes it at the right time.
  3. Use language that is simple, concrete, and familiar.
  4. At the beginning and end of every section of your report check your writing according to this principle: First you tell your readers what you are going to tell them, then you tell them, and then you tell them what you have told them."
  5. Make your report attractive to look at.