Techniques

Book Review of the Global English Style Guide

Annotated copy of The Global English Style Guide

By Serena Beck, Membership Manager As an author of many internal style guides, I can appreciate the amount of effort and time required to create a style guide and ensure it’s followed. I have a good eye for detail and enjoy making the documentation I write consistent. I’ve been a technical writer for 11 years,…

Online Portfolios for Technical Writers

Online Portfolios for Technical Writers

If you’re starting your career as a technical writer, you should have an online portfolio to showcase your work. Your online portfolio should have a URL you can add to your LinkedIn profile, and be included on your resume, or pasted into the appropriate space on the online job application form. The goal of your…

Using Social Media for Your Job Search

Using Social Media for Your Job Search

Social media is one of the most useful tools within today’s competitive job market. Building a professional online presence and leveraging job-search features on social networking sites are powerful ways to access new and diverse opportunities. In the midst of my own career transition into technical writing, I have been actively searching for jobs and…

Training Best Practices: Creation and Delivery

Training Best Practices: Creation and Delivery

When designing training materials or organizing a training session, it is important to consider creation and delivery: What are my specific objectives for the lesson? What do I want my audience to know or discover? What kinds of hands-on activities should I plan? How can I measure my audience’s learning? Below are some best strategies…

Best Practices for Creating Online Help Systems

Best Practices for Creating Online Help Systems

Recently, I was tasked with critiquing a company’s online help system, commenting on deficiencies in its current documentation, and providing feedback on all aspects of user assistance. I also needed to rework existing content. This was a valuable exercise, as I was able to: learn more about the company’s products identify weaknesses in its online…

Engaging Learners: Building Gamification into Instructional Design 


Engaging Learners: Building Gamification into Instructional Design 


“Fun from games arises out of mastery. It arises out of comprehension. It is the act of solving puzzles that makes games fun.” – Raph Koster, Theory of Fun, 2005 It can be challenging to engage learners. Building gamification into instructional design can help keep learners engaged. As an educator, I have seen the benefits…

Summit Session Recap: Write Tight (er)

Summit Session Recap: Write Tight (er)

(Presentation by Marcia Riefer Johnston) Writing well takes practice. We all know that technical writing is a skill and while the basics can come quickly, using them automatically takes practice. We can always improve our writing but, how? The session included tips new and seasoned writers can use to improve documents. Remember these three tips for…

Is SEO Dead?

Is SEO Dead?

I Googled “Is SEO dead?” and the list of posts and blogs that had something to say is long.  From what I can gather, it is not dead but merely undergoing a profound change—so profound that some SEO experts are changing their titles and job descriptions and renaming and redesigning their companies. According to SEO…

What is a Medical Communicator?

What is a Medical Communicator?

In the health and medical fields, technical communicators are also known as medical communicators.  Medical communications is the translation of complicated information into easily understood material, applied specifically to the health, medical, and pharmaceutical fields.           Some of the projects that medical communicators might work on include: medical conference abstracts and…

Tips for Working with Translators

Tips for Working with Translators

                If you find yourself overseeing or working with translators during a technical communication project, here are a few pointers to ensure quality and smooth relations: Make sure the source text is clear of cultural references, idioms, and colloquialisms. The more neutral in tone you keep a document,…

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