Of all types of writing, technical writing is the most misunderstood. When this form of writing is not done correctly, one rarely achieves the goal of the document.
First off, what is technical writing? This is a form of written communication with a specific purpose and audience. It is aimed at conveying facts, explaining procedures and evaluating evidence. The various types of technical materials are handbooks, academic and company reports, business proposals and brochures.
Technical writing is characterized by the following major qualities:
A technical paper is written for a specific purpose, aimed at an equally specific audience. Every bit of such a material is therefore tailored to these specifics. This is what leads the writer throughout the writing process, which ensures they stay on-course.
The writer must use facts and avoid opinionated content in technical writing. This then implies that all data featured in technical material must be drawn from credible and authoritative sources. One must also be careful with numbers and statistics. They must be factual and accurate because some technical reports influence critical decision making among high ranking company officials and heads of departments.
Terms applied in any form of technical writing must be familiar to the targeted readers. If an unfamiliar term is used for the first time, it must be explained. Use of graphs, figures and tables help in enhancing clarity .
Always avoid complex language where possible to avoid losing readers. Too much jargon clouds the core message .
Every form of technical writing has a specific format which should be adhered to strictly. Correct format enhances flow of thoughts for the writer and the reader as well.
Always remember that for technical writing, less is more. Saying too much can easily compromise on the clarity of the document.