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We're all Tech Writers Now: Three Steps to Clear Writing for the Web Take some tips from technical writing which will make your opinions clear and persuasive in the brand new reading environment of the web. Print media puts the reader in the passenger's seat. What if you do not want a character to die? Imagine if you don't just like the direction the story has taken? Traditional reading is linear--you start at chapter one and you also go to the end, without detours in between. Instruction manuals will always be different. Who reads instruction manuals from beginning to end? Instead you dip involved with it, try something, and if that doesn't seem to work, flip a few pages backward or forward and try again. Now the internet has become a huge manual where the reader can move around at will--technology has stolen authorial control. You need to expect your readers to jump around. To reach write for us technology , whatever you write for the web has to follow exactly the same three rules that technical writers use: Write in Chunks Readers pick and choose. Understand that your audience is not expecting a story--they have specific goals. Points need to be self-contained and clearly marked to greatly help them find what they're searching for and move ahead. Respect your reader's time--don't make them eat the sundae when all they want is the cherry. Follow a Structure You can structure your content by category, rank, location--but there has to be a structure. By organizing your details you're giving your reader a tool that lets them find what they're searching for and skip what they don't really need. If you cannot find a structure that works, you should define your points more clearly. Connect it Together You can't force your reader to follow the road you've set for them, nevertheless, you can give them usage of information that supports your message. Don't be afraid to link, both to resources outside your document also to pages in it. Your role would be to help them achieve their goals; point them towards resources that help them do that. Like technical writing, the internet is about helping people find information. Adopt some of the principals of technical writing in your own work to create it get results.
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