What are the key elements of success in technical writing? Among all factors, the most important two concepts are a strong understanding of technical language and ability to deliver the information in a coherent, clear, and concise form. However, that’s not all you need to succeed! To become a master of this craft, one needs to boost essential skills. That’s what this article is for – to help you master the intricate art of technical writing!
General Skill-Boosting Recommendations
In this article, we will share with you the five most effective tips for enhancing skills and becoming a professional technical writer. However, before we can get to that part, let’s discuss several basic recommendations.
First of all, just like any other proficiency, it requires constant learning and practice. Thus, if you are new to this field, start with undertaking some courses. For instance, many universities and schools provide such classes. Also, there are quite a few online opportunities, and many of them are free.
Our second recommendation is to invest time in self-education. Without a doubt, different trainings and courses will give you many benefits. However, this doesn’t make self-education less effective! Here are a few handy tips for studying technical writing on your own:
- Examine reading matter
- Practice the acquired skills regularly
- Apply for simple freelance jobs to gain more experience
- If possible, reach out to established technical writers and learn from them
Top 5 Most Efficient Technical Writing Tips
- Always think of a purpose and whom you are writing to
Most technical articles have either one of these two purposes: 1) to explain a concept; 2) to teach something. This basically means that readers want you to either provide a how-to article or to clarify a complicated matter in a simpler way. This is something every writer should consider!
The purpose of an article is closely related to its audience. On your career path, you will likely face the need to write for beginners, as well as for users of the mid or high level of proficiency. So this is one more thing to consider in advance. For example, a perfect piece written for beginners should be as clear and simple as possible, while professionals mostly need it to be straight to the point and full of practical examples. As soon as the writer learns how to adjust his style to the readers’ needs, he will take his writing to an entirely new level!
- Keep up with important industry-related changes
This should go without saying! To be good in technical writing, you have to be a full-blown expert in the field of tech. Moreover, learning different software and other industry-sensitive concepts is not enough! The world of tech is developing rapidly, and what was trending yesterday may become completely outdated today. Therefore, you must not only master this sphere but also keep up with all the news and changes that occur within it! Otherwise, how would you be able to explain to the readers something you have never even heard of?
- Clarity, simplicity, and structure
In a matter of fact, these are the three basic elements of every great article! Unlike other formats of writing, technical one doesn’t tolerate complicated or too artistic language. Instead, it should be as simple, direct, and clear as possible. Thus, don’t try to make it complicated and just get to the point!
As for the structure, it should be logical and clear. Keep in mind that a plain text is too hard to read and perceive, which is why breaking an article into smaller pieces divided with logical subheadings is the right strategy!
- Make texts impersonal
Making your pieces personal is completely acceptable in essay format. However, it is not appropriate in technical writing! On the contrary, it has to be free of any personal accession or phrases that don’t bring any value. Here is a simple hack that will help avoid making your articles personal – try to write in the third person. This will make your style more direct and unbiased. Also, avoid elegant, dense prose or artistic twists and turns. There is no place for such elements in technical writing! Let us once more recap that – you are not writing an essay or novel, so try to keep it simple and non-personal!
- Use visuals
It’s a proven fact that people perceive visualized information better than just text! Therefore, it is never a bad idea to incorporate some visual elements in your article. However, make sure to keep the fine line! Including too many visuals is not better than having no visuals at all.
These are just a few most effective and simple tips that can come in handy on your way to mastering the art of technical writing! Be sure to use them and get lots of practice – then you will succeed!