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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome resource for generating technical documents!
I'm not a technical writer by trade but I do spend plenty of time as a project manager writing functional and design specifications for software and web sites. This book is a true jewel, providing design, layout, and word usage for all of my documents. It's the book you've been searching for all of this time!!
Published on 2 July 1998

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars There must be better technical writing resources
Summary: If you already have an adequate writer's handbook, look elsewhere for advice about technical writing. If you are new both to writing in general and technical writing in particular, you could do worse.
The publisher claims that the handbook "is specifically geared to the art of technical communication". Not so. The majority of information...
Published on 17 Mar 1999


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars There must be better technical writing resources, 17 Mar 1999
By A Customer
Summary: If you already have an adequate writer's handbook, look elsewhere for advice about technical writing. If you are new both to writing in general and technical writing in particular, you could do worse.
The publisher claims that the handbook "is specifically geared to the art of technical communication". Not so. The majority of information here pertains to all writers--for instance, the explanation of the proper use of italics and discussion of the voice, mood, and tense of verbs. Even the examples are general rather than technically-related: the entry for like/as has the example "She took to architecture as a bird takes to nest building", which it is difficult to imagine finding in a computer manual, progress report, proposal, or even correspondence.
Some readers may find value in the longer entries, such as those about feasibility reports, instructions, process explanation, proposals, and various types of letters. These provide an interesting combination of introduction/recap for these topics. However, some of the longer entries are bewildering--for example, there is an entry about interviewing for a job, the presence of which is difficult to justify, particularly as the discussion is not specific to jobs in technical writing.
Several entries are marked with a symbol that resembles a cross between the European recycling logo and the yin/yang symbol. There is no explanation of the meaning of this symbol... unless the reader happens across the entry for English as a second language (ESL). Ouch.
Although this fifth hardcover edition has a 1997 copyright date, some examples betray the book's earlier origin. The examples of typeface quality (under the entry for word processing) shows a very early laser printer. The text discusses dot matrix, letter-quality, and laser printers-inkjet printers are not mentioned. Similarly, there is no discussion of the writing of software documentation. I was left with the feeling that revision was limited to insertion of new entries (such as the Internet item).
This book is an uneasy compromise between a grammar style guide and a series of short articles on technical writing. I yield to educators to judge whether or not it is suitable for first-year university and college students. My subjective impression is that it does not represent value for money, even for that audience.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Nothing more than a slick high-school English text, 18 May 1999
By A Customer
This is billed as a supposed excellent resource for technical writers. Truthfully, this book provides little more than basic mechanics of the English language. When I'm trying to design high-tech documentation for companies like Hewlett-Packard and Intel, I need a book that provides more advice than how to use verb structure and prepositions. It pains me that I have to spend the money to ship this thing back.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome resource for generating technical documents!, 2 July 1998
By A Customer
I'm not a technical writer by trade but I do spend plenty of time as a project manager writing functional and design specifications for software and web sites. This book is a true jewel, providing design, layout, and word usage for all of my documents. It's the book you've been searching for all of this time!!
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The Handbook of Technical Writing
The Handbook of Technical Writing by Charles T. Brusaw (Hardcover - Feb 2000)
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