New technical writer oftentimes makes seemingly simple mistakes that could affect the written material negatively. One of the common errors that a new tech writer could unintentionally commit is using words that confuse the readers.
Figuring out the product and how it works could be hard for most customers, and the only thing they could rely on is whatever you have written about it. Do not add to their befuddlement by throwing in confusing and ambiguous words. As a new technical writer, it is best that you become extra wary of the words that you choose. Here are some tips to help you avoid writing puzzling articles for your readers.
Choose the right words to be a more effective new technical writer
A technical writer should understand that technical writing is different than other forms of writing such as poetry or story writing, to name a few. Writing about a product requires precise information and clear instructions. It would only be possible if the new technical writer uses appropriate words and vocabulary.
- Use the same terms when referring to the same concept. If you are a new tech writer and you are used to other writing styles, you might find technical writing monotonous, especially with the repetitive words. Do not try to replace technical terms with synonyms just to make it appear more creative. It would just force the readers to stop and figure out if one term is the same as the other. A new technical writer should learn from the get-go that once you’ve used a certain word to refer to a specific part or function of the product, you would need to stick to it throughout the entire document. Keep in mind that user documents are written to inform, not to entertain.
- If you are referring to different concepts, use different words. This tip is more commonsensical than the first one. It may seem like stating the obvious, but some new technical writers fail to follow this. A new writer should be able to differentiate one concept from another by using words that are clearly distinct from each other. It will also be wise to inform the reader if there are any changes in terminologies so they don’t get confused.
- Assume that your reader is unfamiliar with jargons. As a new technical writer, you have to keep in mind that not everyone who reads your document knows and understands the acronyms and jargons that you use. Make it a point to explain the terminology or acronym the first time you mention it. New technical writers should make it a habit to have a glossary in the beginning or at the end of the user document.
- Steer clear of ambiguous and vague words. A new tech writer should make sure that the terms he or she uses are precise and straightforward. Do not try to beat around the bush or use figures of speech. Just keep your words as clear and simple as possible.
Using these guidelines, always review the document and look for words that might be confusing or unclear to the reader. As a new technical writer, you have to establish that habit and try to develop your skills in choosing the right words to become a better technical writer.