Become a technical report writing pro

When it comes to technical report writing, practice makes perfect according to the experts.

Technical writing specialist, Phillip Verwey says the ability to write technical reports well is not just something that “happens”. So how does it come about? Verwey says “practice, practice and more practice” is the key.

Once a person learns the basic writing skills it is up to that individual to further develop their skills.

It is true that many people struggle to write essay's at school. Setting information out in a logical way is an art form that needs to be learned. Unfortunately “very little attention is given to technical report writing at tertiary level”.

This leaves most people at the mercy of Google. According to Verwey, the Internet is a good place to find tips for technical writing but it can also be confusing. Every article is written from one person's point of view so advice can sometimes be contradictory.

This is why practical training is so critical. Verwey will run a CPD-Accredited Technical Report Writing course at  Alusani Skills & Training Network®. During the course he covers some of the basic do' and don'ts of technical report writing.

According to Verwey the golden rule of technical report writing is “know your audience”. He explains that there is a big difference between writing for a CEO and writing for staff members. Each party has specific priorities and the writer must cater to these needs.

He says bad planning is one of the biggest enemies of good technical reports. This is caused by time pressures and the natural tendency to procrastinate.

Writers should also monitor verbose sentences and avoid the overuse of technical terms which Verwey refers to as “technicalese”.

He advises individuals to write for the reader, “it is not about you showing how smart you are”. Simply present information clearly and accurately so that people can understand. Keep your end goal in mind, which is to see people use the data.

Find out the difference between quantitative and qualitative data by joining the Technical Report Writing course hosted by Alusani Skills & Training Network® . For more information call 011 447 7470, email faith@alusani.co.za or visit www.alusani.co.za

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