[rescue] Mac in the classroom?

N.Miller vraptor at promessage.com
Sat Aug 23 01:29:46 CDT 2003

On Friday, August 22, 2003, at 08:53 PM, Lionel Peterson wrote:

> --- Joshua Snyder <josh at imagestream.com> wrote:
>> On Thu, 21 Aug 2003, Lionel Peterson wrote:
>>> I've never heard of an English class (which I take to mean
>>> "Literature") that had computers in the room... Was there a
>>> computer for each student, or a machine in the back of the
>>> room? How was it used?
>>> Sorry, just curious...
>> No problem, it is was a technical writing class.  The class focused
>> on writing product documentation and stuff like that...
> Cool - sounds like a good, practical class - something a few more
> programmers should consider taking...
> I am a self-taught technical writer (and not very good at it ;^), and
> would love to find a practical course like this locally... I get called
> on to "write something" for an internal tool or software at work, and
> it is a fun exercise, but I'm making it up as I go along...

Beware one semester technical writing classes.  The best thing
you can do is practice, so that writing feels more natural.  And
when you see good tech writing make a note of why you think it's
good and ditto for the crap.

As I told my tech writing students, "You can learn all the rules
of perfect grammar, spelling, and writing, and still produce
garbage; all I can do is get you to practice and coach you."
(Writing as sport, I guess?  Golf might be a good comparison--
it's as much art as technique.)

Mull over "audience analysis"--like putting on a suit at certain
job interviews, producing documentation for an audience
requires putting yourself into their shoes to try and figure
out what it is they will need.


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