Technical writing is made for those that are not so tech-savvy. As such, it is a subdivision or general document writing that presupposes that you know both technical and non-technical terms. Being able to explain complex concepts in simple terms is a skill in its own right and learning it takes time.
Top 6 Mistakes When Writing Technical Documents
However, during the learning process, many make mistakes. Completely understandably, of course, you want to minimize these mistakes and ensure that you can always deliver top-notch content that you can charge a fair price for. With this in mind, let’s consider frequent mistakes that technical writers make:
Not Understanding the Matter Well Enough
If your level of specialization is too broad, you risk not really understanding how certain concepts work or what they entail. For this reason, you should specialize in a single field and ensure that you are as good and up-to-date with its technical aspects as you can be. This is the approach that grade on fire uses when hiring new writers. High specialization means fewer mistakes, after all.
Focusing on the Details
In technical writing, it is important to understand the details, but not focus on them for too long. This can make all the tiny technical details escape into your writing and cause havoc where there should be none. Rather than paying attention to the woods, focus on the forest.
Losing Your Focus
You should be able to keep your focus during all the stages of writing. This focus does not entail that you should focus on the grammar or the vocabulary that you use. Rather, you should keep your focus on the audience and weigh every sentence you write through their own eyes. Only this way can you ensure that you write a technical text that can be read and understood by the target audience.
Using Passive Voice
Using a passive voice is not the best idea in technical writing. Although passive voice is very common in the English language, the past two decades have seen a sharp decline in its use. Using overt passive voice signals that you are not a native speaker, and it slows down the reading pace. Articles explaining technology should be easy and fast to read. Only this way can you reduce bounce rate and up the quality of your content.
Using Inappropriate Sentence Length
Using inappropriate sentence length can also pose a variety of problems for your readership. Sentences that are too short are difficult to process, for the sheer number of them. Sentences that are too long can also be difficult to process because of the volume of information each of these sentences carries. Find the perfect balance between the two by paying attention to the education level of your readers.
Writing Without a Clear Outline
Before writing, you should have a clear outline of the text. This does not mean a simple structure of headings and subheadings. Rather, an outline refers to the organization of ideas on a systematic and hierarchical level. This way, you ensure that your audience is fed information at the right pace and in a way that is easy to comprehend.
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Technical writing is gaining in popularity as the sheer number of products and technical services on the market is increasing. To be able to benefit the most from this growing market, you should be able to offer quality service that few will be able to match. With this in mind, follow our advice to avoid all the common mistakes in technical writing and secure a spot at the top of technical writers.
Carl Hill is a nature-lover but a lover of the city as well. Hoping to be self-sufficient one day, he would love to purchase his own piece of land and see what he can do to secure a steady income for his future. In the meantime, he works extra hard and always tries to optimize his workflow.