4 min read

What is Technical Writing?

What is Technical Writing?

Technical writing is a form of writing that focuses on providing in-depth technical instructions, guidance, or explanations about a specific topic.

Unlike types of writing such as academic or business writing, technical writing serves a unique purpose and requires distinct qualities.

The Importance of Technical Content

The importance of writing must be recognized in industries and businesses. It simplifies topics and procedures, making them understandable and achievable.

Certain tasks and processes would be unintelligible to an average individual without this kind of content, even impossible to comprehend.

To fully grasp the significance of writing in your business or industry, it is crucial to understand what it entails and its distinctive characteristics.

In this guide, we will cover all aspects of technical writing.

What is technical writing?

What exactly is technical writing? Let's dive into its components.

Technical writing plays a role across businesses and sectors by effectively conveying complex information to individuals who require it to carry out specific tasks or achieve particular objectives. 

Technical writing, often known as "simplifying information," falls within the communication domain and is primarily applied in various technical and operational fields.

These include technologies, engineering, science, aeronautics, robotics, finance, medical science, electronics, environmental regulations, and biotechnology.

Critical aspects of technical writing

Technical writing stands apart from other styles of writing due to several distinguishing factors.


Technical writing aims to convey information concisely, leaving room for interpretation. The language used is straightforward and succinct.


Facts are presented in a to-the-point manner.


Technical writing employs precise terminology to describe objects and processes accurately.

Ease of comprehension

Technical writers use understandable words while avoiding jargon.

Literal emphasis

Emphasis is placed on definitions to prevent any misunderstandings arising from word connotations.

In-depth coverage

Technical writing leaves no room for ambiguity by providing factual overviews.


Technical documents must have a structure that enables readers to follow along with step-by-step instructions easily.

Skim friendly design

Documents are designed with "skimmability" so readers can quickly find the information. This often includes features like tables of contents, indexes, and descriptive headings.

Technical documents serve the purpose of providing instructions or technical knowledge to solve problems.

The goal of writing is to communicate complex information so that readers, regardless of their expertise, can understand and apply it.

Technical Writing Jobs

So what exactly does a technical writer do?

Technical writers are communicators who create materials like product manuals, guides, online wiki sections, journal articles, and more. They aim to simplify and explain information.

These writers typically have expertise in subjects through background or professional experience. They use this knowledge to clarify concepts and ensure that content is easily understandable by developers, project groups, engineers, consumers, and other readers.

Job Responsibilities

The main responsibilities of a technical writer include

1. Collecting information related to a company or department's business area.
2. Planning the creation of documents based on the company's requirements.
3. Organizing information according to its importance and value.
4. Editing the documentation.
5. Storing copies of all documents securely in a database.
6. Maintaining a glossary and library containing terms and records.

In addition to these responsibilities, specific areas of expertise may require other duties for writers.

For instance, medical professionals often publish journal articles and reviews about medicine-related topics.

Regardless of the industry they work in, technical writers play a role in democratizing dense ideas.

Technical Writer vs. Technical Editor

Although both technical writers and technical editors possess expertise in their field, their roles differ significantly.

Here are some ways they're different:

Scope of work

Technical writers create content while technical editors refine and enhance it.

scope of work template


Writers specialize in producing well-organized content, while editors ensure clarity, consistency, and high quality.

Skill set

Technical editors have honed skills such as proofreading and attention to detail. Conversely, technical writers excel in research techniques and organizing content effectively while adapting to various writing styles.

Examples of Technical Writing

Technical writers create a variety of documents, which include:

1. Operating procedures (SOP). These are guidelines that outline tasks within an organization to enhance efficiency and ensure consistency.

2. Case studies and white papers. These demonstrate expertise in areas. Case studies analyze events or projects, while white papers investigate challenges or issues specific to industries.

3. Business proposals. Documents that outline proposed projects or services to clients.

4. Technical documentation. Manuals, guides, specifications, and reference materials related to software, engineering, or other technical fields.

5. End user instructions. User manuals, troubleshooting guides, assembly instructions, etc., are designed to facilitate the use of products.

6. Technical reports. Present accurate information about the origin, development, modifications, etc. of a product.

7. Corporate reports. Conducting research and providing findings to stakeholders from various backgrounds.

8. Research results. Documenting laboratory research and findings with a focus on pharmaceutical industries in particular.

9. Procedures. Outlining guidelines for management well as employee handbooks.

10. Literature reviews. Summarizing existing knowledge on a topic to inform research endeavors.

11. API documentation. Explaining how software applications can effectively integrate and utilize APIs.

There are more, but you get the idea: technical writers have lots of options.

How to Become a Technical Writer

If you're interested in pursuing a career as a writer, there are steps you can take to set yourself up for success.

1. Education and Training. While having a degree is not always mandatory, consider pursuing a bachelor's degree in English, journalism, or a related field. Additionally, certifications and workshops offered by organizations like the Society for Technical Communication (STC) or American Medical Writers Association (AMWA) can provide knowledge and skills.

2. Acquire Relevant Skills. Gaining knowledge related to the industries you plan on writing for is essential. Develop research abilities, effective writing skills, and excellent communication capabilities. Being adaptable, paying attention to detail, managing your time well, and collaborating effectively are qualities.

3. Familiarize Yourself with Style Guides. Get acquainted with used style guides such as the Microsoft Manual of Style, Chicago Manual of Style, or APA Publication Manual. This will help ensure that your writing aligns with industry standards.

4. Determine Your Ideal Work Setting. Consider your preferences and career goals when deciding between in-house positions at companies, freelance work opportunities, or working with agencies.

5. Build Your Portfolio. Create a portfolio that showcases samples of your work, including manuals, guides, whitepapers, and other technical documents. This will demonstrate your expertise and capabilities to employers or clients.

Investing in your growth is crucial. Connect with industry experts by attending conferences participating in forums, and engaging with platforms. Take part in workshops, courses, and continuous learning opportunities to stay competitive and enhance your writing skills.

What Industries Use Technical Writers?

Technical writing holds importance across industries.

Technical writing plays a role in simplifying information, making it accessible and relevant to different businesses and sectors. It is integral to creating user documentation instructions, technical reports, feasibility studies, corporate reports, research findings, policies and procedures, business plans, white papers, case studies, literature reviews, and proposals. The list goes on.

Since its inception alongside written languages until today's era of advanced telecommunications technology, technical writing has rapidly grown in significance. It remains an aspect of our digital-first world that will continue to be crucial for years ahead.

Hire a Technical Writer

Are you ready to harness the expertise of technical writers?

Connect with our team at  Hire a Writer.

Witness how our proficiency can elevate your business documentation to heights! 

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