Technical Writing Process for Beginners | Amruta Ranade | Skillshare

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Technical Writing Process for Beginners

teacher avatar Amruta Ranade

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (12m)
    • 1. Overview of the 4 Draft Method

    • 2. Class Project

    • 3. Throwaway Draft

    • 4. Audience Analysis

    • 5. Rough Draft

    • 6. Review Draft

    • 7. Final Draft

    • 8. Bonus: What do Tech Writers Do

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About This Class

The Tech Writing for Non-Writers class is intended for people working in tech who are required to do some writing as part of their jobs, but aren’t trained or professional writers. The audience for this class includes engineering students, developers, product managers, designers, and newbie tech writers.

In this class, the students will learn a repeatable and logical four-phase process to create tech docs such as software documentation, tech blogs, tech resumes and cover letters, or even technical emails. Each of the four phases of the writing process has its own techniques and resources, as well as a corresponding output:

  • Phase 1: Self-writing (Output: Throwaway Draft)
  • Phase 2: Writing for your audience (Output: Rough Draft)
  • Phase 3: Editing (Output: Review Draft)
  • Phase 4: Reviewing (Output: Final Draft)

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1. Overview of the 4 Draft Method: I let them to take writing for non writers. I'm Amrita, and I'm a technical writer here in New York City. In the scores, I want to share my writing process that I use in my tech writing job. You will learn the four draft method to write any kind of technical document like technical block posts or user documentations are technical reports, e mails, resumes proposes any kind of technical document. Let's start with an overview off the four draft method and start with a blank bridge, and then you dump everything you possibly know about that subject onto the blank bridge to create the true we draft. Once you have all the information that you know about the topic onto the paper out off your brain. Now it's time to process it and think about the leader. This is very people from audience analysis and decide the structure and the content of the document. We added the through over drug based on this information to create that after then we self I did the trucks plastic program early you the text to speech software and use a style guide to create the reviewed Rusk. And finally we send a review, dropped for technical gadget Auriol and peer reviews, and incorporated the feedback to create the final drug 2. Class Project: to help you with the technical writing process. I've created a glass workbook. You will use this workbook in your glass project for your class product. You will choose any type of technical document. Did a technical book post off user documentation or technical proposal or resume or emit any type of technical documents you want? Once you have chosen your document on your topic, it will walk through the World Book and share the length of the completed workbook in the class Project section. Now let's dive into the technical writing process. 3. Throwaway Draft: The first draft of the deck writing process is the true of a draft. The first person that you write for is yourself. The idea here is basically to free right for 25 minutes without worrying about Grandma punctuation sentence structure, none offered. Nobody else is ever going to look at this draft. Remember, this is a throwaway draft nobody else has ever born a look at it. So that's your first action step for the class project in the class Workbook Scroll over to the true over Drop section. Second time on for 25 minutes and right, everything you know about the topic onto the page. 4. Audience Analysis: Now that we have returned the throwaway draft for ourselves, it's time to think about the reader. In my experience, thinking about the reader and performing audience analysis is the most crucial part off the writing process. You get the step right under document, Practically writes itself. Messing up the step is how the end up with an ineffective document. In this case, I tried to figure out who my audience is and why other reading my document. What brought them to my document in the first place? How did they discover it? What type of device are they using to read my document? What state of mind of the are they in a relaxed state off mine and that the scrolling through the block post? Or are the dealing the document intently to study it and to gain information from it? Are are there in a frustrate er state of mind and are looking for three concerts? Well, thinking about your readers, it is also important to keep in mind that your document might have my people readers. Your document will likely have primary secondary and gatekeeper redos. Let me explain. Let's consider the example. Offer technical resume the resume has multiple audiences. The hiring manager who is the primary audience but a type person whose cancer resumes and makes the decision about who gets forwarded to the hiding manager next, the second of the audience. And the gatekeeper, which is most probably a computer software that's cancer cures and source the applicable resumes you might want to analyze. Each of these audiences took over your basis. The action. Step off this phase is to complete the audience analysis worksheet in the World Book in the World Book. You will identify the Primary secondary and Gatekeeper readers for your document and for each of the readers, answer the problems in the work chic. Answering these problems will help you think about your readers from different perspectives , and we'll give you a lot of clarity about who you are exactly writing for. 5. Rough Draft: Once you're done with the audience analysis, you can move on to the next draft, which is stuff drop. Your audience analysis will help you to say the most effective structure for your documents . For example, if the audience analysis tells you, like most of your readers are developers who are looking for quick information, you can decide to make your document very scannable and easy to locate the information. You can add bulleted lists. Overjoyed I dams to help explain the concept quickly at a glance, you can add headings and subheadings basically make their document easy to scan for the information, whereas if the audience analysis tells you like your readers are going to be in a relaxed state of mind there scrolling through the block post on the subway, then you can go in depth. You can explain the concepts and more details. You can give more detailed examples. You can add more reference materials or add some more dealing with stated that the readers can don't refer to in their own time. So all these dissidents about your document, how do you structure how much corn can do you add? What content do you put in What content do you live out? Do you need more additional resources? Do you need more visual diagrams? All of these dissidents stem from the audience analysis. We use this information to structure the throwaway drug and cleared the roof drops. Action step for this space is to copy and paste your to our drug in that of draft section and then based on the audience analysis structure, the true over drop and our or remove content to create that after 6. Review Draft: the next half is the review draft. In this face, we headed that off draft to create the review, dropped my technical writing process. Has Ford ordering freezes. The force editing phase is a self Frederick, where I just read to the document and do a basic clean up, like the obvious grammar mistakes or off the spelling errors or send instructor just a basic cleaner. Then I use Graham early, protect my spelling, grammar, don't and style. My favorite part about Graham, oddly, is that you can set goals for their documents so you can set a goal as wanting to inform the audience who is knowledgeable in an informal style and with my emotions and off course . You want a technical document after putting my documents. Will Graham. Oddly, I use the extra speech feature on my MacBook pro toe. Have the laptop really document out loud to me. This has me here for awkward sentence praising or missing articles or just a basic auditory check. And finally I go through our style guide and make sure that I followed all the guidelines. The action step for this piece is to copy and paste your rough draft into the review draft section and then use all four phases off editing to create the review draft. I highly recommend that you try out all four faces off editing so that you can figure out which ones work for you and which talk. 7. Final Draft: Once you have the review draft, it's time to get technical beer and editorial reviews. The action set for the space is to share a length to your workbook in the classroom. Exception to get reviews from me and your peers. Once you get the reviews, incorporate the feedback into your document to create the final draft. You're ready to publish your document. I hope this class was up flute, and more importantly, I hold the work before helpful. I really hope that you can use this workbook every time you're faced with a technical writing project here. The coffee off the workbook for each of your technical writing projects and complete the steps to create your final drafts as you in the future class. Until then, happy writing. 8. Bonus: What do Tech Writers Do: today we're going to talk about the type of documentation that technical right does create in the tech industry. But before we get into that, we need to understand what is technical writing. I think of writing is a part of a bigger field or technical communication, and technical communication is a practice off communicating technically complex information to your audience. The key words here are information and audience. Okay, now that we have this definition, let's try to apply it to the wolf, the technical writers to. So in my experience, technical writers create three type of documents in the tech industry. The first is you. I base starts. The second is developer docks on the tour. Our deployment dogs. Let me explain what they mean. Let's take an example. So you do. YouTube is a software service that allows you to host and stream videos. You're watching this video on YouTube, which makes you you give users and as a user to interact with the YouTube. You. Why, that is the user interface. To watch play like share videos, manage your playlists to manage your account. You know the normal YouTube stuff. Now the developers, if you do you need a way to convey this information to their users so that I think that I does that. YouTube or documents to help the users navigate the These dogs are what accord, but you are based ox. Now let's say you want to create your own YouTube channel and upload videos to YouTube. In that case, you're still a user off the u. Y. But you are a slightly advanced user now, so you need documents to help you understand and navigate the advance, you y and figure out how popular videos. What type of radios can you upload? We'll have to call other YouTube guidelines and stuff like that. So the doctor, inserting to help you create your own channel and upload videos, can also be categorized as you drive a Struck's. Now let's take it one step further. Suppose you want to create a YouTube app. In that case, you need more tools than just to you what you need. YouTube AP Eyes, which help you send request for you to get data from YouTube. Basically, integrate your ABS opportunity. So the documents returned to help you figure out how to integrate your app with you, too Aguadilla Paradox appear Documentation is a subset off developer documentation. Okay, suppose that you have created an awesome YouTube app on a ready to launch it, which probably means you need toe holstered on a cloud platform. Let's say the cloud platform you chose this digital ocean. In that case, you're dealing with those off their bottoms. You're dealing with you two and you're dealing with digital ocean. Now you need to figure out a way how to make your after work with both of these off the products, right? For instance, Say you want toe manage network bandwidth for your users. You need to see that out. The optimal bandwidth that you recommends for its video streaming. So this and the optimal bandwidth that digital ocean can support. And then you need to figure those things out and make the match, and you need to refer to the recommendation off both you do on digital ocean to figure that out. Documents are trying to help you make these decisions and figure out the deployment process is what I call it the Flaming Docks. To recap technical writers in the software industry will country type of documents you buy based stocks, developer docks and the primary dogs. As a technical writer, you might end up walking on only one of these drugs or all of them. For example, I woke on all these three documents at work, so that's what I do at work. I help our users usar awesome product to create even more awesome products. Best job in the world.