(Re)define Technical Writing

Technical Writing Definition

At the beginning of the semester, I was not sure of what technical writing meant. My definition was not clear and I was very confused by the beginning assignment being a NASA reading. My new definition of technical writing would be a particular writing in a professional context for a targeted audience. Technical writing should use jargon from the topic of discussion. Engineers would be writing for other engineers. They would understand the topic and be able to clarify what message is being written. The difference between technical writing and academic writing is the aspect that technical writing is directed towards a certain group. Academic writing can be understood by anyone and should be written as if the reader has no prior knowledge of the topic.  Technical writing is a much more set form of specific writing for particular audiences. It is used in a professional setting and varies depending on profession. 

Personal Reflection 

  • In what ways has your understanding of the process of technical writing changed from the start of this course to its end? When beginning this course, I signed up for it to add hours to my minor total. I was not sure what technical writing was but I knew that the Ole Miss writing teachers were helpful and I could get the help I needed. My definition of technical writing at the beginning was very undefined and skewed. Now I believe my definition would be that technical writing can be more than just writing for medical professionals or engineers, it is the aspect of the daily writing like STOP signs that we take for granted every day. In what ways do you think you will use the skills and experience you have gained from this course in your future work? I think now I will know exactly what is identified as technical writing. It is more than just stop signs and the cereal nutritional guide. I would feel more prepared now to go into the medical writing field if needed or some other occupational job. What specific content from this course challenged you the most? Our final project was the one I found most difficult. I think it was the combination of it being a group project in an online class with a heavy course load. What specific content from this course do you think you learned best? My research paper on the creative commons was where I learned the most. I feel so much more knowledgeable about my options as a journalist and writer to own my work and have that security. I feel like I may have more knowledge on the topic than I need but I am able to tell my friends or colleagues to help gain ownership to their work. 

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