Discussion Questions

Preface / Chapter 1: Know Your Purpose

  • What is technical writing?
  • How does technical writing differ from other writing disciplines (e.g. popular nonfiction, advertising copyrighting, etc.)?
  • What are the two purposes of technical writing?
  • What are some good examples of writing that informs?
  • What are some good examples of writing that argues?
  • Why is it important to have a purpose for your writing?

Chapter 2: Know Your Audience

  • What things should you consider when you visualize readers?
  • What are some differences in writing for a stakeholder audience (executives) versus a developer audience (experts and technicians)?
  • What are some differences between writing for a technician (mid-junior developer) versus an expert (senior developer)?

Chapter 3: Choose and Organize Your Content Around Your Purpose and Audience

  • How much content should you write for your document?
  • How do you choose what content to write?
  • What are the three main ways to organize content in your document?
  • Why should you create an outline?

Chapter 4: Write Clearly and Precisely

  • Why should you write without editing for the first draft?
  • How often should you create a paragraph?
  • How do you keep a reader's eyes on the subject?
  • Why should you avoid inflated language?
  • Why should you use the active voice most of the time?
  • About how many words per sentence is too much?
  • How many words per sentence do professional writers average?
  • Why should you write positively?
  • What is parallelism?

Chapter 5: Use Good Page Design

Chapter 6: Think Visually

  • Why do graphics play a major role in technical writing?
  • What are some examples of visuals that developers use in technical writing?
  • Graphics are used to communicate what three things?
  • What are the two main ways to portray objects?
  • What advantage do drawings have over photographs?
  • In what way should you display data? Why?
  • What audiences are graphs do for?

Chapter 7: Write Ethically