Technical Writing – Characteristics

Knowing the characteristics of technical writing is very important if you are a person that is interested in writing professionally. There are many different types of writing and each type has a purpose. Technical writing is different from other types of writing in that it is more informative. The purpose of this type of writing is to explain a variety of topics to other people. Technical writing is commonly seen in how to manuals and other pieces that provide direction. Learning the characteristics of technical writing is essential if you want to build a successful writer career.

Purpose of Technical Writing

Every type of writing has a goal. There are some forms of writing that are geared to telling a story and there are other forms of writing that are geared to expressing opinions.

The main purpose of technical writing is to provide sometimes complex information. This is the type of writing that will:

  • Assist a person with understanding more about a particular item, such as a computer or a new drug or a new piece of technology.
  • Explain how an object works or how to complete a project.

Technical writing is targeted to readers who are looking for information on a particular topic. The goal in targeting this group is to make sure that the information provided is clear, concise and easy for anyone to understand.

This type of writing is somewhat difficult for some people as it requires that you are able to translate information that is sometimes hard to comprehend into terms that anyone will be able to read and follow along with, without an issue. While there are different types of writing that are informative, technical writing is the type that most clearly focuses on presenting information in a specific way so that people can use the information for a variety of purposes.

Characteristics of Technical Writing

Technical writing, just as any other form of writing, has certain characteristics which distinguish it from other types of writing. It is very different from writing opinion pieces, essays, prose, non-fiction or fiction.

  • It is clear and straight forward. If you are interested in technical writing for professional purposes, it is very important to know that this type of writing require that the writer stick to the subject matter and relay information in a clear and concise manner.
  • The language is very direct and straight to the point. The writing will avoid words that people do not understand and will avoid an eloquent writing style.
  • It is very detailed and informative. The perfect example of technical writing is a textbook. The written contents of most textbooks is geared to providing information by describing the subject matter as fully as possible.
  • It is very structured. This type of writing has a very obvious composition that makes it easy for the reader to follow along. Solid structure is needed with technical writing as it allows the audience to easily access the information as needed.

Uses of Technical Writing

With understanding the characteristics of technical writing, you can better comprehend how this type of writing is used. Technical writing is found everywhere. There are a variety of different types of writting which use a technical style.

For example, instructions of all sorts are a perfect example of technical writing.

  • When you open up an instruction manual, as the reader, the goal is to be informed about the product so that you can use it as efficiently as possible.
  • Lab reports are another example of technical writing. The main purpose of a lab report is to explain the occurrences in a lab so that others will be able to gain information.
  • Driving directions can be considered a type of technical writing as the goal is to clearly and efficiently provide instructions on how to go from point A to point B.

Overall, technical writing is a very useful form of writing that is encountered by everyone almost every day.

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