A lot of software testing outsourcing companies nowadays offers their customers the technical writing services as a part of the quality assurance background. But not everyone realizes the fundamental differences between a technical writer and usual writer (let’s call it literator). To immix these concepts would be incorrect, even though they are close.
Presentation’s accuracy of a technical writer and figurativeness (and sometimes – understatement) of a literator
After reading the technical writer’s text everything should be clear, no questions should remain – otherwise the document is not good enough. The main purpose of a literator is to write beautifully, metaphorically and interesting, the composition should contain some mystery, but if it is all clear right from the first page and the end is easily guessed than the product is of a bad quality.
Laconism of the technical writer and the longest “scrolls” of literator
The technical writing services are requested to provide a user with a maximum of information in a minimum of text, as much as to save the user’s time and to help him to quickly find the answer. That is why it is important to clearly structure the document and to make a qualitative table of contents. Literator in his turn can “savor” a topic as much as he pleases, inventing new definitions and additional turns of events.
Simplicity and uniformity of the technical writer’s language and an extensive vocabulary of the literator
Technical writer may use only literary words working on documentation. Conversational, vernacular terms, transliterations are a taboo. Also, any described essence should be always called the same way, without paying attention at the replays, for example, once the technical writer provides a computer folder with the “folder” name – since then this definition should be constantly used, excluding divers synonyms such as “catalog” and “directory”.
Literator, on the contrary, can flecker the speech with anything he considers to be suitable up to the obscene abuse, as well as pick up synonyms for any word describing the same recurring event in different ways.
Technical writer writes for specific audience, and a literator writes for ordinary people
The team of the technical writing company focuses only on the users of the product described, it is not necessary for them to take care of the general readers’ erudition as they should evaluate only the degree of the reader’s computer literacy.
The literator has to write in such a way, so that the knowledge of any potential reader would be enough to understand the text. The literator invents the text by means of his imagination and the technical writer establishes. Imagination in this case is not in a high demand, and sometimes it is even punished, although there are always some conformance exceptions.