Breaking the Rules: “Don’t Let Good Grammar Spoil Good Writing” and Passive/Active Voice

  Oldies can be goodies: one of the wonderful things about the IEEE PCS Newsletters Archive is that much of its advice to writers remains valid. Philip Yaffe's "Don't Let Good Grammar Spoil Good Writing," from the April 2009 IEEE PCS Newsletter, tells us why breaking grammar rules can create positive results, depending on context and … [Read more...]

Cutting the Fluff from your Writing

Good professional technical writing involves a struggle between conciseness and completeness. Writers need to provide the evidence and reasoning to justify their claims in the shortest space possible. Cutting too much or the wrong things, however, can damage your ability to support your decisions. It's important, then, to be able to differentiate … [Read more...]

Simplified Technical English and Clearer Documentation through the Thumbs Up Technique (3/3)

As discussed in the beginning of this first article, Simplified Technical English (STE) is generally considered as being of great importance for writing clear and unambiguous content, mainly for user instructions like maintenance manuals. In this series of three articles, Ferry Vermeulen, MSc. will show three steps that will help to apply … [Read more...]

Simplified Technical English and Clearer Documentation through the Thumbs Up Technique (2/3)

As discussed in the beginning of this first article, Simplified Technical English (STE) is generally considered as being of great importance for writing clear and unambiguous content, mainly for user instructions like maintenance manuals.  In this series of three articles, Ferry Vermeulen, MSc. will show three steps that will help to apply … [Read more...]

How to Implement Simplified Technical English and Write Clearer Documentation with the Thumbs Up Technique (Part 1/3)

Simplified Technical English (STE) is generally considered as being of great importance for writing clear and unambiguous content, mainly for user instructions like maintenance manuals. However, many technical writers experience specific problems when implementing STE. Although theoretically possible, STE is not an easy language to learn by … [Read more...]

Using Numbers in Technical Documents

For engineers, like physicists, numbers are as important as words in reporting on their work, and carry much of the meaning behind their technical documents. However, how we write these numbers - and how we integrate them with text - may determine a reader’s understanding of that report. For example, take this passage: "An appropriate sample … [Read more...]