Technical writing is the process of documenting complex, technical processes that are difficult to understand into simpler, easy to understand information.
It is also known as technical communication which is any form of communication that communicates topics that are technical, is performed using technology, and provides technical content to a specific audience.
The formatting, writing style, tone, and level of difficulty that is used in Technical writing is dependent on the organization and the target audience.
Are there different types of Technical Writing ?
There are numerous forms of technical writing and some of them are:
- Technical Documentation: this form of technical writing is meant for engineering, mechanical, and scientific equipment. These include instructions on how to use heavy-duty machinery or a tool. This form of technical writing is extremely important because it is needed to communicate instructions and ensure that the user doesn’t make a potentially fatal error.
- End user guides: this form of technical writing is meant to guide end users on how to use a particular program, system or application. It is similar to a technical document but it’s a simpler document with less technical terms. Examples of this document include smartphone instruction manuals and software instructional videos.
- Financial Reports: Technical report writing might also include financial reports. These documents need to follow strict writing and formatting rules determined by the organization and or the regulatory bodies that might require them.
- Policies and Procedures: Every organization has policies and procedures that must be followed to ensure productivity, create a safe working environment, and reduce risks.
- Business Plans and Proposals: Technical writers are sometimes tasked with preparing business plans and proposals. A business plan is a formal written document that describes the goals of a business, the means of attaining those goals, and the time-frame for the achieving those goals.
- Case Studies: A case study is a description of a task, occasion, or procedure. Case studies can be used to review corporate, scientific, or engineering topics.
- White Papers: White papers are authoritative texts that offer answers to difficult problems. They are published by organizations to discuss their philosophies on various subjects meant for specific audiences.
So how do you create a technical document ?
Technical documents can be written in numerous ways depending on the document type, the document writer, the organization, the target audience and if necessary, the regulatory body.
But there are some steps that can help guide you on how to create your first technical documents and they are:
- Create Personas: The first step is used to describe who your target audience is.
- Be Focused: Do your research on the subject that you would be writing about.
- References: Use References when necessary.
- Use Plain English: it is very important for you to use internationally-acceptable English when writing. This is especially important for international product documentation such as end user guides.