Best Habits to Improve Technical Writing

You can improve your technical writing not only by writing documentation itself but also by following the below habits.

Learn Before Interviewing

Interviewing is the main part of technical writing because it helps you learn details about a product and describe it clearly to your target audience. However, you should be prepared for the interview to make it more productive and helpful. By preparations I mean not only thinking over the questions but also reading available information about the product and documentation of a similar product.

Such preparations are essential because SMEs can be busy or, objectively, they can be unresponsive. So, make your meeting and interviewing as successful as you can.

How to Handle an Unresponsive SME
Today I want to talk about how to handle unresponsive SMEs if you need to interview them.
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Use Readability Checker

Check your content using a readability checker. A readability checker helps to understand how difficult your content is for your readers.

For example, I use ClickHelp for technical writing, where I can also check my content immediately, the results are shown in the topic header.

Here is the full list of readability metrics:

What is a ‘good score’? It depends on your target audience and goals. But there are some general rules of thumb. According to Future Now referring to various published studies, an “ideal writing standard” might be considered as the following:

  • No less than 80% readability.
  • No more than 4.25 characters per word.
  • No more than 5% passive voice.

More info about readability metrics is here:

Readability Metrics and Technical Writing
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Acquire Feedback

If you finished working on your documentation and published it, for example, it doesn’t mean that you can forget about it. The hot time begins when users read it and leave feedback. You should examine it and improve your documentation to make it more user-friendly.

Use Checklists

Even experienced technical writers can forget something that’s why it’s a good idea to use checklists. Checklists really make our lives easier and project results better — you don’t have to keep in mind all the steps. However, the key benefit of a checklist, especially for a technical writer, is that it helps to avoid errors and oversights. It’s a great idea to implement checklists in your technical writing.

Checklists in Technical Writing
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Read Books/ Take Courses

Nowadays, there are many resources that can help you improve your technical writing. I gathered some of them to help you save your time:

Top 7 Online Courses in Technical Writing
Nowadays it’s not necessary to head to university to get domain knowledge because there are many online courses on the…
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Top 7 books for Technical Writers
Many people ask me what books about technical writing I may recommend. I think that only practice can help you to…
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Free Technical Writing Ebooks
Here you’ll find some free technical writing books that will be useful for building your career.
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Have a Rest

However, the most important tip is to take a rest and find a hobby that will not be techwriting-related. It can be playing an instrument, collecting, painting or something else that can help you relax and refocus.

Best Hobbies for Technical Writers
Here, I gathered some ideas that may also inspire you to try a new hobby.
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What are your habits that help to improve your technical writing?

SOURCE: https://medium.com/technical-writing-is-easy/best-habits-to-improve-technical-writing-93f49cbb3c9a

WRITTEN BY

Kesi Parker
Job position: Freelance Technical Writer. I use ClickHelp for technical writing.
Technical Writing is Easy

Technical Writing is Easy

Technical writing is for everyone!