Technical writing is often considered to be creating simple and clear instructions that a user can apply effortlessly. Since a major part audience will not be necessary from a technical background, a technical writer should make sure that no complex technical terms or metaphor needs to be used in their documentation. The language used needs to be plain and simple and easy to understand with precise information. But still a lot of online freelance technical writers, including experienced writers tend to make a lot of mistakes which needs to be avoided. Let’s take a look at some of the common mistakes committed by technical writers and how to avoid them in the future.
- One of the most common mistake that most of the technical writers commit is going too technical with the content. The technical writers should first understand the target audience and write accordingly. If the target audience is only software professionals, then you can use a lot of technical terms, which will not be a problem, but will only assist the professionals to understand it better. But when the target audience are not the technology oriented audience, then usage of too many technical terms will make the content hard to understand for the audience. When technical writers juggle from writing article for both technical and non-technical audience, some technical jargon may unknowingly get added to the content. So proper review of the document is necessary to avoid such mistakes.
- Avoid using the first person dialect. The usage of “I” or “We” need to be avoided in any technical document and only a third person view should be included, as technical document is all about reporting and not advertising
- Try to clarify all the abbreviations included in the document
- Never use literary jargons or colloquial language and provide precise and clear information
- Try to avoid superlatives. For example, try using “ the power obtained was smaller’ instead of “The power produced was much smaller”
- Try to perform adequate research on the product to provide proper information about the product
- Always add a glossary at the end for the users to easily refer any technical terms or jargons
- Active voice is preferred, so that the information is conveyed to the user about what to do in a clear manner
- Provide clear and precise topics for heading in a document.
- Usage of proper layout and design of the document is essential for the success of the technical document. Freelance technical writers have to consider the same.
These tips provided above should help you in eliminating the common mistakes committed during technical writing. Anyway the success in technical writing largely depends on the attitude,the amount of research and how the document is presented to the user for proper understanding.Technical writing jobs are on the rise and once you avoid mistakes in your technical document, you’ll certainly achieve success.