Do You Have to Be an Engineer to Write for Engineers?

The short answer to the title of this entry is “Not just no, but heck no!” However, I encountered a differing few in the comment threads on LinkedIn and felt the need to respond at greater length without clogging the comment thread. Onward! Continue reading

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Looking for “Angles” in Article Writing

Some stories tell themselves. Other topics require a little more work. In fact, writing about a story (event) is much easier than just a topic. Still, there are times when even a news item doesn’t exactly jump with excitement. So how do you make a news story or other article interesting when the topic doesn’t seem that interesting? Below is my shot at explaining my process. Continue reading

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Using Data to Back Up Your Decisions

Why on Earth would an English major need numbers to make decisions? All of our work is so liberal artsy–so squishy and unquantifiable. What possible use could numbers be in our daily lives? However, the more time I spend with engineers, the more I’ve come to appreciate having some data to back up what would otherwise be shoot-from-the-hip, emotion-based decisions. Continue reading

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Reader Response: Moderating Website Comments

It’s been a busy month for mail and suggestions, but I try to respond to the messages I receive as soon as the next free blogging space. Today’s entry is written in response to a friend in Illinois who had a question about managing comments in a web group. The tone here might be a tad more jocular than usual, but that’s because I know my friends and family are a tad more understanding about my off-beat sense of humor. And now on to today’s message… Continue reading

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Reader Response: What Should a High School Student Do to Be a Space Writer?

I’ve received another reader email seeking insights on what to do to pursue studies to become a tech writer in the space business. Between my fan mail and my Google Analytics, it’s clear that I’m reaching my target audience. Huzzah! Now, let’s see what my reader had to ask and I had to say in response (Note to Caroline: I might have added one or two things)… Continue reading

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Reader Response: How Do I Transition from Teaching to Technical Writing?

A friend of a friend was seeking advice about how to move from teaching to becoming a technical writer. Her message and my response are below. If you’re in a similar situation, you might find this exchange useful! Continue reading

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Talking to Kids About What You Do

When I was growing up, my mother was a bookkeeper and my father was a sales representative for Eastern Airlines. To this day, I’d be hard-pressed to explain to you exactly what either of them did on their job to keep a roof over our heads. Despite this, I was still fascinated by the world of work, since I knew I’d be entering it someday. Now, as I have a niece and nephew (13 and 11, respectively) and am getting old enough to be considered a role model or “guest speaker,” I’m trying to make what I do sound interesting to young people. Continue reading

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