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Making Technical Documents More Interesting

26th January 2012 Posted in Blog, Technical Writers 0 Comments

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While the technical document is necessary, that doesn’t mean it can’t be interesting.  Of course, writing for a certain audience, you already have a reader who is interested in using the document – or who HAS to use the document in their work.  As a technical writer, you can be interesting, even if you’re tasked with presenting facts.

How to Captivate Technical Readers

When a technical document is written and presented, it will not include slang and it will not include loose facts, but it can still be interesting to the audience.  Here’s how:

  • The information is accurate – Once you present an incorrect fact, the document becomes a meaningless piece of paper, losing its credibility.
  • The briefest explanation is used – Even if the audience is highly interested in a document, the fewer words used, the more effective it will be…and the more a reader will continue to read. Cutting out the excess and getting to the point can sometimes be the hardest part of writing.
  • The presentation is orderly – Utilizing headings, subheadings, and other formatting standards will allow the document to be easy to read, even if the reader decides to skip ahead.
  • There’s a clear goal – The reader needs to know the writing is going somewhere, which will encourage him or her to make it to the last page.

Though technical writing, to most, sounds like it must be boring from the get-go, it doesn’t have to be if you consider what the audience really wants and use some creativity in getting your point across.

What are your suggestions for making technical documents more interesting? Including relevant graphics/charts/tables to convey information at a glance can certainly help. Please leave a comment – we’d love to hear your side of the story!

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