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Technical Writing

Technical writing or Technical communication is all about communicating an idea to particular readers in an easily understandable way. The field is gaining more importance in this current period of fast technological advancement. Companies need the help of a Technical writer or Technical communication professional, in order to translate or explain the technical usage of their products in simple language so that even a common man who could not understand the technical words and language could figure out the advantages or the operation of their products or services. In short, Technical writers specialise in writing technology for non-technical persons. A technical writer writes reports that any technically oriented professional / expert/specialist do as part of their regular job. They write ‘how to use’ manuals, project reports, online help files, instruction and installation guides, make graphical presentations and brochures for products of various industries like IT, consumer products, medical , journals etc. A technical writer, who works with an engineer writes engineering and designing information for common people. Usually he or she has to help an user to understand a product and how to use it. For that, one should know the product and understand its technology well although he or she is not an expert in that. A technical writer develops an expertise in a particular technical area for which one is working for, and whatever he writes or says about the field, is termed as technical communication. A technical writer should have an interest in science and technology. And he should also have researching skill as he has to collect information through books, internet and some times he needs to interview people who are the technological experts in the field. The technical writer should also possess good command over English and should know how to present a matter in an easily understandable manner. A technical writer can find work in various firms such as advertising agencies, IT companies, Newspapers and magazines etc If you have good command over English language and confidence that you can understand the technology and simplify the technical language to a user friendly one, then you can choose technical writing as your career. TWIN (Technical Writers of India) and Society for Technical Communication (STC), India are two online services that help Indian technical writers. ________________________________________ Eligibility There is no formal education in the field of technical communication. Degree (preferably post graduation) or diploma holders preferably in Journalism and mass communication, English literature, science or IT with good language skills can become a technical writer. Having computer literacy and knowledge of software applications will help candidates in this profession, especially in the IT sector. There are very few Indian universities/ institutes that offer certificate courses in technical writing as a mainstream. University-level courses in Technical Communication is offered by the Dept. of Mass Communication, Calicut University in Kerala as an optional paper in their Master of Communication and Journalism (MCJ) course and a short-term program is offered by Stella Maris College, Chennai. But there are several foreign institutions which offer degree programs, certifications, and theory in the field. Besides these, many online courses are there which help one to become a technical writer. Technical-writing courses are writing-intensive. A course in Technical Writing teaches candidates the clear, concise and understandable way of writing, editing and proof reading a technical subject matter which is appropriate for a specific audience. It helps in developing skills needed to produce a technical report, using special format items like headings, lists, simple techniques for putting graphics into reports and special notices wherever needed. And such courses also help one to understand writing software tools like Microsoft word, PageMaker, Frame Maker, Rob help and Front page etc. But most technical writers learn on the job. Personal skills This is an interesting career for a creative writer, who can comprehend and communicate highly technical subjects in a way that even a non-specialist could understand. A very good skill in writing and speaking English language is a must for becoming a technical writer. He or she should have good research and communication skill because they have to gather information about the product using many medias like Internet, books etc. Some time they may have to interview people who are experts in the field to make a good write-up. Design skill, especially for multimedia presentations, is also a plus for this profession. Writers who think differently and have innovative ideas of presentation can excel in the job. A technical writer should familiar with the specified subject area apart from technically skilled or trained.

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