Can any well read person end up becoming a technical writer or does one have to have specialized knowledge in order to become one?

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  • 2 months ago

    You have to have technical knowledge of what you are writing about, and be familiar with the context. The documentation for a drug that is going to be read by pharmacists and doctors is going to fundamentally different than writing the documentation for a car that mechanics and DIYers need to be able to understand. 

    I can do Japanese to English technical translation for Japanese market cars because I am a gearhead, if not a certified automotive technician. I would be way out of my depth if I tried to do the same for a Japanese pharma company. 

    Reading journals intended for your target market is a good start here. In my case I read import tuner mags, so my finished product is intended for a person who did not necessarily go to university. Obviously it is the same for just about any consumer product, but not the same for rocket science. I agree with Steven that you have to be able to relate with, and work with the people who are your sources. You do not have to have the same qualifications as them. 

  • 2 months ago

    I'm not a tech writer, but I've worked with a few of them in my day job (software development). It seems that the main specialised knowledge they need is, well, technical writing.

    A tech writer needs to work with the people who created a product or system and understand it well enough to be able to explain it to someone else who doesn't understand it. They need to take a large quantity of (possibly disorganised) information and be able to synthesise it into a coherent and consistent whole. They need to use specialised tools for writing the documentation and tracking changes to it. (If the product is complex enough to need a dedicated tech writer, the documentation is probably too big to use MS Word for writing it.) And, of course, they need to be able to write clearly.

  • Elaine
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    In order to become a technological writer which is different from using technology in fiction the writer has to have knowledge of the subject. Each "technological" field has its own specialised jargon.  For example metal" means one thing to astronomers and something quite different to a chemist. 

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    Specialized knowledge is required of the technology written about. 

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  • Marli
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    You would need to study the technology in order not to write anything stupid.

  • Anonymous
    2 months ago

    who would hire a person without any specialized knowledge to be a technical writer? 

  • Pearl
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    i think anyone can be one

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