Technical Writing and the Digital Age

Technical Writing and the Digital Age
Photo By: Daniel Thomas | Unsplash.com

This week in ENGL 5106, Technical Writing in the Digital Age, we were tasked with reading about the different forms of technical communication--technical and digital writing. Below is the information I have learned about technical communication.

Personal Thoughts

When I hear “Technical Writing,” I automatically think, “translation.” I have been taught that technical writers are known for translating complex language into entry-level, readable content. This could be anything from medical coding to user manuals. I originally felt intimated by the "Technical Writing" title because I am not very familiar with this type of writing; however, the readings that were provided helped me to have a better understanding.

Hearing about “Digital Writing” makes me think of the delivery aspect of writing. We are no longer using pen and paper—but a digital tool to communicate with our audience. Digital writing is forever evolving with technology and even includes content created by artificial intelligence. I originally assumed that digital writing described all writing that was created digitally. I later found out that digital writing is actually referring to content such as blogs, social media, and multimodal content.

When I hear of “Technical Writing in the Digital Age,” I think of the fact that many writers create content digitally, using either machines or a type of computer. I also think of instruction manuals that are created and dispersed digitally instead of by hard copy.

This is my second course of the Technical and Professional Writing program and I am excited to learn more about technical communication. I do not have experience with technical writing; only digital writing. I am a mental health blogger, part-time, who likes to blog about attachment styles and personality disorders. I am hoping to learn more about technical communication so that I can expand my experience as a writer.

The Readings

The readings were a lot to process. There was so much information. Dr. Lucas' readings spoke of the objective of Technical Writing, and how it was created to facilitate understanding and enable the user, while assisting in comprehension. The readings also speak of translating material into “non-technical language” for a “non-technical audience.” Digital Writing, on the other hand, was described as writing composed, created and read by digital platforms. I am very familiar with digital writing because of my hobby of part-time blogging.

I learned that the combination of Technical and Digital Writing is described as "The Synergy." The book talks about these forms of writing being more than a translator for the reader; these forms are also to help the reader comprehend what they are reading. The book gives graduate students a recipe to follow for merging technical with digital writing. I love that the readings provided an example of a merged form of writing--Literary Analysis Podcasts. Literary Analysis Podcasts are a way for writers to translate and/or analyze classic texts, (technical), while providing their insight on each piece, (digital).

In the additional reading by Lannon and Gurak (2022), I learned that there are three reasons why someone would use technical communication--to inform, instruct or persuade. I also learned that technical writing is not meant to be personalized to the writers feelings or views. The reading explained how the
needs of the reader are most important in technical communication.

What I Discovered

I discovered that technical writing is more than instruction manuals. I was also able to learn the main features of technical communication. It is important that technical communication is reader-centered and accessible to those with disabilities. I also discovered that technical communication is usually created by groups or teams and can be shared in digital and hard copy format.

Technical communication is the umbrella term for both technical and digital writing. I discovered that technical communication is any form of communication delivered using technology.

What’s Applicable?

As of right now, digital writing, (i.e., blogs and social media), is the only type of writing that is applicable to me since that is the only type I have experience with. I do not have experience in technical writing. I would like to learn how to write proposals, manuals, and memos. I am hoping this class will teach me how to create top-tier content.

My ultimate goal is to be a freelance writer and blogger who can create many forms of digital content, both technical and digital. I am looking to generate extra income by using the different forms of writing. I look forward to learning more about the topic.

Azizza Pitts

Azizza Pitts

A full-time therapist and a part-time blogger. Azizza services the middle Georgia community and advocates for mental health. She is pursuing a Master of Arts in Technical and Professional Writing.
Macon, Georgia