Developing Quality Technical Information: A Handbook for Writers and Editors

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Gretchen Hargis
Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference, 2004 - Computers - 445 pages
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The book presents a much needed approach to quality technical communication and a working plan for achieving quality. The examples are excellent and are easy to use and adapt. The editorial advice is simple and clear enough for tech writers who did not major in English or journalism. It is most worthy of a text in university programs, but it is more valuable to experienced writers, editors and managers concerned with raising the quality of their publications. The main difference between this and other books is that in each of the first nine chapters, one quality characteristic is presented that you can apply to your writing project to make technical information easy to use, easy to understand and easy to find. There are checklists at the end of each chapter for review and a Quality checklist in the appendix covering all of the characteristics. The book shows original text and revision text so that you can actually browse the book and see the differences applied. This is another excellent feature that should catch a purchaser's eye.

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Contents

Task orientation
17
Write for the intended audience
18
Indicate a practical reason for information
23
Copyright

41 other sections not shown

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About the author (2004)

The authors have served on the Editing Council at IBM Silicon Valley Laboratory in San Jose, California, an organization dedicated to excellence in technical information. Gretchen Hargis is a technical manager at IBM for a group that provides user assistance and user-centered design for application development tools. She was a technical editor and writer and a pioneer of IBM Darwin Information Typing Architecture (DITA). Michelle Carey is a technical writer at IBM and a technical writing instructor at University of California Santa Cruz Extension. She is an expert on topic-based information systems and on writing for international audiences. Ann Kilty Hernandez is a technical editor at IBM and has been a technical writer, manager, and marketing specialist. She was a co-author of An Introduction to DB2 for OS/390 and contributed to its next edition, The Official Guide to DB2 UDB for z/OS. Polly Hughes, now retired from IBM, worked as a visual designer for technical information and software interfaces and as a technical writer. Deirdre Longo is a technical editor and writer at IBM who edits product interfaces and writes customer information, mostly for content management products. Shannon Rouiller is a technical editor at IBM who has written and edited topicbased information systems, books, contextual help, wizards, and interfaces for products that are marketed worldwide. She co-authored Designing Effective Wizards. Elizabeth Wilde is a technical editor at IBM and a leader in developing quality metrics and quality assurance processes for technical documentation. She also educates writers and editors throughout IBM on developing user-centered information.

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