Wednesday, October 13, 2010

On Writing

Writing is easy. All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper or blank computer screen until drops of blood form on your forehead. Joking aside - - you don't have to be the world's greatest writer, but engineers need to be able to put their words on paper in a way that is readable, grammatically correct, and gets the idea or point across. In the age of the written word - - the ability to communicate in writing effectively is a critical survival skill.

Every document should tell somebody something - - it should tell a story. As the writer, you have to decide what to tell and how best to tell it to your audience. Who will be the reader? Considered these three ideas:
  • What they already know affects what you can leave out.
  • What they need to know determines what you include.
  • What they want to know suggests the order and emphasis of your writing.

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