Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Be Sure to be Consistent if You Can't Find the Rule

Often times, writers face unclear rules about words. Let’s take a look at the word backup. Sometimes you see it written as back up and sometimes back-up. If you can’t find the rules to the correct usage of the word, be sure to be consistent with your use. If you write back up, then use back up for the remaining parts of the document.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Clearly Written Instructions

As a technical writer, I struggle understanding what my clients and associates often write instructing me what to do. I believe they try to save time without thinking out clear instructions, so I spend needless time on the phone trying to get out of them what they could have presented clearly in an e-mail. When you want something done, it's essential you write your directions clearly.

  • State your objective. Tell what you want done and set a deadline.
  • Use bullets to list important information that should be included in the work.
  • Use numbers for steps that need to be taken to complete the work.
  • Once you deliver a clear explanation to the person you are hiring, the remaining portion of the process will be much smoother.