What Is Technical Writing And How Can I Do It?

Technical writing is a very broad term that encompasses many different kinds of writing. The most common types of technical writing include instructions for products, procedures for using software or hardware, and online help documents. 

Technical writers write about topics that aren’t generally interesting to the general public. These people are experts who know everything there is to know about their subject matter, so they must be able to clearly explain it in simple terms without showing off how smart they are! Here are some tips on how you can get started with technical writing:

What is Technical Writing? | Writing Genre Fundamentals
Key Takeaways
Technical writing involves conveying complex information clearly and concisely.
Strong research skills are essential to gather accurate and reliable information.
Adapt your writing style to suit the target audience’s level of expertise.
Use visual aids like diagrams and illustrations to enhance understanding.
Editing and proofreading are crucial to ensure accuracy and professionalism.
Collaboration with subject matter experts enhances the quality of technical documents.
Technical writing spans various industries beyond technology, including healthcare and finance.
Continuously update your skills to stay current with evolving technologies and trends.

Put Your Audience First

The most important thing to do when writing is to put your audience first. This means knowing who you’re writing for and being intentional about how you write. Knowing your audience will help you write more effectively because it enables you to anticipate what information they need, how they want that information presented, and in what format it should be delivered.

Taking this approach also helps with making sure that any technical jargon is explained appropriately (if at all) so that readers don’t have trouble understanding anything in the document or article.

Know your audience.

Know the purpose of the document.

Know your audience.

Know the subject matter.

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Know What They Expect And How They Will Use It, If They Are Familiar With It Already

Know how to present information in a way that’s easy for them to understand (and not just because you think you’re an expert). It may mean breaking down complicated topics into smaller parts or using graphics and screenshots instead of paragraphs of text or bullet points — whatever makes sense for both parties involved!

Write to be understood, not to show off.

Write to be understood, not to show off.

Use simple language and sentences.

Avoid Jargon And Buzzwords, Which Are Often Misunderstood Or Misinterpreted

Don’t use long sentences when simple ones will do. For example: “There are many ways in which I can think of how you can improve your writing skills.” This could be replaced by: “Here are a few tips on how to become a better writer.”

Aim For Readability

When you write technical documentation, you should aim for readability. You want your readers to be able to understand what you’re writing without too much difficulty. You should use simple words and avoid jargon. 

Your sentences should be shorter and easier to follow. You can also use headings, lists, subheadings, and bullet points to break up the text into easier-to-follow sections.

You can also use tables and graphs if necessary to help illustrate information clearly or make comparisons between different aspects of the product or process being documented.

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Go For Clarity

The most important thing to keep in mind when writing technical documents is that your readers are not you. You don’t know what they know, and you don’t know how much time they have to read your document. That means you have to take the time to anticipate what they will need out of it, and provide it in a way that makes sense for them.

To Do This Well Takes Some Practice So Here Are Some Tips

Be clear and concise. People should be able to get through each sentence with no trouble (or at least as little trouble as possible). If a sentence is difficult to understand, see if there’s a way to make it easier by cutting down on jargon or wordiness, or restructuring the sentence so that it flows better.

Avoid jargon unless necessary. For example, instead of saying “We’re going through an internal redesign,” say “We’re changing our internal design process.” This will help ensure that everyone can understand what’s going on without needing extra context about why things are changing in the first place; plus it’ll show off how smart you are!

Use Plain Language

Plain language is the use of words and phrases that are easily understood by the reader. For example, instead of writing “the process was completed,” you could write “the process was finished.”

Plain language is more effective than technical language, in part because it’s easier to understand but also because people with disabilities can more easily understand plain language documents. 

For example, a person with low vision may be able to read a document written in plain English but not one with lots of technical jargon or acronyms.

Plain language should be used in all types of documents: reports, proposals, emails, memos you name it!

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Write In The Active Voice

When you’re writing, it’s important to use the active voice as much as possible. The active voice is more direct and concise than the passive voice, which makes your writing easier to understand and more engaging. For example:

In the active voice: “We created a new marketing strategy for our company.”

In the passive voice: “A new marketing strategy was created by us for our company.”

Keep It Concise

Keep it concise. It’s a good habit to have, and one that will make your writing more effective.

Make sure you don’t use jargon, or if you do, make sure it’s in context (for example: “The new protocol is based on the TCP/IP stack”). You should also avoid using unnecessary words such as “that” and “which.”

Don’t write long sentences try to keep them under 20 words at most; they’re not always easy to read or understand when they get longer than this.

Avoid passive voice wherever possible; this makes a sentence harder to follow since it focuses on what happened rather than who did it (e.g., “We were given a goal by our manager” versus “Our manager gave us a goal”).

Keep paragraphs short (no more than five sentences), and try not to exceed two paragraphs for any one point; if you need more space for an idea or concept, break up your thoughts into multiple paragraphs instead of making one huge paragraph that’s hard for readers’ eyes to follow!

Anticipate Your Readers’ Needs, And Deliver Just Enough Information To Meet Them

As a technical writer, it’s your job to anticipate the needs of your readers and ensure that they receive just enough information to meet them. You don’t want your document to be too short or too long; if it’s too short, it won’t answer their questions. If it’s too long, you risk losing the reader’s attention.

Likewise, you don’t want your language to be either so simple that readers can understand it without explanation which may mean there isn’t enough detail in the documentation or so technical that no one but experts will be able to use or understand what’s written on the page.

Curious about the daily experiences and insights of a technical writer? Delve into firsthand accounts and anecdotes that shed light on the profession with our article on What It’s Like to Be a Technical Writer.

Step Into Your Subject’s Shoes

Before you can write anything, you need to understand your audience. You should be able to predict what they know and don’t know. You should be able to tell if they have enough information or not, and how they will use the content (to solve a problem, for example).

Think about the context of their situation their daily routine and environment, and who are they interacting with. What is their background? How can you make your writing relevant to them?

Understanding your prospect’s goals is key. What do they want from this product or service? Why do they care about it at all? Is there something specific that would make them happy if it were done differently than now (or not even done at all)?

Avoid Wordiness And Jargon

Use shorter sentences.

Avoid using long words, especially if they have a simpler alternative.

Avoid long lists of examples or items in a list (it’s okay to have few or no examples).

Avoid using the same word over and over again in one sentence. This makes your writing sound repetitive and boring. Instead, vary your vocabulary. Try to change what you say every once in a while to keep the reader interested!

Be Aware Of Cultural Differences In Writing Style And Conventions

Be aware of cultural differences in writing style and conventions.

Writing styles vary from country to country, and even within a country, they can change depending on the audience or purpose of your composition. 

For example, generally speaking, newspaper headlines are smaller than book titles; you would use a different verb tense when writing an email than when writing a novel, and academic papers tend to be longer than blog posts! 

It’s important to consider what kind of document you’re creating so that everything flows together smoothly. 

Think about whether it should be formal or informal (or somewhere in between), how long it should be, who will read it (will they have any prior knowledge?), how technical or non-technical it needs to be… all these things matter because they affect how readers will interpret what you’ve written!

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Even if you think it’s a silly question or that someone might think you’re stupid, don’t worry about it! If there’s something you don’t understand, or even just want to clarify on a topic, there is no shame in asking for clarification. It’s better to ask once than make an error twice (or more).

In addition, don’t be afraid of asking for help and advice from your colleagues. They are often willing and able to provide insight into the process that may be useful for both yourself and other newbies in the field as well. 

And remember: everyone was new at some point! So keep this in mind when dealing with others; they will likely be understanding since they know what it feels like to be new themselves.

And finally and perhaps most importantly don’t hesitate when seeking out feedback from your instructor/mentor/supervisor! 

No matter how much experience someone has had doing technical writing before coming into this field; everything seems brand new when starting due to being unfamiliar with industry standards or practices within certain companies or industries (e.g., programming languages). So by all means go ahead and ask questions!

Choose Words Carefully

Choosing words carefully can help you achieve clarity, conciseness, and precision.

Avoid jargon and technical terms that may be confusing to your readers.

Choose familiar words that convey ideas clearly and accurately.

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Avoid Using Overly Long Or Short Sentences Because They Are Difficult To Read And Understand

Avoid using too many similar-sounding words in a row (e.g., “the dog was chasing the cat”), which can make your writing sound choppy and repetitive

Break up long chapters or documents into shorter sections and subsections, with clear headings and summaries (if relevant).

The next step is to break up your long chapters or documents into shorter sections and subsections, with clear headings and summaries (if relevant). This will help readers find what they need quickly, allowing them to skim through the document if they don’t have time for a detailed read.

Using headings effectively is one of the most important skills in technical writing. It’s easy to think that a heading such as “Chapter 1: Introduction” or “Section 4: General Issues” will be enough, but they often aren’t. Using more descriptive headings.”

The History of Social Media” or “The Benefits of Using Social Media” will make your work much easier to read when you’re planning it out.

You should also consider using bullet points where appropriate, as well as numbered lists and tables where necessary.”

Use relevant headings, subheadings, bullets, numbered lists, and tables where appropriate to facilitate skimming and scanning by your readers.

Headings and subheadings can be very useful when writing technical documentation. They allow you to break up your text into easily digestible parts, which is especially important for long documents. 

By using them, your readers will be able to skim through the document without getting lost or overwhelmed by all of the information you’re presenting them with. This can help people find what they’re looking for more quickly, too!

Make sure there are no spelling or grammar mistakes in the final document as these can be very distracting for readers always proofread thoroughly before submitting work!

Run A Spell Check: Check For Spelling Mistakes Or Typos

Run grammar check: Check for grammatical errors (punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph balance).

Use thesaurus: Look up synonyms in the thesaurus to find alternative words that convey the same meaning without sounding overly repetitive or verbose. For example, “drive” can become “move”, “conveyance” can become “carriage” and so on.

Use style guide: Make sure you are following any formatting instructions outlined in your company’s style guide or those of your client/customer (for example Microsoft Word has its own set of rules).

This will keep all documentation consistent across projects and ensure it is easy for readers to navigate through pages quickly when looking for specific information within documents.”


We hope that this has been helpful and given you some insight into what technical writing is, and how to do it. Remember, there is no single correct way of approaching technical writing it’s all about finding the way that works best for you!

Further Reading

Indeed: Technical Writing Career Development
Explore valuable insights on developing a career in technical writing, including essential skills and growth opportunities.

TechWhirl: What Is Technical Writing?
Uncover the fundamentals of technical writing and its importance in various industries through this comprehensive guide.

Skills You Need: Technical Writing
Enhance your technical writing skills with practical tips and techniques to create clear and effective documentation.


What is technical writing?

Technical writing involves creating clear, concise, and accurate documents that convey complex information to a specific audience.

What are the key skills required for technical writing?

Technical writing demands skills such as clarity of expression, research, attention to detail, and the ability to translate technical jargon into understandable language.

Is technical writing only for technology-related content?

No, technical writing applies to various fields beyond technology. It encompasses industries like healthcare, engineering, finance, and more.

How can I improve my technical writing skills?

To enhance your technical writing skills, practice writing regularly, seek feedback, learn from experienced writers, and stay updated with industry trends.

What are the common tools used in technical writing?

Popular tools for technical writers include word processors, content management systems, graphic design software, version control tools, and collaboration platforms.