I hate reading something that is inaccurate, wordy, and confusing. Any one of those three writing flaws would make me squirm. Combine all three in one written piece, and I am ready to come out of my skin.
So, when I first began technical writing, a group of technical communicators and I brainstormed the ABCs of technical writing.
Recently I added the “D.”
Accuracy – Check all figures, facts, statements with your SME (subject matter expert).
Brevity – Edit ruthlessly, eliminating the non-essential.
Clarity – Choose words, phrases, and sentence structures carefully. Organize logically.
Design – Examine the visual. Be intentional about layout, space, weight, emphasis, color, images. Do nothing to distract the reader.
I could go on. That would violate “brevity.”
(Thanks Dawn S, Heather P, and Felicia E for encouraging me to document these ABCDs.)
…wonder if there’s an “E?”