And of course there are many other characteristics about your readers that might have an influence on how you should design and write your document--for example, age groups, type of residence, area of residence, sex, political preferences, and so on. Engaging readers is never bad, but clarity is more important.
It reminds me of some Chinese saying about "death by a thousand cuts. What do they want to read? Identity[ edit ] Who are they? Alan Cooper has proposed a workable solution. Today, white papers have become popular marketing tools for corporations especially on the Internet since many potential customers search for information on the Web.
See the section on using overviews and topic sentences.
The body is the majority of the document and covers topics in depth. If you can address the problems that your readers want to solve, they will read your white paper for a solution. This is closely related to the previous "control" but deserves its own spot.
The English language has a number of faults. Homespun examples may not be useful to experts; highly technical ones may totally miss your nonspecialist readers. Technical writing, in comparison, is often used to produce documentation for a wide audience.
It can help readers immensely to give them an idea of the topic and purpose of a section a group of paragraphs and in particular to give them an overview of the subtopics about to be covered.
Use headings and lists.
One of your most important concerns is just how much knowledge, experience, or training you can expect in your readers.
These are the kinds of "controls" that professional technical writers use to finetune their work and make it as readily understandable as possible.
Do they distrust technology? What does your reader need to know? Add examples to help readers understand. Sometimes, product marketing can help you find out what they expect, or you may look at competing products. Use special typography, and work with margins, line length, line spacing, type size, and type style.
Words like "therefore," "for example," "however" are transition words--they indicate the logic connecting the previous thought to the upcoming thought. Julie Hale What makes business writing different from technical writing?
Homespun examples may not be useful to experts; highly technical ones may totally miss your nonspecialist readers. What is a White Paper? Change the level of the information you currently have. You may have the right information but it may be "pitched" at too high or too low a technical level.
See the section on graphics for details. Readers can be intimidated by big dense paragraphs of writing, uncut by anything other than a blank line now and then.
The nonspecialist reader is least likely to understand what these people are saying—but also has the least reason to try. You can make these connections much clearer by adding transition words and by echoing key words more accurately.
In instructions, for example, using imperative voice and "you" phrasing is vastly more understandable than the passive voice or third-personal phrasing. But, in fact, lack of audience analysis and adaptation is one of the root causes of most of the problems you find in professional, technical documents--particularly instructions where it surfaces most glaringly.
But there are some controls you can use to have a better chance to connect with your readers. What good is it? While the international prowess of English-speaking nations has had a lot to do with its spread, some claim that it is a great choice for an international technical language.
Often, they have advanced degrees and operate in academic settings or in research and development areas of the government and technology worlds.
See the chapter on graphics for details. When you revise your rough drafts, put them on a diet—go through a draft line by line trying to reduce the overall word, page or line count by 20 percent.The audience of a technical report--or any piece of writing for that matter--is the intended or potential reader or readers.
For most technical writers, this is the most important consideration in planning, writing, and reviewing a document.
“The fundamental purpose of scientific discourse is not whether a large majority of the reading audience accurately perceives what the author had in mind. technical writing; use the examples presented to guide you in your writing and revising process. Determining purpose and audience This is the basic definition of technical communication.
Audience type affects many aspects of communication, from word selection and graphics use to style and organization. the personal writing style of the writer is not evident in technical writing.
Modern technical writing style relies on attributes. Memos: Purpose and Format Memos A memo (or memorandum, meaning “reminder”) is normally used for communicating policies, procedures, or related official business within an organization. As a former technical writer (I ghostwrite books now) who also did some business writing, I found that there might be a tiny bit of marketing babble--as a friend of mine liked to call it--within a technical document, but the audience and purpose for the two kinds of writing tended to be pretty separate.
Watch video · Even if the audience for a report is familiar with the technical material and language, writers must still analyze their audience’s needs before writing.
In this video, Judy shares her tips on writing for a technical audience, including the amount of time that will be spent with the report, how it will be shared outside the primary audience, and if the readers be internal or external.Download