Talk:Technical writing

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Latest comment: 3 years ago by Dave Braunschweig in topic Thanks Fred
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Thanks Fred

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It looks much better now. I tried reverting earlier but for some reason I got error messagesSnoozebob 06:00, 12 November 2009 (UTC)Reply

Thanks a lot. It clear my doubts from basic. How i can score to get up unlock level 3 and more Prernasingh1405 (discusscontribs) 03:29, 16 June 2021 (UTC)Reply

@Prernasingh1405: The original author intended to have additional levels, but they haven't been active here since 2013. There are no additional levels. I've removed the content suggesting that you can unlock Level 3 and beyond. Enjoy what is already available or add your own ideas. -- Dave Braunschweig (discusscontribs) 15:05, 16 June 2021 (UTC)Reply

Reversion to Previous Version

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The admirable efforts of Bob Cooper to add "Easy English" versions of this site are appreciated.

However, the main navigation page now looks quite poor. All links to previous versions of the content have been lost or obscured.

I will be reverting to a previous version of the main page, and then will add links to Bob's EE content as a new section.

TWFred 04:34, 11 November 2009 (UTC)Reply

Requirements Analysis

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Take a look here for some information on requirements analysis.


Write a requirements specification for this technical writing wiki. Remember, "Make it up and be reasonable." Let's put it right here on this page...ready, start!

TWFred 07:25, 30 July 2007 (UTC)Reply

Audience personas for Wiki

Tanya: Let's have our task on the requirements for the training wiki page here: Technical writing Requirements analysis. I think it would be better to have it on a different page.

TWFred 14:58, 30 July 2007 (UTC) changed the page name so it's now Technical_writing_Requirements_analysis.Reply

Technical Writing Exercise 07/08/2007

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Go Making a Bad Requirement Good for the exercise


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We're putting this course together on Wikiversity for a reason...we need your inputs.

As anyone who has followed the endless professional discussions knows, technical writing is such a potentially vast field, (encompassing all possibilities of passing along human understanding if you like), no one technical writer knows the whole field.

When this is combined with a professional skill in writing...endless professional discussion ensues. This makes it not only difficult to define our already obscure profession, but also highly contentious. After years of debate, there is still no international standard for teaching technical writing.

So here's a wiki. Let loose. If you can do better, then get to writing. Ain't no one stopping you.

I'm using this wiki as my ever-evolving text for a real-world company class. By the time the course is done, this wiki should be complete enough to compliment and guide similar courses.

Philosophically, I would like to make this profession open to all who have the talent. There is a great and growing need world-wide for our skills, and by spreading them freely we are helping clever people to find sustainable employment. It should be suitable for advanced English users anywhere, and the tools illustrating the skills should be widely available.

Therefore, illustrations using open source examples are greatly encouraged.

Model projects from open source documentation efforts are also welcome.

I welcome your involvement and assistance. I'm looking forward to following and participating in how this will evolve.



Yep, I just reorganized it all, then added a whole bunch of stuff from the other wiki we made. It's a bit of a jumble though within the pages. Can someone help with organizing into Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced within each course section? Thank you.

Fred's comments:

  • gotta break up this ugly page up/formatting and graphics
  • too long...therefore section/page naming conventions required
  • need to efficiently port and maintain images
  • current structure not satisfactory

Have linked to other tech writing pages. Should generate traffic and improvements. Will invite more "established names" like Hackos to comment/contribute.

(BTW: I've now got a username...TWFred)

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Great looking resource you have going here. We have started putting over some of our writing resources . Here's Business writing skills so far (very early stages). Would be great to have your input. We will certainly link to yours as we get further down the track in our efforts to get other writing resources online. --Leighblackall 02:36, 14 November 2006 (UTC)Reply

FRED: Linked. Cannot find Leigh Blackall's email to let him know. Seems an interesting person and someone we'd like to help on our wiki. Anyone know him?

>> "Cannot find Leigh Blackall's email to let him know." Fred... ehh .... User:Leighblackall eMail: leighblackallATgmailDOTcom Skype: leigh_blackall phone: +64(0)21736539
--BartJuniorTW 12:23, 2 August 2007 (UTC)Reply

Capitalization Style

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Adam: Just a general comment on style. I've noticed a mixture of cap. styles in your headings. Some use sentence style and some title style. You should pick one style and go with it. (The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 14:50, 28 August 2007)

Enrollment Methods

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We need to determine how to enroll students in the course.

  • Enrolling in the class
  • Require log in
  • Setting up a page
  • Have place to show work in progress
  • Have place to show portfolio of completed work
  • Have method of "proving" you have done the course

moved from the main page:

For those who want to follow this course, we ask that you enroll by creating a page for yourself and completing the exercises in that page.

Technical writing_enrollment_template - this is our exercise template.

Students should NOT name their pages as Students are kindly requested to name their pages as Technical_writing/your_name. You can then link on this page under "Current Students" lower down on this page. Thank you!

A good way to get your user page started is to enter this code in the gallery at the bottom of this page:

Image:MY_PICTURE.JPG|[[Technical writing/MY_NAME|MY_NAME_AGAIN]]

This will create a picture with a caption in red. Click the caption and it will take you to your new user page, where you can start editing your own page.

Paste the template into your personal page

To insert your picture into your own page, please use this code:

[[Image:MY_PICTURE.JPG|thumb|right|Some text about me]]

Technical Writing Jobs in Prague with Sun Microsystem

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Hi folks, I'm the manager of the Sun Microsystems docs team here in Prague. We're always looking for qualified technical writers. We presently have two intern positions open but things come and go. Who can I contact from this group to chat about employment opportunities with Sun? I'd post links to the job offerings and my contact info but not sure if that breaks etiquette on this list. (The preceding unsigned comment was added by Stronzo1 (talkcontribs) 14:41, 19 November 2007)

Please contact first by mail:
email - User:TWFred
email - User:AlistairReece
Thx, ----Erkan Yilmaz (Wikiversity:Chat, wiki blog) 16:39, 19 November 2007 (UTC)Reply
Why don't we make a page for job listings? The Jade Knight 07:27, 3 September 2008 (UTC)Reply

Moved comments

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2008 September from Wikiversity:Quality

The quality of the technical writing section is less than satisfactory. There are no lesson objectives that I could find, and the content is not well written. In one case, I believe something was added to the content, not properly edited, and it reads like this:

Technical writers prepare documents for different types of users. Typically, there are four basic types of user documents:




User Manual

Systems Reference

That is 5, not 4.

There was absolutely nothing in the content for Technical Writer Level 1 or 2 about data sheets, product briefs, or application notes. Open source help tools were mentioned in passing but DocBook and other valuable open source editors were not mentioned. I think that the people putting up the content are not well informed, and are not really technical writers because the quality of their writing is awful. Perhaps, if there is a section on technical editing, the technical editors there can look over and correct this content.

"User Documentation: The user-documentation is written for the end-users. It contains elaborate information on how to use a particular product."

First of all, user documentation, does not need a hyphen. Secondly, of course user documentation is written for users. Elaborate is not a word I would use. There are many reasons this course may face difficulty. For example, a grasp of the English language is important, before contributing something regarding language.

IT... contains. The content included in the lessons describe clarity and conciseness. How about making the above sentence in quotes, a little more clear.

This can be changed to:

"User documentation provides detailed information about a specific product or device."

Many technical writers in this country have faced some challenges in their careers due to the outsourcing to India, China, and Romania. Having people from these countries contributing to this course, as if they were experienced experts, may be offensive to some of the readers.

I actually teach a 100 level Technical Communications course. I have worked as a technical writer for about a decade. Some of the companies I worked with include: ING, Pearson Education, and Microchip Technology. I have an undergraduate degree in Technical Communications, and a Masters in Technology (with 24 credits of graduate level Technical Communications). I think the Technical Writer section could use some improvement. The information here is somewhat correct, but is not entirely accurate. While TWFred, the person writing the content, may be acceptable for a beta version, I think that when you go live, you really should have contributors who are both experienced technical writers, professors of technical writing, and people who are well educated in technical writing. TWFred's profile claims he is a technical writer, but does not indicate where, what companies, and what types of technical writing. I don't see anything about any technical writing courses or degrees. I don't think he's the best qualified individual for this project. Until you get more contributors, I think you should really consider using someone with experience, and a degree, for better quality. aicra -- 15:44, 13 September 2008 (UTC)Reply


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Aicra, I couldn't agree more. The Technical Writing course needs your help.

When you suggest "using someone" to write the course, keep in mind that it's all done by volunteers, such as yourself

I welcome and encourage your involvement in improving this course. You've provided me the best feedback yet, and I certainly hope you will follow through and help us in exactly the areas you mention.

Please, yes, edit the content. Everyone welcomes your changes. It's wiki.

  • Change the various glaring errors of grammar, spelling, and organization.
  • Add the sections you suggest.
  • Continue updating and improving the content.

You are certainly far better qualified than me. I don't "own" this content, nor am I the best at what I do. I just happen to be the one who got the ball rolling. Please give it a shove in the right direction. It's a huge topic, and we've only begun. I am eager to see where you take this wikiversity course, and am so glad to have your able assistance.

Get writing!



TWFred 13:33, 14 September 2008 (UTC)Reply

I moved these comments here from the Wikiversity:Quality page. I believe the comments pertain to this resource. --CQ 22:29, 3 September 2009 (UTC)Reply

Adding Videos

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I'm adding videos I've made of my lectures, linking to YouTube.

I've also added videos from others (like CherryLeaf's, which is very good) lecturing on technical writing.

Please, if there is any issue from editors, bots, or nitpickers...let me know. I'm sure if you look at the videos, you'll agree they're quite relevant, appropriate, short, and not overtly commercial.

I urge others who have technical writing lectures to post them too.

Thank you.


Teacher page

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  • I think there should be a separate one page for the teachers directly linked from this article, and each has the option of linking to their user page. Its nice to see a personal touch to the pages, though there are thousands or millions of instructors on one common subject. This would prevent a lot of overlap. Assignment materials or teaching styles could have a particular teacher's method or own page. The contributions are appreciated by any who read it, and I'm not sure how much Wikiversity's style is different, so its just a suggestion. Sidelight12 Talk 18:24, 6 October 2012 (UTC)Reply