October 12, 8: As a test, I need to write and submit a document, several pages long, explaining how to do something the industry cliche is "How to make a cup of tea". I'm having trouble finding examples of well-written technical writing exercises like these not to copy, obviously, but to get a feel for the style that I need to use.
October 12, 8: As a test, I need to write and submit a document, several pages long, explaining how to do something the industry cliche is "How to make a cup of tea". I basically just need to show that I am able to organise my thoughts logically, and organise my material.
Have you tried looking for docs in the specific industry in which you would be working? Did they say that the document should be several pages long?
That seems rather long for a procedural document. Does the position entail writing for the web? If so and even if notthe Yahoo! Style Guide and its exercises might help.
My unsolicited two cents: As you said, just write logically and clearly, and watch your grammar. Rules and conventions depend on the type of documentation, the industry, and audience, so instead Technical writing exercises worrying about what this company does, be consistent: Choose a convention and stick to it throughout the doc.
The company might have its own in-house guide too. Do you have to use the tea example? Confused writing often indicates a confused mind, so choose a topic that you know well and enjoy. Use screen shots or diagrams, if needed.
My first year in grad school I took a class intended for technical writing teachers. Our first assignment was to create documentation for a small Lego kit that our teacher provided. Some students wrote pages and pages of tiny text, with precise and flowery language. At the end of the exercise, the teacher collected the documents and deposited them unread on the desk.
She then handed us the instructions that came with the Lego kits. The instructions were about a single page long, and were all pictures. She pointed to the box, where it clearly stated that the intended audience for Legos begins with five-year-olds. Think of your audience, and gear your instructions towards how your audience will use your document.
My advice is to use simple language and present your process in simple steps. If context is required, put it before the steps. If you can simplify with a diagram, do it. Do not be flowery. Talk about single-sourcing in your interview. And if you want to drive a tech writer insane, use two spaces after a full stop.
Choose something you know how to do and can do at home.
All at once, if need be. You have a title: What did you do? How did you "make tea" -- did you make a cup or a pot? Maybe you need three or four procedures. Now go back and rename it "How to make a cup of bagged tea. Look in front of you and list everything you used.
Water how muchtea quantity and kindsweetener quantity and kindcup size and typesaucer sizespoon sizekettle general description and power electricity? These are part of the prerequisites to your procedure -- the materials you need to have acquired and stored.
You might want to write something about selecting kinds of tea and choosing bagged or looseleaf.Technical writing is also about intelligently organizing the facts within the write-up. Sharing too much technical information at once may spoil the reader’s interest.
“A team or department of engineers take a minute online class that reviews writing samples, gives writing exercises, answers questions, and offers future access to an instructor,” says Blake.
Technical communication is essential for career advancement for all technical professionals. Technical writing is sometimes defined as simplifying the complex.
Inherent in such a concise and deceptively simple definition is a whole range of skills and characteristics that address nearly every field of human endeavor at some level. A significant subset of the broader field of technical. 12 ways to practice technical writing Thursday, 27 January PM I was recently ADD-ing my way through a series of links and ran across an essay by Steve Yegge in which he challenges programmers to practice their craft, "practice" here meaning the kind of practicing that musicians and basketball players do.
Technical writing is also about intelligently organizing the facts within the write-up. Sharing too much technical information at once may spoil the reader’s interest.
p Further exercises relevant to Chapter 1 below. p Ex.6 - Please see the Sample Documents relevant to this chapter.
p Ex.7 - Clinical Trials Report p Ex. 2 - Bring one or more examples of technical writing from your discipline. Be ready to explain how these examples reflect the characteristics of technical writing.