07 October 2023, Ledford, ENGL 5106

I conducted a google search for technical writing for clients. Using Artificial Intelligence and a collaborative approach, LinkedIn provided some insight into structuring technical documents for clients. LinkedIn’s first point is that the writer should know their audience. Technical writing indicates the writer creates their product for an audience of professionals. According to Gerald R. Lucas, “…technical writing prioritizes utility and practicality over aesthetic expression.” [1] A team-mate once explained to me that they had been a trained journalist and knew how to write. They did not know how to write for their audience. This individual argued with every rewrite and edit the team leaders made with his writing. Now I can verbalize what I was thinking at the time. He was eventually fired because he could not accept peer revisions and feedback.

A diagram of a person's writing process

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“Good technical writing does not need expressive descriptions or persuasive language: it just needs to be clear, accurate, and useful.” [2]

Secondly, a writer should structure their paper in a coherent manner. A technical writer understands the purpose of the paper and the information. However, the scope contributes to the structure through limitations. Finally, a writer narrows down the main points. These main points can be broken down into subsets that solidify a thesis. As “technical writers” we only write what the subject says. We try to avoid any analysis of the product, but only state facts. Tone is very important when writing. The audience should not draw conclusions from my comments but from the facts presented in the paper.

Technical writing in the digital age should be clear and concise. I advise my team members to embrace brevity, but context should never be sacrificed for clarity. Avoid jargon and slang. At work we write to an 8th grade level. In fact, the US military publishes orders so that the youngest member of the organization can recite and remember it. Rumor has it, as an organization the Army writes to a 6th grade level. In the Open-Source Intelligence industry, R Programming helps as it displays data in a graphical form. Graphical displays and visuals supplement the text of a report. Graphics and visuals should be properly displayed, timely, and referenced for credibility’s sake.

When a writer completes their task, they should immediately proof-read their report and run a spell and grammar check. A professional always allows for peer review. Upon completion of a peer review, submit the paper for a senior edit. Senior editors tend to know what the customer wants and anticipate follow-on questions for a customer. Social media presented a media forum that allowed everyone from all walks of life to take part with a diverse audience. Thoughtless banter can be misinterpreted as maliciousness. Writing for a digital audience allows for a greater conveyance of a message. I am really looking forward to being held to a standard with my writing.

I learned that we crowdsource a product at work. I am on a joint team of military personnel and civilians that write reports based on publicly available information (PAI) for military and civilian policy makers associated with the US Department of Defense. Our team breaks down broad subjects into smaller topics that individuals write about. We use an active voice, practice brevity, and attempt to be as clear as possible with our subject matter. In our organization we tend to start with an “executive summary” or the “bottom line up front” (BLUF). The summary or BLUF gives a customer a portion of a report that allows for brevity that gives an overview of the report.

I enrolled in the technical writing program as a “check in the block” for my job. What I did not foresee is that I would appreciate the professionalism of the master’s program and I like the always learning part of the profession. Like a mechanic, teacher, or lawyer, a technical writer in a digital age needs to continue to learn and update their skills to stay marketable.

Works Cited

ENGL 5106.” ENGL 5106 - Gerald R. Lucas, https://tinyurl.com/4xhhs25d. Accessed 7 Oct. 2023.

https://www.linkedin.com/advice/0/how-do-you-write-clear-technical-documents-clients-skills-writing. n.d. Article. 7 October 2023.

“COMPFAQ/Technical Writing.” CompFAQ/Technical Writing - Gerald R. Lucas, https://tinyurl.com/3w6r568w. Accessed 7 Oct. 2023.

eam, WalkMe. “Technical Writing: Twelve Examples for the Future.” WalkMe Blog, 20 June 2023, https://tinyurl.com/23jdmeeu. Accessed 7 Oct. 2023.



[1]“COMPFAQ/Technical Writing.” CompFAQ/Technical Writing - Gerald R. Lucas, https://tinyurl.com/3w6r568w. Accessed 7 Oct. 2023.

[2]Team, WalkMe. “Technical Writing: Twelve Examples for the Future.” WalkMe Blog, 20 June 2023, https://tinyurl.com/23jdmeeu. Accessed 7 Oct. 2023.

Jason Ledford

Jason Ledford

Augusta, Ga