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Thread: Technical Writers

  1. #1 Technical Writers 
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    I'm considering focusing my schooling on becoming a technical writer. I'd like to specialize on scientific subjects. What use is there in the scientific community for technical writers?


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  3. #2  
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    I used to write power plant manuals for Naval nuclear reactors. In the nuclear industry, there are people who do nothing but write operating procedures. I've never known anybody that was actually trained to do technical writing, though.

    Manufacturers of equipment have to supply technical manuals which describe the operation and maintenance of their equipment. I think it is mostly the engineers who write these, and the writing is often not very good.

    Newspapers and television often have to report on technical subjects. The reporters are usually quite ignorant of technical matters and tend to do a horrible job.

    Of course, there are trade magazines as well as popular magazines which have articles on science or various technical subjects.


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    WYSIWYG Moderator marnixR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Newspapers and television often have to report on technical subjects. The reporters are usually quite ignorant of technical matters and tend to do a horrible job.
    or even when they know what they're talking (or writing) about, it's a sure thing that their sub-editor will make a hash of it
    "Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away." (Philip K. Dick)
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  5. #4  
    Forum Professor marcusclayman's Avatar
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    Technical writing is a very specialized niche. Many people capable of writing are ignorant about technical matters, and many experts in technical matters are not good at writing. Technical writers do not have to be experts on a subject, but need to understand the terminology and processes involved, not necessarily the reasoning behind it all. Technical writers do mostly freelance contract work. Anything from writing up business plans, to detailing industrial processes, legislation, or writing up official documents.

    There are two major specialties for technical writers, science and law. Of course science is a much broader specialty, most of which involves engineering.


    My main interest is technical writing on nutrition and social issues, things that are fractured by complex opinions, and could use a cold attitude to better understand them.
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