Technical Writing Definition – Types and Skills of Tech Writers
LikeTechnical writing remains a highly sought-after skill in the professional workplace today. In fact, the demand for skilled technical writers is set to rise at 10 percent from 2014 to 2024. The conventional technical writing definition entails documenting procedures like instructional or software manuals. But at present, this definition does not fully showcase the work of a technical writer. As technology moves rapidly, the work of technical writers has become more complex yet intellectually rewarding. In this article, you’ll discover what precisely technical writing means, its different types, and the skills you need to possess to become one.
What Is Technical Writing Definition Today
Today, this kind of writing consists of all documentation of technical procedures. Technical writing includes executive summary statements, reports, and briefs. Now, this writing is not synonymous with lengthy user manuals. So, tech writers distill technical information and present it clearly in various formats like emails, press releases, reports, and briefs.
You may be surprised to know that technical writing has been identified as a profession since the 1940s. It has rapidly expanded since the advent and spread of computers. Anyone operating in the technical domain is likely to be engaged in technical writing.
What Are the Different Kinds of Technical Writing
This writing style is meant to help users understand a particular skill through detailed instructions. Common types of technical writing include the following.
1. Traditional technical writing
Content pieces within the traditional technical writing category are, particularly for professional audiences. These professionals rely on conventional technical writing for relevant programming guidelines, repair manuals, and research papers. Its subcategories include the following:
- Science and medical papers – Scientists work with technical writers to publish their research findings. Like, medical journals published this kind of writing and is marked by accuracy and fine details.
- Business reports and reviews – Technical writers also create reports for the businesses they work with. Some examples of it include legal case reviews and business status reports.
2. End-user documentation
End-user documentation needs to have concise and clear instructions. It refers to the written explanation of the functioning of every product. It consists of the following.
- Use help guides – When people have any questions while using software, they turn to help guides. They contain clear and meaningful answers to common queries.
- Product manuals – They refer to small booklets that display the main functionalities of a product, its operation, and maintenance. Some of its examples are manuals for heavy machinery and those for cars.
- Assembly guidelines – These communicate to people how to set up a product physically. So, it contains clear step-by-step instructions that enable the reader to assemble a product properly.
3. Technical marketing content
Technical marketing content allows consumers of products and services to understand how to use something. Its subcategories include:
- Whitepapers and case studies – Technical writers research intensively on the problems of a target audience. They showcase through whitepapers how a company’s product can resolve those problems. Case studies are among those types of technical writing, wherein details of how a business resolved a specific issue through its products are given.
- Proposals – Technical writers also write many B2B proposals and pitches. They explain the technical elements of proposals.
What Skills Does a Technical Writer Needs?
The true technical writer definition is that they are writers who close the gap between general people and technical experts like developers. They explain technology to the general public in clear and straightforward terms. Some essential skills for tech writers are as follows.
- Impeccable written communication skills – Technical writers need good written communication skills as they communicate complex data to people in a simple language.
- Vast knowledge of technology – Technical writers have a broad understanding of various technology subjects. It enables them to combine their knowledge with new information and write in context.
- Ability to understand technical matters quickly – technical writers can quickly grasp technical subjects. It allows them to understand a particular matter sufficiently to explain it to others.
- Good design skills – Technical writers need to be mindful of their document’s layout, usage of headings, bullet points, graphics, and tables. It facilitates them to convey their information properly.
- Effective editing and proofreading skills – Like other writers, tech writers also need to go over their documents after creating them to check for errors. For their documents to look professional and be accurate, they should have good editing and proofreading skills.
After reading this article, you must feel familiar with technical writing definition and the role of technical writers. Various industries need individuals with strong technical writing skills. Some of these industries include Biotech & Pharmacy, energy, and chemical, Information Technology, manufacturing, and supply chain. With the emergence of complex technologies like Artificial Intelligence, the need for good technical writers will only grow in the future.