February 4, 2013

Are Technical Writers and Content Writers Same?

In an initiative to  encourage ADID Alumni and other technical writers to share technical writing knowledge,ADID invited Jaspal Singh to share his experience as content writer and technical writer, he come up with well knit and researched post .

You can write to him or post comment to ask anything dropping from your mind on changing profession from content writing to technical writing..

To a layman, technical writing and content writing might come across as a similar thing. There are various attributes that are common between both professions. However, one can easily find aspects that discern one from the other. 

Basic job of technical writers is to develop and design technical documentation in which creativity as well as knowledge about technology is required. On the other hand, content writers write for websites, newspapers and magazines. Before discussing the differences, let’s talk about their common attributes first. 

  • Excellent grammar 
  • Outstanding writing skills 
  • Good analytical skills 
  • Need to identify the target audience
Following table represents factors that distinguish Technical Writing from Content Writing:

Content Writing
Technical Writing
Excellent Grammar and Writing Skills
Excellent Grammar and Writing Skills + Technical Knowledge
Write-ups should be interesting so that audience can find a connection
Write-ups should be user-friendly with clear and crisp information
Need to exaggerate things
Need to make common people aware about the technology without using hardcore technical terms (jargons).
Basic computer skills with fair knowledge of fundamental software packages and good knowledge of Internet and searching options
Software packages to know in addition to basic package:
·        RoboHelp
·        Adobe Framemaker
·        Camatasia
·        SnagIT

Attention-grabbing writing style is a must
Need to understand the domain and the target audience
Knowledge about current affairs
Knowledge about latest technology
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February 1, 2013


Some Rules for Comma and Inverted Comma.

This guest post is from Raksha Pradeep,Director of ApraDocs Information Developers, New Delhiholds a Masters Degree in Business management in Human Resource from IBS, Mumbai University .Apart from her services in corporate sector she is also involved with various reputed institutes as visiting/ guest faculty for Business Communication.

Comma (,)

A comma is a punctuation used to denote a pause in the sentence. A comma is used to structure a sentence and helps the reader understand the meaning of the sentence.
Place a comma after each introductory word, phrase, or clause.
Eventually, she had to admit that he was the better classical singer.
In the introductory speech, the philosopher appears to be a scholar of the topic.

Whenever I get break from my busy schedule, I go to my mother’s apartment to relax.
Use comma:
·         To join the items in list:
They own a cat, a dog, two rabbits, and six mice
·         After certain adverbs:
Commas are always used to set off certain adverbs at the beginning of a sentence, including however, in fact, therefore, nevertheless, moreover, furthermore, and still.
If these adverbs appear in the middle of a sentence, they are followed and preceded by a comma.
(can be preceded by a semicolon)
Using commas to offset certain adverbs is optional, including then, so, yet, instead, and too .
Ex-So, that's it for this rule. or
So that's it for this rule.
·         Parenthetical phrases
Commas are often used to enclose parenthetical words and phrases within a sentence (i.e., information that is not essential to the meaning of the sentence).
Ex- M S Dhoni, Cricket Captain of India, hit the ball to score a six.
·         Between Adjectives
·         Before quotes
·         In dates (only when it is written in month day format)
Ex- January 21, 2013
·         In Numbers:
Ex- In representing large numbers, English texts usually use commas to separate each group of three digits. (numbers of 5 or more digits)
·         In names:
Commas are used when writing names where surname is presented first: Smith, John. They are also used before many titles that follow a name: John Smith, Ph.D.
·         As an ellipsis:
·         Commas may be used to indicate that a word has been omitted, as in The cat was white; the dog, brown. (Here the comma replaces was.)
to set off a direct address:
Vijay, will you please close the door?
·         The same rule applies when you replace the name with a word which defines the relationship.
Darling, will you marry me?
Doctor, Is everything fine?
·         Place a comma before and after the name of a state when you name a city and state in a sentence.
·         If you include a full address in a sentence, place a comma between each part of the address except for the zip code. No commas should be placed either before or after the zip code. 
·         Place a comma before the coordinating conjunction when you combine two independent clauses into a single sentence.
Ex- Neha studies very hard , but  she still gets poor grades in English.
·         Place a comma after but not before a dependent clause.
Ex- Dependent clause, Independent clause
Independent clause Dependent clause
·         Comma is always placed between the speaker and the direct quote.
·         Place a comma where a pause is required in order to avoid misreading.

Apostrophe (‘) 
 Apostrophes are used to show possession and omission.
1. Used to show possession: Possession means ownership. When you want to indicate that an object or a trait belongs to or is an attribute of someone or something, you use an apostrophe. Where you place the apostrophe depends on whether the possessive noun or pronoun is singular or plural. 
To form the possessive of a singular noun, add an apostrophe and an s.
o   Tree’s leaf
2.    To form the possessive of a singular proper noun, add an apostrophe and an s, even if the proper noun already ends in s:
o   Doll owned by Sita – Sita’s doll, Jesus’s love
To form the possessive of a plural noun that already ends in s, add only an apostrophe:
The officials decision--(the decision was made by a group of officials)
To form the possessive of a plural proper noun, add only an apostrophe:
The Indians' protest
To form the possessive of an irregular plural noun that does not end in s add an apostrophe and an s:
Children’s bag

Forming Possessive Compound Nouns
If ownership is separate, make each noun possessive by adding the appropriate apostrophe or an apostrophe and an s:
During Dussehra break, I'll be staying at my brother's and my sister's houses.
The brother and sister separately own separate houses. 

If ownership is shared, make only the final noun possessive:
Every year, I visit my mom and dad's winter cottage and summer house.
Mom and dad jointly own both residences. 

3.Used to show contractions of words: Use an apostrophe in place of omitted letters in contractions:
o   It is so hot today – It’s so hot today
o   I have not done my homework – I haven’t done my homework
Use an apostrophe to indicate omissions in dates and expressions.
80’s, the class of ‘36, singing ‘n’ dancing
The most common apostrophe error is using the apostrophe when what you really want is a plural noun rather than a possessive one. Let’s take examples to illustrate the usage:-
The hares burrows
You have hares and you have burrows, but you don't know the relationship between them.
The hare's burrow
one hare has one burrow.
The hare's burrows
now one hare has multiple burrows.
The hares' burrow
Multiple hares is sharing one burrow.
The hares' burrows
Lots of hares have lots of burrows.
Don't use an apostrophe with personal pronouns. Ex- yours, theirs
Know to differentiate between possession and contraction
Ex- it’s and its. It’s is ‘It is’ while its is possession

Proper use of these punctuation marks can help the writer to bring the actual essence that he wants to convey through his writing.