Questions tagged [technical-writing]

Documentation, tutorials, training, user guides, installation guides, design documents, and all other types of technical documentation in any domain (not just software).

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1answer
23 views

Starting a sentence one word before a new line

I am curious if starting a new sentence right before a new line, in this case leaving only one word before the new line, is correct. I am having trouble explaining even what this situation is, but I ...
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0answers
98 views

Effort equivalence between video course and written course

If 1 page of a technical course is worth 1 point, how many points is 1 hour of a technical video course worth, creation effort-wise? Background and context: I work in academia in a technical field (...
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1answer
27 views

Citation throughout my book rather than at the end as a bibliography

My book is a health/ wellness/ diet book/ metabolic issues etc. Throughout my book which I am 3/4 of the way through I have added in the website links after a piece of evidence. I have used 95% of my ...
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1answer
47 views

Correct way to write units of measurement in technical document?

"We have 31in of whatever and 4m of whatever etc..." Should there be a space between the number and the units? Should the units be in italics or normal font? When do the units go in italics? ...
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1answer
34 views

How do you get a patent description proofread?

How do you get a patent description proofread? Is it a service offered by patent office for free as long as you paid the application fees, or is it something you need to get proofread by someone? Also,...
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2answers
32 views

How to mark up dialog or menu item names in technical writing

I'm wondering about the correct way to mark up icon/menu item/dialog names in the context of technical writing (user's guide). Here's a small excerpt from a document I'm writing: Clicking the “...
4
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1answer
697 views

What is the process of creating a word using Latin and Greek word parts?

I am trying to create a word that means "division of a single God", but I am having some trouble. If I understand correctly, any word must have a suffix, root and prefix, but sometimes I ...
2
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2answers
61 views

Can we use 'then' after a 'when'?

I know about the logical expression of 'if --- then', such as 'If the temperature reaches or exceeds a particular temperature, then the kettle will turn off.' But what about situations that involve '...
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1answer
45 views

Should you cite the document you're refuting or only the documents you use to prove your argument in a research paper?

Should you cite the document you're refuting or only the documents you use to prove your argument in a research paper? I am wondering what's the consensus on this, because in my opinion, it doesn't ...
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2answers
96 views

How a psychiatrist must talk?

I wrote a scene of a psychiatrist talking to a traumatized child, and I read and read it several times but still not convinced and satisfied with it. Are there any book recommendations or extracts ...
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1answer
66 views

How do you create new words if latin suffixes and prefixes are not sufficient in allowing you to create a new word you want to create?

How do you create new words if latin suffixes and prefixes are not sufficient in allowing you to create a new word you want to create? What are the things people use to make up for a lack of latin ...
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0answers
29 views

Best way to explain references to historic currency

What is the best way to explain the pre-decimal British Pound in a text that has multiple references to it. I already have something written to explain how to convert from pre-decimal to post-decimal ...
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1answer
58 views

Capitalize "million" when using as a unit

When you write "1 Million", should it be "1 Million" or "1 million"? I would assume capital based on the symbol for mega being 'M'.
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1answer
29 views

Should there be a space between quantitative units?

I understand that the SI standard for units is to have a space between the number and unit: Unit of measurement and formatting https://physics.nist.gov/cuu/Units/checklist.html But, does this apply ...
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2answers
89 views

Database documentation verb choice: If "fieldname" has/contains/is/displays

I'm trying to find the right verb for database documentation. I have to write a lot of these and it is very long; so I am working for a consistent and reusable way to phrase this. What I have now: ...
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1answer
76 views

Writing about a large Application Programming Interface

I would like to write a tutorial for a large Application Programming Interface, let me call that way. It is a library of many elements, in the thousand range. Obviously, only part of it is frequently ...
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3answers
63 views

Mapping relationships between topics in a non-fiction series

I am working on a series of episodes that will be made into individual videos to explain different technologies and how they interrelate at different levels within a specific application domain (the ...
3
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1answer
94 views

What is the proper format for filetype extensions in technical writing?

We are writing a collaborative paper that will include various examples of data types. When stating the data type file extension, how should it be presented? For example, "The platform will be ...
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2answers
101 views

How do I write a strong hook for an argumentative essay?

The scenario is to write a hook for an argumentative essay. The topic is "Can tigers be kept in zoos?", as they have less space in zoos compared to nature, and for other reasons they should ...
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2answers
138 views

Should I use more transition words? [closed]

I just wrote a blog post, and then I went to publish it on our team blog. The Wordpress instance for the team has this "Yoast SEO" plugin. Among other things, it judges my writing style: I'...
4
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1answer
84 views

Mixed numerals and words in a list

In APA style, we generally use the word for numbers less than 10 and the numeral for numbers equal or greater than 10. However, I am editing a sentence that has predominantly single-digit numbers and ...
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2answers
90 views

Hyphen, Comma or Brackets? What should I use?

Which would be the proper style for a scientific publication: It is required that a, b, and, depending on a and b, c is given. It is required that a, b, and - depending on a and b - c is given. It ...
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3answers
89 views

How to credit an artist for adding minor details to a vehicle?

How do you credit someone for coming up with a general design of a vehicle without designing every little aspect about it? Let's say you make a video and you want to credit the person who came up with ...
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1answer
33 views

When is it appropriate to include citations in a guidebook?

I'm working on a series of self-published guidebooks aimed at teaching tech skills for people who aren't tech literate. My only prior experiences writing nonfiction have been research papers for ...
5
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2answers
342 views

Is it confusing for the reader to encounter in a novel the same language written with two different letters? Tamazight language as an example

I'm writing a fictional novel in English and I have a mythical character who speaks a combo of English-Tamazight (80% English). For those who don't know, it's the native language of all North African ...
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2answers
108 views

Writing about the historical relationship between math and physics

I'm not sure if this is best suited for Writing SE, or perhaps one of the science SE's. In any case, feel free to move this if fitting. I've been tasked with writing a 20-30 page paper on the history ...
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0answers
31 views

How should I structure a small non-fiction book/paper about a groundbreaking product/invention?

I want to write a book/paper about an invention I have thought and developed conceptually. But I'm really struggling on what I should include in it and how to structure the information. Any ...
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1answer
37 views

See examples 1 and 2 in section X - or - See section X, examples 1 and 2

Which form is more common when referring to examples (or, for example, tables)? Some text (see examples 1a and 2e in X). or Some text (see X, examples 1a and 2e). X is the title of the section. ...
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2answers
58 views

Is it correct to write: "Your payment's being processed"? [closed]

Is it correct to write: "Your payment's being processed" ?
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1answer
89 views

When vs. If vs. In situation where

An excerpt from Microsoft Writing Style Guide, which I'm trying to follow: Use if to express a condition, use whether to express uncertainty, and use when for situations that require preparation or ...
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2answers
249 views

How do you write a story with someone else overseas?

My friend and I have wanted to write a story together for a while now. But she lives in a different country, so we are just confused on how we can do this over calls. Because I know that we can't call ...
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3answers
196 views

Referencing figures, tables, sections and chapters: When to capitalize and when to use lower case letters

I know this question has been asked before, but I am still confused. That’s why I am asking again, but in a detailed way. In a scientific work, a master’s thesis for example, you will insert figures ...
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3answers
170 views

Engineer who wants to improve their writing from scratch

To expand on the title, I am about to finish my engineering degree. However, I haven't really written an essay for the past ten years. The main reason was that I focused all my attention on maths-...
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2answers
53 views

Section headings: "to check..." vs. "checking"

I have a technical document which consists of the following sections: 1. Assignment statements 2. Concatenation 3. Data types 4. To check whether key exists 5. To retrieve value 6. To check whether ...
3
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1answer
81 views

How to list main ideas in a conclusion chapter without being repetitive with the wording?

In the conclusions chapter of my book (technical, non fiction writing) I want to go over the main ideas I addressed throughout the entire book, as a reminder for the reader and really drive in some of ...
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2answers
67 views

ShareLaTeX or OverLeaf templates to write a book to be self-published on Amazon

I'm planning to write a book and eventually self-publish it online through Amazon (I haven't decided which platform on Amazon yet, but Kindle seems reasonable). The book will contain mostly texts, but ...
1
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1answer
175 views

Zero-that clause (noun clause with that)

After omitting "that" from a that-clause, is the clause still dependent? Or, does doing this turn it into an independent clause? For example: Before: "I suggested that she not go there." After: "I ...
3
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2answers
78 views

How to include figures and images in body text

I am writing a text (following MHRA style if that makes a difference) that refers to several images throughout, but I am unsure how to include them in my body text in terms of writing style. Does it ...
1
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1answer
37 views

Methodologies to organise writing/copy/editing tasks

This question is all about methodologies to handle the workload efficiently for a freelance who deals with copy/editing of documents/articles. In my branch (IT development) we have Agile Methodologies ...
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4answers
122 views

How do I avoid using punctuation inside quotation marks in technical writing?

As a computer programmer, I comment my code. For example: The following lines are dependent on "source 1" and "source 2". "Source 2" is a user login and password. Overall, the purpose is to ...
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1answer
64 views

What software do they use to create textbooks or board game manuals? [closed]

I'm wondering if there is some free software in which I could quite easily compose a book with a lot of images, something like textbooks for children for learning foreign languages (an example: https:/...
2
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1answer
51 views

mentioning verbatim sentence of another research

Is it possible to use a verbatim sentence of another research in our own studies? I, as an undergraduate psychology student who doesn't have any research experience, have heard that this is not ...
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2answers
80 views

Book recommendation for keeping writing specific / concrete

My job requires formal writing, however after self-review, I found that my writing does not have enough substance. This was confirmed as feedback from higher-ups implied that I use too many phrasal ...
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0answers
24 views

How do you quote a quote? [duplicate]

There's this sentence from Marie Kondo’s book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing that I want to use as a title of my project, and I'm not sure if I ...
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2answers
95 views

Past or present tense when describing a well-known method in the description of an experiment?

I am describing an experiment for a scientific paper. In this experiment, I use a very well-known technique which I briefly describe, similar to the following variant (#1): In this experiment, we ...
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1answer
43 views

Is "and" or "or" better in this sentence?

When I was writing a manual, I wrote a sentence like example no.1 below. Is it natural to use an "or" like the bolded ones in the sentence? Or it is better to use "and" like example no.2? 1 You ...
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2answers
103 views

How do you transcribe a person's tone (i.e. someone whose speech is rude and/or attacking)?

I've been having great difficulty with transcribing an individuals "tone" in my meeting notes!! For context: Recently I've been charged with transcribing an incredibly tense litigious meeting. My ...
1
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1answer
69 views

When to write (see Section ...) or simply (Section ...)?

I am writing a technical paper and would like to refer to a previous section in brackets. I have seen it done both ways: Things are like this and that (see Section ...). Stuff is stuff (Section ...). ...
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40 views

Constructing a standardized form for a collection of technical manuals

I've been reading several articles about the use of voice within technical writing (both passive and active) and would like feedback and guidance on the proposed content structure. Use Case I plan on ...
2
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2answers
119 views

Can MS Word perform single-source help authoring?

My company is using Microsoft Word to manage thousands of documents that ultimately end up publishing only to a couple outputs: primarily PDF but also some web and we're moving toward an app. We need ...

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