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Technical writes and wrongs

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1 Author(s)
Carroll, John E. ; University of Cambridge, Engineering Department, Trumpington St., Cambridge CB2 IPZ, England

Technical writing requires creativity but not Lewis Carrolllike creative writing. Self-control and self-criticism are needed to achieve simplicity and clarity of expression. Generally, the core of the paper should be written first because the act of writing often furthers or changes the development of the subject and therefore affects both the introduction and the conclusion of the text. The introduction should provide context and perspective for the results and conclusions. A common fault is covering too much material in too wordy a fashion. It is often better to rewrite with a sharper outlook than simply to cross out words. Vague or defensive statements and generalized descriptions are good candidates for elimination. Mathematics may often be moved to an appendix and charts or graphs used to clarify the numerical work. Good judgment rather than haste should prevail in technical writing.

Published in:

Professional Communication, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:PC-23 ,  Issue: 2 )