21 Self/Source/Audience- the three components of Tech Writing

Three components for understanding the process of technical writing:


Self (writer)

Recognize your role in the writer/reader relationship. Be familiar with these questions:


o   Who am I (in the writing process)? Why am I communicating information?


o   What are my goals? Where do I want to go (with the info I provide)?


o   What is my purpose? Why do I want to go there?


o   How am I going to achieve my goals and purposes? What method of communication will I use?


Source (organization)

Recognize the group/individual for which you are writing, whether it’s for a business, a non-profit group or your own personal needs.


§  Whom am I representing? What are their goals/purposes?


§  What position do I have with them?


§  How do I represent them? What resources do I need?


§  Why do they need representation?


Audience (reader)

Recognize the individual, group that you will be presenting information to.


What do they need to know? How do I decide?


How do I go about doing that? What tools do I need?


What is their level of understanding (knowledge)?


How do they feel about the topic and about me (attitude)?


Why are they involved with this written communication (purpose)?


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Technical Writing Copyright © by Lumen Learning is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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