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Excerpt from Successful Technical Writing: Technical Articles, Papers, Reports, Instruction and Training Manuals, and Books
Engineers and scientists write more today than ever before in history. Almost every technical job requires some kind of writing from the formal report of the results of a research project to the preparation of an instruction manual or technical book. And more and more firms are urging their engineers to write magazine articles and technical papers for publication.
What about these men who must prepare material for publication? Does writing come easy to them - do they obtain maximum output during the time they write? Talk to engineers and scientists and you'll find the answer to both these questions usually is no. This is unfortunate because the writing burden of engineers and scientists is increasing and will continue to increase as long as technology moves forward.
Many solutions to the problem of the increased writing burden are used. Some firms hire huge technical-writing staffs - others farm their writing out to job shops specializing in this work. Advertising agencies form public relations departments to write articles, news, and equipment releases. Hundreds of public relations firms doing little more than technical writing have been Spawned in recent years.
But of these completely relieve the individual engineer and scientist of his obligation to write for the advancement of his field and personal career. In writing for publication, every technically trained man faces the familiar problems writers have tried to solve for hundreds of years - where to get ideas, how to develop them into publishable form, how to outline the writing task, and how to get the job done.
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