As a form of technical communication, Technical Writing is applied in such spheres as computer software and hardware, and other technical fields, including engineering and machinery. Technical writers, either professionals or amateurs indulge in technical writing by shaping an understanding of the purpose of the technical document they plan to create. They should be professionals in the above-identified areas to gather information and present proper technical writing. Due to its orientation on the audience and sources, Technical Writing should be concise, clear, and complete because it helps the reader to grasp a full idea of the document.
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The emergence of Technical Writing dates back to the World War during which the need for technical documentation appeared in such fields as electronics, manufacturing, military, and aerospace industry. Later in 1953, the technical communication practice has been developed into the discipline by two organizations – the Association of Technical Writers and Editors and the Society of Technical Writers. In 1957, these organizations were united and created the Society of Technical Writers and Editors, which further became the predecessor of the modern Society for Technical Communication.
The core feature of Technical Writing is audience analysis through communication served to render specific information to the target audience for specific purposes. There are procedural technical writing and persuasive technical writing. The former translates technical instructions and concepts whereas the latter is aimed at selling products and altering behaviors. Technical writers apply a presentational approach while delivering technical documents because of the context and purposes of Technical Writing.
Most technical documents include headings, short paragraph structure, and plain and laconic style of details exposition. Technical writing is based on a top-down strategy which implies the representation of the main ideas at the beginning and further elaboration on this idea. It is also important to note that technical documents often have specific types of representation. Therefore, Technical Writing expands opportunities for readers to learn more information.
Technical writers use various types of electronic communication equipment for accomplishing their work. According to 2010 statistics, the Median salary of technical writers equals about $ 63,000 annually and about $ 30 per hour. There exist about 50,000 types of jobs for technical writers with experience from 1 to 5 years. In order to become a technical writer, you need to obtain a bachelor’s degree.
In terms of writing style, level of knowledge exchange, and audience, Technical Writing can be split into three types. The first one involves end-user assistance in which data product allows a user to grasp the way hardware and software products should be used. Traditional technical documentation is another type of Technical Writing that aims to communicate to a particular audience. This category includes such documents as engineering specifications, reference works, research papers, technical journals, annual reports, and repair manuals.
Marketing communication is a type of technical writing which involves the description of products and services in the form of a catalog, advertisements, brochures, press releases, and home pages of web sites. Technical Writing is often represented as online help for users who need to receive accurate instruction for handling a specific device.