Parts of Speech in English

One of the folks who responded to my content survey, Abdul in India, was seeking some more information about “linguistic terms and phrases.” It occurred to me that some of you became technical writers by accident (say, by starting as an engineer or scientist) rather than on purpose; and if you had an English class, it was years ago. Fair enough. The content today will cover parts of speech and how they function in your sentences. Thank you to Abdul and the others who have taken the time to complete the survey! Continue reading

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Tips for Keeping Cool Under Pressure

As some of you might have noticed, I haven’t always been the calmest creature in the office (I got better). As part of the process of improving my ability to remain calm in the face of schedule and workload pressures, I’ve learned a few tricks that I now pass on to you. With any luck, you won’t need most of them. Continue reading

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What is a Day in the Life of a Technical Writer Really Like?

This might or might not make it into the book, but it might set the table for an early chapter. The reality is, depending on what you do and where and for whom, your daily routine can be anything from actually routine to something different every day. My experience has been closer to the latter. Part of that is just the nature of technical communication, so I’ll share a couple different scenarios for your consideration. Continue reading

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Organizing the Book, Round 2

My first cut at organizing the content did not go as well as I’d hoped. As I feared, some sections had too much content, others practically none. So I’m trying a different approach and am getting a better distribution of content. Progress! Continue reading

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Content Survey

I want to make this blog (and the in-progress book based on it) useful to you, my readers. To that end, I’m asking you to complete a survey regarding the content of the site. Your help would be appreciated! Continue reading

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Reader Questions

I accidentally encountered a target audience member for this blog over the weekend (hopefully she’s reading now!). She had a quick question about handling an in-house style guide. Also, a friend had a question about capitalizing geographic directions. I’ll take both of these on today since they’re pretty quick-hit items. Continue reading

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Book Introductions

One of the more useful things I learned from The Book in a Box Method was how to write an interesting introduction. I confess that I had not been doing things in a particularly engaging way. What was I doing wrong? Read on! Continue reading

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