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Examples of Technical Writing and 8 Competencies
In this section, you can read some examples of technical writing. Technical writing is a means to share technical information by means of enlarging the knowledge stock of a technical subject bringing to the table new discoveries, finds, methods, or anything on a technical subject that wasn't written about before.
A technical writing article presents information in technical or scientific detail and the author has to have a solid background on the subject at hand.
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Examples of Technical Writing Technical Writing Competencies
Technical Writing Resources
Examples of technical and industrial content. Technical white papers are educational articles dealing with the guidelines and protocols of something while technical blue papers focus on the technical side of something in a scientific or pseudo-scientific way.
Examples of Technical Writing
Technical White Paper
A rough template of a technical white paper would be a document, 3000 to 5000 words in length, covering different aspects of a technical topic. Examples of the sections could be context, tests, tables, surveys, charts, data, conclusions, acknowledgments, and bibliography. one of the most known examples of technical writing.
Technical Blue Paper
A technical blue paper is an informative technical piece of content aimed at potential investors in a business venture. It can be a document under ten pages in length, detailing all the technical aspects of a business: how it works, its features, scale specifications, etc. This is another generic example of technical writing.
A Personal Anecdote
I have a background in tech. Because of that, technical content writing comes naturally to me. I wouldn’t say technical writing is as satisfying or fun to write and read as other types of content. Still, it’s not about what your intellect wants, but about what your intellect and the market need.
Before starting to write content as a job, I wrote a large paper on something technical that can be considered among other typical examples of technical writing.
When I did it, I thought that the only use for that paper was in the odd case of someone wanting to do what I did, to have a guide.
I thought that it was important for me to document my two weeks working 12-14 hours to make an obsolete technology come back from the dead.
It was hard and the road was full of bumps, but I achieved my objective. Now, this wasn’t hard as deploying a website as a first-timer or configuring either the .htaccess of a website or some DNS records without knowing what one is doing.
No, this was harder, by many orders of magnitude. The specifics of each moving part of that project were of the most forgettable kind possible of strings of data, so much, so that during day two or three of the project I started carrying a diary.
An almost forgotten technology like the one I was tinkering with was so different from what I was accustomed to for the last decade, and I had forgotten so much of what I knew about it, that I was doing progress at a slug’s pace.
Personal forgetfulness coupled with the change in the way of doing things forced me to relearn a lot of the things that I previously thought I wasn’t going to need again. It didn’t annoy me because this was just a fun project.
I think the diary was a coping mechanism, to add some livability to my life because it was a day after another of continuous problems.
For a moment, it was hell. I kept on writing the important things in the diary, with a lot of passages that didn’t make it to the technical paper, because they were just thoughts on the page that had little to do with the technical part.
After like four-five days of feeling hopeless and always having the project subdued by a problem things started to even out.
Previously, it wasn’t that the problems lasted one or more days. The problem was that fixing an obstacle either brought new ones or broke something that was fixed previously. After a battery of refactorings, re-dressings, patching, and implementing kludges I could say everything at the local level was a-go.
Yet, the notepad text went on. I couldn’t have possibly reached the point of taming the bugs' storm without it. And it had served me beautifully when the second week of trouble started to bring the system down.
I wouldn’t say that because of my background in tech I have a winning, scientific method of writing technical content that can be considered journal-grade.
What I as my value as a technical writer is simply an engineer’s general outlook on life and specifically an engineer’s approach to gamifying problem-solving.
Technical Writing Competencies
Just reading examples of technical writing is not enough, you need to have what it takes, and if you do not, better use a template.
Make templates from scratch
Make checklists of things to do
Work well with sources of information
Develop documentation workflows
Embed images and diagrams in the documents
Make different drafts and refine your work in light of criticism
Streamline workflows into step-by-step guides
Create documents of best practices on how to do something technical
© Martin Wensley, 2022 — Examples Technical Writing