Technical Writing Articles

The Bestselling Technical Writer: An Oxymoron?

09 1

It’s the year 2017 and people use apps for everything; no one reads documentation. The job of a technical writer has been replaced by an icon on a mobile device. Yet for many companies, documentation is still necessary to fulfil specific legal and safety requirements. Technical writers still strive to create consistent and usable documentation out of professional pride – documentation which no one reads.

Mentoring for Millennials

03 27

Mentoring is nothing new: there will always be a need for people with knowledge, expertise, and experience (mentors) to train others who are just starting out on their career. These days, millennials, also known as Generation Y, are getting a lot of attention; they will soon dominate the workplace and are allegedly reinventing the world. But can existing mentoring models keep up with this generation’s needs?

Effective Rhetoric, Effective Writing: Parallelism in Technical Communication

01 24

When two or more concepts are logically equal, the same grammatical structure can be repeated to improve writing style and readability, for example, “Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” . In grammar and rhetoric, we speak of parallelism, and this technique lends itself to technical communication.

What Is Technical Writing?

01 10

Technical communication is not just one discipline or one profession, but many, which requires a wide range of skills. The main skill associated with technical communication, and perhaps the easiest aspect to explain to someone who is not so familiar with technical communication, is technical writing. it is not possible to define technical writing adequately […]

From Translator to Localization Manager

01 9

When I first started translating professionally in the mid-90s, computer-assisted translation (CAT) was still somewhat of a novelty. Doubting Thomas’s, who were only used to translating Word documents and relied on “feeling” to translate complex concepts, dismissed the use of CAT tools in the belief that only human translators can produce authentic text. That may […]

Shape Up to Ship Out – How to Clean Up Your Source Documentation for Effective Localization

01 8

Creating good technical documentation requires the ability to apply structure and clarity to complex information. Even when various quality checks have been performed, the act of translating the documentation often uncovers a variety of problems. Content that is poorly prepared for localization into one or even more languages typically ends up costing more time and […]

When Your English Throws a “Spanner” or a “Wrench” in the Works*

01 7

The global supremacy of the English language is widely accepted in the field of technical documentation. But how does the variety of English used affect the overall quality of technical documentation? Ignorance of and misconceptions about English-language issues can throw a proverbial spanner or wrench in English-language documentation. What kind of English? global language The […]


Copyright © 2017 Helen Fawcett
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  • In a nutshell, I optimize user interface text such as control labels and create on-screen instructions and help documentation for developers & customers. | Helen works as a Senior Information Developer at SAP AG.