Summary of Technical Writing Two

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Technical Writing Two covered the following intermediate lessons of technical writing:

  • Adopt a style guide.
  • Think like your audience.
  • Read documents out loud (to yourself).
  • Return to documents well after you've written the draft.
  • Find a good peer editor.
  • Outline a document. Alternatively, write free form and then organize.
  • Introduce a document's scope and any prerequisites.
  • Prefer task-based headings.
  • Disclose information progressively (in some situations).
  • Consider writing the caption before creating the illustration.
  • Constrain the amount of information in a single drawing.
  • Focus the reader's attention through discontinuities.
  • Create concise sample code that is easy to understand.
  • Keep code comments short, but prefer clarity over brevity.
  • Avoid writing comments about obvious code.
  • Focus your commenting energy on anything non-intuitive in the code.
  • Provide not only examples but also anti-examples.
  • Provide code samples that demonstrate a range of complexity.
  • Make a practice of continuous revision.
  • Provide different documentation types for different categories of users.
  • Compare and contrast with something that readers are already familiar with.
  • In tutorials, reinforce concepts with examples.
  • In tutorials, point out dragons.