Definition of Technical Writing

definition technical writing

What is Technical Communication?

Communication refers to the exchange of information, ideas and thoughts between two or multiple parties. Technical communication involves the transmission of technical knowledge about a new technology or product to the non technical users.

Transforming Technical Information into Words

It is the job of a technical writer to translate the hardcore technical information into words which are easy to grasp and follow. Before we go into the purpose and details of technical writing, have a look at the following definitions:

“Technical writing refers to straightforward explanations and/or instructions dealing with a particular technical subject. The subject being written about may be abstract or tangible.”

or

“Technical writing, a form of technical communication, is a style of writing used in fields as diverse as computer hardware and software, engineering, chemistry, the aerospace industry, robotics, finance, consumer electronics, and biotechnology. Technical writers explain technology and related ideas to technical and nontechnical audiences. This could mean, for example, telling a programmer how to use a software library or telling a consumer how to operate a television remote control.”

or

“Technical Writing is a term that represents an increasingly broad set of activities that are designed to communicate understandable information that can help people be productive.”

Gerald J. Alred, being a technical writer, wrote a book named Handbook of Technical Writing where he discussed in detail that technical writing is all about enabling the readers to understand a new technological theory, concept or a process.

Requirements of Technical Writing

The requirement of technical writing is that the information presented must be precise and to the point therefore, technical writers make use of objective tone rather than subjective. The technical writing style is strictly utilitarian and emphasizes on clarity, accuracy and corrective-ness, not on elegance and allusiveness like creative or essay writing.

Importance of Technical Writing

Everyday we hear about new inventions in technology; we all need to upgrade our tech knowledge in order to survive in this global world. Thanks to technical writers who create for us the how-to guides, manuals, textbooks, instructional material and explain to us in simple and meaningful words about the technological inventions, their purpose and usage.

What Does Technical Writing Include?

Technical writing covers a broad range of areas and includes various types of technical writing areas. However, typically it includes the following deliverables:

White papers

User guides and manuals

Application programming interface programmers’ guides

Network configuration guides

Network administrators’ guides

Network recovery guides

Presentations

Site guides /FAQs

Reference documents

Training materials

Installation guides

Alarm-clearing procedures

Troubleshooting guides

Specification documents

Proposals

Reports

Magazine articles

Policies and procedures

Requirement documentation

Certification and accreditations

Procedure reports

Release notes

Corporate disclaimers

Technical papers

Scientific reports

Hardware maintenance and repair procedures

Other forms of writing, closely related with technical writing are expository writing, business writing and academic writing.