RE: Knowledge of subject matter

Subject: RE: Knowledge of subject matter
From: "Bill Swallow" <wswallow -at- nycap -dot- rr -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2004 01:07:41 -0500

::: Interesting comment, but "knowledge of the subject matter"
::: is a sticky point.
::: Most current university offerings, both graduate and
::: undergraduate, tend to
::: emphasize training generalists for TW. The emphasis is on
::: the principles,
::: rather than on subject matter, the theory being that TWs
::: represent end users
::: more than SMEs and that representation may actually be
::: hindered by an abundance
::: of subject matter knowledge. (I am not advocating this
::: view, just stating it).

Right. Those who can, do. Those who cannot, teach. This is old hat, my
friend. ;)

::: In fact, a number of TWs indicate that subject matter
::: expertise hinders their
::: ability to write to the level of the end user; my question
::: is usually "what if
::: the end user is an electrical engineer or a biotechnologist?"

Right now my end users are experienced developers and software architects.
Next project they will most likely be keyboard monkeys. You can't focus on
one audience type, therefore you need to know your subject matter COLD. In
other words, I agree with you. ;)

::: However, I disagree with the idea that subject matter
::: competence is sufficient
::: for TW, and that writing tasks can easily be accomplished
::: by the average
::: manager. The simple truth is that writing skill is far more
::: important;

No, communication skill is most important. Writing can be edited. Clear
communication cannot. It's either clear and good, or it sucks. There is no
gray area when it comes to communication; it either succeeds or fails.


ROBOHELP X5 - ALL NEW VERSION. Now with Word 2003 support, Content
Management, Multi-Author support, PDF and XML support and much more!

Now is the best time to buy - special end of month promos, including:
$100 mail-in rebate; Free online orientation on content management
functionality; Huge savings on support and future product releases;
PLUS Great discounts on RoboHelp training. OFFER EXPIRES March 31!
Call 1-800-358-9370 or visit:

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as:
archiver -at- techwr-l -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.

Knowledge of subject matter: From: Edwin Dahlquist

Previous by Author: RE: Tech writers, comments about.
Next by Author: RE: Knowledge of subject matter
Previous by Thread: Re: Knowledge of subject matter
Next by Thread: Re: Knowledge of subject matter

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads