Examples Of Technical Writing: Complete Guide 2022

It’s a good idea to review several technical writing examples if you’re just starting out in the field to make sure you’re getting the hang of it.

A type of writing known as technical writing entails describing complex subjects in straightforward language. Examples of technical writing include user manuals, employee handbooks, standard operating procedures (SOP), software user documentation (help files), troubleshooting guides, and legal disclaimers.

The definition of technical writing and a few typical examples will be covered in this article to help you get started. Keep reading!

What Is Technical Writing?

Technical writing is any writing designed to explain complex, technical, and specialized information to audiences who may or may not be familiar with them. Typically, it is employed in technical and professional fields like engineering, robotics, computer hardware and software, health care, finance, and consumer electronics.

Usually, technical writing falls into one of three categories depending on whom it’s written for:

  1. Consumer-directed technical writing refers to technical content written for end-users or consumers. Good examples include user manuals, employee handbooks, standard operating procedures (SOP), software user documentation (help files), troubleshooting guides, and legal disclaimers.
  2. Expert-to-expert technical writing is written chiefly for a knowledgeable audience. It includes scientific papers, medical case studies, annual business reports, and legal case reviews.
  3. Technical marketing content is technical information presented in a digestible format to promote a product or service. Think marketing case studies, white papers, product brochures, press releases, and business plans and proposals.

Different Types Of Technical Writing

Technical writing is written to instruct, inform, or guide a reader on how to do something. Because technical writing is meant to impart a particular skill or ability, it differs significantly from other writing genres, like narrative writing. It’s also often very detail-oriented and involves writing within fields where advanced knowledge is required.

Technical writing assignments normally take one of three forms:

  • end-user documentation
  • traditional technical writing
  • technical marketing communications

End-user Documentation

End-user instructions are provided in end-user documentation for a specific product. Although a non-technical reader must be able to understand these instructions, technical knowledge is still needed.

See a few examples of different technical writing examples of end-user documentation:

  • a user manual that accompanies a cell phone
  • a user manual teaching home computer users how to set up a basic home networking system
  • a how-to guide for using laptops
  • a setup and installation guide
  • a description document

Traditional Technical Writing

Traditional technical writing is produced by an audience with a particular area of expertise for their fellow peers. Dive into a few examples of traditional technical writing:

  • an analysis of a legal case for other lawyers
  • a summary of a series of medical experiments to be published in a journal of medicine
  • an industry article for a trade publication
  • standard operating procedures for a company for payroll or paid vacation
  • FAQs for a company
  • technical specs and API documentation
  • informational documents like a whitepaper

Technical Marketing Communications

Technical writers occasionally need to contribute to a product’s marketing materials. For the reader to be able to understand and be interested in the product in that case, the writer must convey their expertise in a more approachable manner.

See a few examples of technical marketing communications:

  • a sales pitch to a new potential client about a new type of computer hardware or software
  • informative articles for the web to show businesses that using a particular IT consulting service can save them money
  • an in-depth case study on how the product benefitted a specific company
  • chain email to promote a new cell phone coming to the market
  • flyer introducing a cutting-edge exercise tracker to the market

8 Examples Of Technical Writing

You might constantly need to pick up new skills, broaden your knowledge, and work with brand-new types of content as a technical writer. Even though you might not have experience with all types of technical writing, it’s important to know how to do it.

You can practically work with any type of content if you learn all the nuances of technical writing and technical documents, provided you are familiar with the format.

It should be enough for you to get an idea from the following examples of technical writing. You can easily pick up on and use the distinctive qualities that each type of technical writing has to offer.

1. User Manuals

Many products, including consumer electronics like televisions, consoles, cellphones, kitchen appliances, and more, come with user manuals or instruction manuals. The user manual is a comprehensive manual that explains everything you need to know about using, caring for, and cleaning the product.

User Manuals

All technical manuals, including user manuals, must be very user-friendly. In order for a product to be used by someone with no prior knowledge, the technical writer must create a manual. Therefore, those who are total beginners, amateurs, or first-time users of the product are the user manuals’ intended audience.

User manuals have typically included text and diagrams to aid in user comprehension. However, in more recent times, user manuals have come to include pictures, numbered diagrams, disclaimers, flow charts, sequenced instructions, warranty information, troubleshooting guides, and contact details.

Technical writers must collaborate with engineers, programmers, and product designers to make sure they don’t overlook anything. By first using the product, the author also foresees potential problems that common users may experience. This enables them to gain first-hand experience and, as a result, create better user manuals.

Not all potential issues or problems are anticipated in the user manual. The customer service or help desk is better equipped to handle the majority of problems because they are unpredictable. The most that user manuals can do is address simple, everyday problems.

Examples and templates of user manuals are available here. For inspiration on how to create a unique user manual for your product, you can download them in PDF format and edit them.

2. Case Studies & White Papers

Case studies and white papers are tools for showcasing one’s subject-matter knowledge. Case studies examine a particular incident or project and offer conclusions that either support or refute a particular claim. White papers delve into addressing any challenge, issue, or problem that is particular to an industry.

Organizations use white papers and case studies to increase their sales and leads.

Expertise in the field and the project itself is required of technical writers who create white papers and case studies. The technical writer should ideally have previous knowledge of producing such white papers.

White papers and case studies each have their own formatting and writing style. Both documents call for technical writing abilities and are written with a specific target audience in mind. White papers are written in the active voice, while case studies are written in the passive voice. In any case, you must keep up a certain level of knowledge to be able to pull it off.

Here you can find a variety of templates and guides, as well as several examples of white papers. Here, you can find comprehensive templates and some case study examples.

3. API Documentation

Using and integrating with any API, including web-APIs, software APIs, and SCPIs, is made easy with the help of API documentation. Class descriptions, function descriptions, argument descriptions, and other information needed to use the API are all included in the documentation. In order to facilitate integration, it also includes examples and tutorials.

In any case, API documentation aids clients in comprehending how it functions and implementing API efficiently. In essence, it makes it simpler for people and businesses to interact with the code.

Dropbox’s API documentation serves as a great illustration of how API documentation should be done. More information on it is available here.

4. Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

A standard operating procedure, also known as an SOP, is a set of guidelines for carrying out various operational tasks.

An SOP document can include:

  • the way payroll is processed, for example.
  • Hiring employees.
  • calculating vacation time according to manufacturing standards.

In any case, SOPs make sure that everyone in an organization works cooperatively and consistently to uphold quality.

If implemented properly, SOPs can help to get rid of irregularities, favoritism, and other human errors. Last but not least, SOPs ensure that workers can assume the duties of an absent worker to prevent a work lag.

As a result, thoroughly researching an organization’s operations and processes is necessary for developing SOPs.

You can study the following examples of standard operating procedures. You can directly edit the samples or create your own while drawing inspiration from them.

5. Company Documents

Internal documents and new hire orientation guides are examples of company documents. Depending on how they are used, these documents may contain various information.

For example, orientation manuals include:

  • History of the business.
  • Organizational chart.
  • list of goods and services.
  • Map of the facility.
  • Dress codes.

It might also cover things like employee rights, duties, working hours, rules, regulations, disciplinary procedures, job descriptions, internal policies, safety precautions, educational opportunities, typical forms, and more.

Technical writing proficiency and knowledge of organization are required when writing business documents. These support materials help new hires integrate more quickly and smoothly into the workplace.

You can check out some excellent examples of orientation manuals here.

6. Annual Reports

The performance of a company and other financial data are updated annually in annual reports. Annual reports are used as a transparency tool and directly communicate with stakeholders of the company.

There are instances where annual reports double as technical reports. However, the majority of the time they cover stock performance, monetary data, information on brand-new products, and significant advancements.

Annual reports are created by technical writers, who must gather all the necessary data and present it in a visually appealing way. To ensure that the greatest amount of information is presented in a clear and comprehensive manner, it is imperative to use creative writing and excellent communication skills.

The technical writer must create an easy-to-understand technical communication strategy if the company is technical, like a robotics firm.

Here are some templates and examples of annual reports that you can look at.

7. Press Releases

Press releases are official documents that are released by a company or government agency to share information or make an announcement. The purpose is to establish a standard for disclosing any important information in a subsequent press conference, news release, or on a social media platform.

The press release focuses on the reasons why the information is crucial for customers and the general public. It is a fact-based document with numerous quotes from significant business stakeholders, including the CEO.

Press releases typically require a very specific writing procedure. They might have an executive summary or stick to the standard press release format, depending on how feasible it is.

Along with some writing advice, this website includes a number of examples of press releases from well-known corporations like Microsoft and Nestle.

8. Business Plans

Every business begins with a thorough business plan in order to create a vision and obtain funding. A business plan must still be the first step when opening a new branch.

In any case, the business plan has a few predetermined sections. Include the following sections in your business plan for it to be perfect.

  • Executive Summary – includes the business concept, product, or service, along with the target market. It might also contain details about the company’s key employees, its legal status, the time and place of its founding, and a summary of its finances.
  • Product or Service Description – includes what the offering is, what value it provides, and what stage of development it is in currently.
  • Team Members – includes all the information on the management team.
  • Competitor and Market Analysis – includes a detailed analysis of the target market and potential competitors.
  • Organizational System – includes information on how the organizational structure would work.
  • Schedules – include start dates, hiring dates, planning dates, and milestones.
  • Risks and Opportunities – include profit and loss predictions and projections.
  • Financial Planning – includes planned income statements, liquidity measures, projected balance sheets, and more.
  • Appendix – includes the organizational chart, resumes, patents, and more.

To create a comprehensive business plan, the technical writer must collaborate closely with the organization’s stakeholders.

You can review a large number of business plan samples and examples here, organized by industry.

How To Start Technical Writing?

Instruction manuals, assembly guides, and research papers, oh my. Technical writing can quickly turn into a snooze fest if not done correctly.

How do you write something technical that readers want to read?

1. Identify Your Audience

In particular when writing technical content, knowing your audience is crucial.

For instance, the experienced doctor reading a medical research paper may have a different level of medical knowledge (and sheer focus) than the new dad learning to build his first crib.

You can modify your vocabulary, tone, and framing in accordance with the audience you anticipate reading your work.

This allows you to meet your reader from their point of knowledge.

2. Dig Deep In Your Research

You’ll be leading your reader through completely uncharted territory as a technical writer.

You might be describing the operation of a novel electronic device, what to anticipate in their new workplace, or the circumstances surrounding their firm’s decision to take on a particular legal case. It is essential that you fully understand your subject matter.

You can only teach what you know, and when you don’t conduct adequate research, knowledge gaps become apparent.

Consider your audience as a whole. Assume you had no prior knowledge of the subject at hand, and make sure your research answers any questions you might have.

3. Create An Outline

To help you understand what you need to cover in your piece, we advise creating an outline. As you carry out your research, this can also help you find knowledge gaps.

When you’re writing longer-form content like white papers or case studies, an outline can serve as a marker to remind you of what you need to include.

In lieu of an outline, you can use a template. Industry-accepted formats for some technical writing, like business plans, include sections like an executive summary and competitor analysis.

4. Focus On Readability

Writing for the purpose of instruction, as opposed to being creative or entertaining, is what technical writing is not. When tackling complicated topics, using readable sentences can make your work more enjoyable to read.

On the other hand, if you use words that are difficult to understand or are verbose, you will only irritate your reader. If you want to improve readability in technical content, try these tips:

  • Use simple language: Aim for easy-to-follow, concise sentences, and avoid passive voice whenever possible.
  • Use subheadings: Subheadings can break up long text walls in longer content types like user documentation, white papers, and research papers.
  • Add bolded sections and callouts: Reading will be easier if text is bolded and paragraphs or callouts are highlighted for emphasis.
  • Hyperlinks and jump links: Add hyperlinks to any sources you cite when writing technical content for websites to make it easier for readers to navigate.

5. Add Visuals

Although words and writing are what we value most, adding images can help your technical writing be more easily understood. In technical writing, adding visuals is less of a luxury and more of a necessity. Flowcharts, screenshots, and illustrations can inject some much-needed levity into text-heavy documents.

Everyone will be happier if you include product drawings that show the directions or a pie chart that shows the data in a user manual or annual report for stakeholders.

6. Cut The Fluff

When you’ve got all the words on paper, it’s time to double-check the facts with collaborators. During this writing phase, don’t be afraid to cut out anything that isn’t necessary.

How can you spot the fluff? The reader’s ability to understand your text is unaffected by the removal of fluff. It could be a single word, phrase, paragraph, or instruction. Your technical document should be as concise as possible.

Becoming An Expert Technical Writer

Focusing on your strengths is the key to becoming a skilled technical writer. Consider concentrating on one to two industries or a particular type of technical writing. To determine what you are good at, you can complete a variety of writing assignments and review technical writing samples.

Determine your industry by consulting user manuals and seeking online assistance. You can start concentrating on becoming an authority in it once you’ve decided on an industry and technical writing style.

In any case, it is always beneficial to review examples of technical writing before beginning a project. Try to look at examples from the same sector and from a related company. Once you are fully aware of what needs to be done, you can begin writing.

Technical writing requires dealing with complex information, so the author needs to be well-versed in the subject. That might call for prior experience, specific technical knowledge, or the capacity to comprehend a variety of information quickly and effectively.

Working with various other people—such as software developers, software engineers, human resources specialists, product designers, and other subject matter experts—may be a requirement for becoming a technical writer.

While most businesses prefer to work with writers who have a track record in their industries, some choose to pair their employees with people who have strong writing abilities.

To enhance the end-user experience, technical writers may collaborate with experts in customer service, product liability, and user experience. In any case, they collaborate closely with individuals to create content that is palatable for the target audience.

Many technical writers are available online today. The rise of SaaS businesses, e-commerce sites, and other entities has increased the demand for technical writing.

Technical writers ultimately need to have a firm grasp of proper grammar, terminology, the product, and images, graphics, sounds, or videos to explain documentation.

Final Words

As you can see, there are numerous varieties of technical writing samples. In order to find the best opportunities, you should think about honing your writing abilities and understanding of the relevant industries.

Additionally, finding or producing poor examples of technical writing can be avoided by knowing what to look for. Making the ideal resume and cover letter is a great way to improve your chances of landing a technical writing job.

You’ll discover the ideal position with some assistance and good fortune.

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