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Technical Documentation Solutions Series: Writing Plain Instructions - How to write user manuals, online help, and other forms of user assistance that every user understands
Users want manuals that are easy to read, with short sentences, simple words, and unambiguous instructions. Unfortunately, writing plain language is much more difficult than writing overblown instructions that only an expert can understand. Writing complex texts is simple-writing simple texts is complex. This book shows you how to write simple user...
Users want manuals that are easy to read, with short sentences, simple words, and unambiguous instructions. Unfortunately, writing plain language is much more difficult than writing overblown instructions that only an expert can understand. Writing complex texts is simple-writing simple texts is complex. This book shows you how to write simple user assistance rather than complex user annoyance. As it's a book about stating your message clearly, it also states its own messages clearly. It's free of boring theory and free of highbrow grammar terms and gives you clear recommendations and catchy examples that you can easily remember and apply to your own work. Topics covered: General technical writing principles that make your texts plain, simple, and easy to understand; On the topic level: Rules for writing "Concept topics," "Task topics," and "Reference topics."; On the paragraph level: Rules for writing the standard elements that form a topic, such as headings, subheadings, procedures, lists, tables, warnings, notes, tips, examples, cross-references, and links; On the sentence level: Rules for building plain and unambiguous sentences; On the word level: Recommendations for using simple words; Spelling and punctuation FAQ; Grammar and word choice FAQ; Standard terms and phrases. Audience: technical writers, developers, marketing professionals, product managers.
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