Great Technical Writing: Beware of Your Editor/Love Your Editor

OverviewYour editor should be an integral part of your writing team. Do not think of him/her as a judge,Guest Posting but rather as a resource to help you in all phases of the writing project. This article will help you overcome any fear of your editor, and how to effectively use your editor during the writing process.

Beware of Your EditorSome of the changes that an editor might suggest could make the User Document more difficult for your Reader to understand.

Improving Your WritingOnce your editor ai video editor has gotten past the basic mechanical editing tasks of:

editing to a Style

Sheet,he/she may work on “improving your writing.” Your editor may believe that one way to make the writing more interesting is to use synonyms when you refer back to something. Thus you might call something a “chip bin” in one part of your text, and your editor might suggest using a different term, such as “waste trap,” later in the document. This should make your writing “more interesting.”

You do not want interesting writing in your User Documents! You want clear, simple, very easy to understand writing. If you make your writing more interesting by using the synonym (“waste trap”) then you force your reader to have to think about whether or not these are the same thing. I recommend that you use the exact same wording every place in your User Document where you are referring to the same thing. No synonyms here!If your Reader wanted to be entertained or have his/her thoughts provoked, then he/she would be reading a novel. Don’t let your editor make your writing more interesting or more clever if those efforts makes the material harder for your Reader to understand. EruditionAnother place to beware of your editor is “erudition.” That is, when an editor that tries to make your User Documentation sound more formal. Other than disclaimer, legal, and safety information, the User Document should sound friendly, with a conversational tone. For example, an editor might suggest changing contractions (such as “don’t”) into their more formal form (“do not”). Don’t do it! Contractions are conversational and they should not (shouldn’t) be avoided. If you think about it, most people reading the User Documentation for any product are under some form of stress:

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