The 10 Most FAQs About Technical Writing

Introduction

This is my take on a nearly 10-year-old post, “​Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions,” (About Technical Writing) by Tom Johnson. Most of what Tom says in his original post is valid today.

The 10 Most FAQs About Technical Writing 1

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  • Examine its website.
  • See typos? Most likely they’re not native speakers.
  • Download a trial application (most do not require your credit card).
  • Note gaps in documentation (Knowledge Articles? Getting Started Guide? End User Guide?)
  • Create a sample and send it on to them. Ask them if they’d like more. They may ask “how much.” Make them an offer. They need help and it’s nice to be paid for new work.

The 10 Most FAQs About Technical Writing 2

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  • Reformatting long documents (you didn’t create)
  • Creating indexes (not so common anymore)
  • Chunk up the work and try to beat my estimated time for each chunk (i.e., gamify it).

The 10 Most FAQs About Technical Writing 3

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  • Better, talk to some technical writers in your region.
  • Best: talk to some technical writers in the area you want to work in (e.g., software or pharmaceuticals or manufacturing).
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