Technical Writing Rules
Ask the following questions before publication. These are general guidelines and are not exhaustive.
Syntax and Voice
- Are all important or new terms defined?
- Are articles and pronouns omitted consistently, if applicable?
- Are nonspecific or useless words/phrases omitted (e.g. there are, here is, it, this)?
- Are specific verbs used?
- Do any words have simpler possible synonyms?
- Is passive voice used consistently, if applicable?
- Is language as concise as possible?
- Are optional stylistic elements (e.g. Oxford comma) used consistently?
- Are steps punctuated consistently?
- Is unnecessary capitalization present?
Are all steps in logical order?
Are any actions assumed in or between steps?
Do all points use parallel language?
Is each step a single action?
- Is all text formatted correctly (e.g. font size, face, color)?
- Is all text written according to client style guide?
- Are all graphics large enough to be readable?
- Are any graphics blurry?
- Do all graphics use sufficiently high color contrast?
- Is all secure or identifiable client/customer information blacked out?
- Is text placed a sufficient distance from graphics?
- Was all work checked while being written?
- Was all work checked after first draft?
- Has a coworker or editor checked final draft?
Remember: The writer is responsible for the end product!