Introduction to Technical Writing

What is Technical Writing

Technical writing is the art, craft, practice, or problem of translating that which is logical into that which is grammatical.

Technical writing forms a bridge between the logical (the primarily binary concepts understood by computers, robots) and the illogical (the haphazard, inconsistent concepts misunderstood carbon-based life forms, highly intelligent computers ) via the medium of the grammatical, the haphazardly logical system incomprehensible to both.

In simpler words, it is the type of everyday writing that surrounds us from the time we wake up until we climb in bed at night.

  • Directions on the toothpaste tube
  • Nutrition benefits on the cereal box
  • Business letters and catalogs that come in the mail
  • Written instructions for assembling a new product
  • Product safety information
  • Tax receipts and notices

Technical writing conveys specific information about a technical subject to a specific audience for a specific purpose

The words and graphics of technical writing are meant to be practical: that is, to communicate a body of factual information that will help an audience understand a subject or carry out a task.

  • The information is organized, presented, and communicated in a specific format.
  • The writing is concise, clear, and accurate.
  • The writing takes into account the audience‚Äôs needs, biases, and prior understanding.
  • The writing presents information to help readers solve a problem or gain a better understanding of a situation.
  • The writing conveys technical, complex, or specialized information in a way that is easy for a non-technical reader to understand.

Types of Technical Writing

Annual Report
Books
Computer Hardware Guides
Magazines
Newsletters
Organizational Manuals
Scholarly Articles/Journals
Software Guides
Technical Reports