Tips on How to Write an Autobiography

w31. Write for the Best Reasons

Understand the reason you want to write an autobiography. It may be to give as a gift to your family, to preserve your own legacy, or to understand your life and share the experiences that shaped you with a wider readership.

2. Read other Autobiographies

Read autobiographies written by people who can tell a good story. Ask your local library and friends for suggestions. One of the best people to ask is your local bookseller. When you read these books look at how the story is structured and if the narrative holds your interest make notes on how the author does this.

3. Who is your Audience?

If you are writing an autobiography, you should know your intended readership before you start. Who will read your story? Perhaps your family and friends or you may be hoping for publication and that your story will go viral across social media. This will require a more professional approach so edit the manuscript carefully or employ a professional editor for both structural and line edits.

4. Write an Outline and a Timeline

You might want to start at your birth and continue in linear fashion or you might prefer to skim over your early years and start at some important event in your life. You may want to focus on some particular skill you have such as writing, acting, or singing and this becomes the theme of your autobiography. You may want to include your family background and culture. An outline is the best way to discover how you want to write your story. A timeline is necessary as your memory of the dates of important events in your life may be unreliable and family and friends can inadvertently give you misinformation about dates if you interview them. This includes dates for births, deaths and marriages which should be checked carefully against any original documents available to you.

5. What to Include

Pull out all those old photos, or print the ones you may need from your computer. Emails or letters you have saved may be helpful too. Your diaries, journals, awards, favourite books and any movies you have enjoyed can be helpful. Everybody has stories to share so interview older family members and ask their permission to include these stories in your autobiography. If you don’t know where family photos were taken they may be able to tell you. It is amazing how viewing a photograph will bring back memories that lead to other stories. Make sure to document each photograph with the date it was taken, who took the photo and the subject, and where it was taken.

The Importance of Good Grammar in Business Communications

w2“Your grammar is a reflection of your image. Good or bad, you have made an impression. And like all impressions, you are in total control.” Jeffrey Gitomer (American author & business trainer)

Regardless of the type of business you own, it is likely that you still rely a great deal on the written word to put your message across. In this media driven age, written business communications can take many shapes and forms; from the humble memo, letter or fax to a tender, proposal, application or report; not forgetting emails, websites, blogging and other social media communications. Your company’s written documents may include marketing materials, responses to customer enquiries, reports to clients and other stakeholders. The list is endless..

There are many reasons why you should make sure that your company’s written material is grammatically correct; that spelling mistakes are eliminated and that the correct punctuation is used. Some of these include the following:

1. First impressions matter: You want to make sure you come across as the business professional you are. You want to give your readers a good first impression. Not only do you want to get their attention, but you also want to earn their respect. Good spelling, correct grammar and the appropriate use of punctuation will give them more confidence in the person (or the company) communicating with them.

2. Good reputation: Similarly, clients and suppliers are more likely to trust a company that communicates clearly and correctly. The use of proper grammar will help maintain your business’ credibility and reputation as a professional, trustworthy enterprise that views all of its interactions with its customers and traders as equally important.

3. Avoid miscommunication and misunderstanding: Incorrect spelling or a lack of punctuation may create confusion. Your audience may be left guessing what you are trying to say. Spelling errors and grammatical mistakes may also change the meaning of your message, which might result in misinformation. Some readers may get back to you to clarify, others might not; which, in the case of new prospects / customers, is something you want to avoid. You do not want poor grammar to cost you business opportunities.

4. Make your communications more effective: It is likely that you do not want to distract your readers from the message you are trying to convey by giving them grammar and spelling mistakes to take note of. Also, such errors make your writing harder to read. You wouldn’t want to create any distraction in your audience’s mind, particularly if you are trying to get them to take some form of action – such as following a hyperlink on your website or signing up for a service.

5. Reduce the risk of costly lawsuits: In this day and age where most businesses operate on a global basis with teams of people scattered across every corner of the planet, written communications – particularly emails and other instant messaging applications – have become an essential part of their operations. Grammatically incorrect documents may convey misinformation, misguiding the reader into taking the wrong action or their reaction to it. This, in turn, may leave your business open to costly legal action, on the basis that the information provided was false or misleading in some way – maybe simply because of some typographical errors or other mistakes in the final communication.

6. Keep your business’ competitive edge. Fact: Bad grammar affects business. Full stop. Research has shown that many customers would hesitate in making a purchase from a website that has obvious grammar and spelling errors. Competition is tough; you only have a short time to impress a potential new customer (particularly online). You do not want to present your products or services in an unfavourable light or make your readers lose interest with poor grammar. Instead, you want to gain and maintain your readers’ trust and attention at all times. The ability to communicate clearly and effectively is likely to give your company a definite advantage over less articulate rivals.

7. Increase productivity: Many businesses rely on written guidelines (for instance, memos or emails) among team members. Correct spelling and grammar will help your employees understand your instructions better, thus avoiding any confusion or misunderstanding about what is expected of them. The result will be less time wasted trying to work out poorly worded instructions and more time spent doing the job. This may also help to maintain harmonious working relationships between colleagues, as a result of better and clearer communication.

The importance of good grammar in business communications is definitely something that all companies should keep in mind, regardless of their size or the industry they operate in. The first and most basic check should be the use of your computer, tablet or smart phone spellchecking facility; however, you should not rely only on spellcheckers to catch mistakes, as they will not pick up the wrong word being used (eg, ‘there’ instead of ‘their’).

Proofreading your document is essential; either do it yourself or better still, ask a colleague to help – it is always a good idea to have a fresh pair of eyes to look at what you have written. The best way to proofread a document still is the old fashioned pen and ruler over a printed copy; other ways include reading it backwards or reading it aloud.

Taking a break and revisiting your work after you’ve finished writing may also improve your ability to spot mistakes. This also gives you a chance to improve on it, correcting wording and punctuation as you go along. This is particularly important for emails, where you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.

Equally so, it makes sense that employees who are in charge of business communications are proficient in their job. They should be provided with the right training and support; in addition, there are a number of websites which offer tips on business writing and which can be referred to.

Finally, you may wish to use the services of a copywriter or a consultant to write, check and proofread your written material (for example, if you are writing for a new website or a marketing brochure).

Writer’s Block Ain’t Real

w1Many writers, bless their souls, are tormented by the proverbial evil ‘writer’s block’ while others just laugh at the entire though of the concept. As a prolific online article writer I am in the latter category and think the idea of ‘writer’s block’ is just an excuse for the laziest writers amongst us. Maybe you are a writer and have your own thoughts on this, but since I’ve written more books and articles than you will in your life time, maybe you should read this article. Let’s talk.

Dr. Gary Goodman suggested to me that; “clearly writer’s block is not your problem! I say this because of your comments but also because you are so prolific,” still he does have his own thoughts on this, and yes, he too is a prolific writer with many books and articles to his credit, quite good in fact. He has 2 important thoughts on all this:

(1) Like clinical depression, there are sufferers and there are those that cannot believe sufferers can’t just snap out of it or read some Dale Carnegie and be instantly cured.

(2) Possibly, if you are writing for acceptance, praise, fame, inclusion, and I would say money, you may be more likely to experience writer’s block. Your writing becomes contingent on positive reinforcement. As with any habit, if the behavior isn’t positively reinforced, it is extinguished. When positive outcomes occur, you continue to write. This would suggest that those that write for the writing, itself, for intrinsic reasons, experience fewer if any blockages.”

Interestingly enough, there is actually some clinical psychology research on this topic and I can confirm this, as I have read research papers on this reality, so both of his points are good points indeed, and I guess my viewpoints come from my own experiences.

As an athlete, I see correlations to performance and excuses. In fact, I don’t see a lot of difference between writing, and athletics. You practice and you compete, if you make excuses you cannot win, and I believe losing sucks, but we need the losers otherwise there is nothing to gauge our successes by. So, I am happy for all those who claim writer’s block or have low-self-esteem, because they make us other writers look good, but I wonder sometimes why they allow themselves such self-defeatism. Maybe those who believe they can’t or have writer’s block should find a new profession – I’d rather compete against better writers because that will make me better.

Those who are really good at excuses and writer’s block can always work in Manufacturing – the Excuse Factory! Please consider all this and think on it.

Essay Topics for Academic Writing

When writing a descriptive essay in academic writing there are a few things to consider before jumping in and being able to take something and leaving it in a description. Writing this type of essay topic can have a person thinking too much and being too creative without adding that space for the work to truly come to life. Often times there are a few steps that can be understood in order to create essays and essay topics that will land the higher grade.

Paying Attention

During this system, there are things that could be done in order to improve the quality of the academic writing along with some essay topics to reflect upon towards the article’s premise.

Pre-write the essay

Draft the essay

Leave space within the document

Avoiding the grip

Pre-writing the Academic Writing Essay

Can have some beneficial effects that has the student aware of what they are writing. Sometimes the writing can begin and it will build, but in a direction the student might not understand, however the structure can often find itself if the flow is found and it will continue and begin to be a little bit louder in terms of some of the things that would be incorporated into the structure of the document.

Drafting The Essay

Means that there is another rewrite to have taken place to ensure that there might be some dynamics involved that weren’t missed and some euphoric descriptive elements that could be added.

Space is Valuable in Academic Writing

Within the document, building it without the appreciations for the space or ignoring the space itself from being built will have benefits and have some drawbacks. Mainly the dissertation will want some space to breathe in order for its nature to be found.

Avoiding The Grip

That is being referred to is the over exhaustion of a specific topic. This will lead to the writing becoming a little bit drowsy and boring to read. Once is often enough a description unless there is an added layer being mentioned. And if so, then there is always something else that can be approached by but often times, overdoing it will lead to more disaster.

A List Of Topic For Essay




Geographical differences

















Each of these essay topics for academic writing can be mined for further information and are a categorical mention to enhance the person’s imagination and to give you a push.

Build A Better Academic Writing Style For a Problem Solving Essay

An Academic Writing Style research essay has a lot of information in the document. In this case, for researching essay topics in depth and with a lot of support towards the facts makes a high-quality paper. This paper will often make a big difference when it comes to the grade that the writer might be making the paper for. Problem solving and being able to solve issues that are constantly being introduced, can always come from the person who created them. Being able to create a strong paper on problem solving and increasing the academic writing style has a few things to it.

Focusing on the solution

Creating the time

Focusing on the facts

Solutions, Solutions, Solutions

Focusing on the solutions will often make a lot of chance. This will begin the entire issue and no matter to the problem, the solution will override it and regain that energy in the argument. This will become somewhat of a strong paper is, the solution is consistently being stated with conviction. Conviction can become the academic writing style that won’t fade away.

Providing thoughts that will make the solutions and then supporting those thoughts can often times bring about a lasting change and while there are some challenges in reason to build such things, they can often be revealed with reason by maintaining the focus on the solution.

Creating A Time

Creating a time for the manifest to occur. This will often change the actual timeframe of the entire document and then introduce something else to it. The time it takes to incorporate information that is solution based and the resulting effects in that specify timeline that is never a known time.

Staying With The Facts

Focusing on the facts of the situation and the problem that is being caused and what the facts have become as a result of the issue and the timeline that the problem has embarked on. This makes a strong paper because the facts aren’t arguable, but they do demonstrate something and as that something, they reveal a lot of information.

These systems are contributions that can provide information and insight into building a strong thesis and to increase the depth of your academic writing style. These statements can be included into any research paper and will always provide somewhat of a strong thesis. They are the dynamic of strength and will often lean on building quality instead of building just quantity.

5 Ways To Add Depth For Essay Topics in Academic Writing

For Academic writing, making a quality essay topic or topic for essay that can capture attention and maintain a high level of energy depends on the individual’s interest and points being made. There are a lot of quality essays being made and being graded that each of them will have their own way to them. There are a few characteristics that can contribute to a quality essay that may not be included in some other types of documents.

Thesis statements

Supporting arguments with facts

Supporting arguments with reason

Being clear

Being specific

In Academic Writing, Thesis Statements Add-Depth

A quality thesis statement is the result of the paper’s direction. The entire document will be either confirming, arguing or ignoring the thesis statement and therefore choosing a topic that doesn’t have much to it at all, can lead to some low grades and lower scores. The quality of the thesis depends on the depth of information and the point being made.

Supporting The Argument With Facts

High quality essays often times have some of the most magnetic and interesting supporting statements for essay topics that are introduced to the grader. These statements are bold, captivating and provide some of the more in depth supporting statements that could be involved in writing an essay. Sometimes they go over the line and that’s exactly what they are supposed to do. Arguing for a thesis statement can sometimes bring some research that wasn’t known previously to the grader at all.

In Academic Writing Reason Takes The Place Of Opinion

Supporting the argument with pure reason adds a higher degree and since reason is universal there isn’t anything to reason against it. All the while, if the grader is interested and must reason for themselves, then they are engaged and the point of the paper has been made and supported.


Being clear about the essay topics and arguments make it so that each individual doesn’t have to respond to a plethora of meanings or different situations and can address the question directly. If the person is arguing in a clear manner about some of the instances involved with their topic and thesis statement, then the paper will have a chance to be heard. This improves the academic writing and the students skills.

Being Specific But Not Overly

Being specific engages the reason that’s involved in creating a research paper and can always offer something greater. Being specific means that the point is being clearly stated without any vague notions of what it could mean. This often times make the difference between grades and a pass or a fail according to the grader.

Why Get An Expert Technical Writer’s Services

In most businesses these days, it is needed to put out relevant, informative, and engaging content. With new websites going live every day and better content getting produced, your business needs to get ahead of competitors to succeed, if not dominate the market. The most sensible way to do this is to hire an expert to do your writing for you.

Getting the services of a technical writer is what many businesses now do to ensure they get quality content for their website. Other reasons why many business experts choose to get professionals to do the technical writing are the following.

– The lack of time. Your focus should remain on running your business, not spent on creating content for your website, blog, or clients. You might know what to write about but between meetings and consultations and the day-to-day concerns of your company, you don’t have the time to sit down and write. A technical writer has the know-how and the time.

– The lack of ideas. Equally as time consuming as writing is the road that leads up to it: the conceptualisation. What do you write about? Your products and services, of course. But apart from how to use them and why consumers need them, what other ideas can you write about? Technical articles need to engage readers. How do you make tyres come off as exciting? How do you make a complex, next-gen gadget seem so easy to understand, the way a charismatic MC would transform a properly boring event into one of the best nights ever? Under the skillful hands and creative mind of the right technical writer, any seemingly difficult subject will become accessible and engaging. You can’t get your words out. You might have the knack for technical writing but there will come a time when you will run out of words; the words have simply failed to “materialise,” and you need to put out a new post or update your website about your company’s new product or service. Professional technical writers will help you during “writer’s block.”

– The lack of enough knowledgeable staff. Lastly, a reputable writer, most companies might want to know, can help during crunch time. When you need to produce an annual report in a short amount of time, when you need new copy for your rebranded website – whatever content requirements you might have, a good technical writer can deliver on time and according to your standards.

The Advantages Offered by a Good User Manual

When consumers want to know how to use a product they have purchased, they can refer to a user manual. Learning the proper way to use a device will greatly reduce the risk of destroying it by accident. This means less RMA rates, and considerably lower expenses associated with it. Though this is perhaps its best advantage, a user manual can also be beneficial in other ways.

When a manual is well-written, it offers more benefits:

Limits the legal problems linked with the misuse of products

When products are not used the proper way, this can result to severe injuries and even death. This is especially true when it comes to high voltage equipment, lasers, heat generating devices and different mechanical tools, among others. It is important to place the respective tags in manuals as a safety measure to end-users and to protect manufacturers from legal consequences. Furthermore, there should be warning stickers in products where they could easily be seen, like beside the openings and interlocks.

Saves the time and effort of the engineers and salesmen in explaining to end-users

When a manual is comprehensive, engineers and salesmen spend less time explaining to the customers the way to use products or their other features. This, however, requires good technical writing skills. It is vital for the writer to put himself in the customer’s shoes, so he should not be biased. Thus, he should be someone who is not connected to the company.

Serves as a sales brochure

There is no product brochure that offers sufficient info that engineers need when they are in search of a particular product to incorporate into their system. Only a user manual can provide all that you need in one place. Customers usually look for a product’s user manual before they ask for a quotation. When companies want to market their product and every positive feature it has, they can always start with a user manual.

Carries the image of the company

Technical documentation is the way you treat your customers. You want your customers to be well-informed about your products so that they would think that they are not only user-friendly, but a good investment as well. At times, the technical papers let your customers get easily hooked on your product in no time. The enable the engineers to have a good disposition. This way, you gain more positive feedback and successful endeavors.

Editorial Differences


  • Having so much access to American television here in Australia means we grow up seeing words spelt the way they spell them the United States. Different to us and mostly not acceptable for Australians to use at school, Uni or in business. Even our spell checkers default at the US spelling often. It drives me nuts when my daughter who is seven says, candy instead of lollies, flashlight instead of torch, drugstore instead of chemist, sidewalk rather than footpath and states she is taking a shower instead of having one. One thing that’s easy to remember is that Americans use ‘z’ in many words, where we use ‘s’ and even pronounce ‘Z’ contrarily. Examples of ‘Z’ usage; antagonize versus antagonise, analysed and analysed, appetizer and appetiser and so on. Americans often also shorten words by removing a letter such as, anesthetic and anaesthetic, archeological and archaeological, mold versus mould, favor as opposed to favour and behaviour and behaviour. There are word alterations like center versus centre, color versus colour, tire and tyre, plow and plough and so on and on. So, who have we to blame or thank for all this American drama? The nineteenth century, American lexicographer, Mr Noah Webster, of the dictionary fame. He supposed making the changes away from British language would make America more superior and set them aside. It has certainly set them aside.


  • The Oxford comma, Harvard comma or serial comma. There are supporters for and against the use of it. It is also known as the pretentious comma and at the end of the day is optional and up to the author unless following a particular style. We in Australia don’t use it as often as Americans although there are arguments that it clarifies meanings within sentences that may be confusing otherwise. What is it? It is the comma positioned directly before the coordinating conjunction such as: and, or, or nor in a sequence of three terms or more. An example using the Oxford comma is: I have a recipe, a pot, and an oven. Not using the comma would look like: I have a recipe, a pot and an oven.


  • ​The exclamation mark has been called the cheap whore of punctuation. My thoughts are, there is a place for it, but professionally it does not belong. The more the merrier also should not apply and as F. Scott Fitzgerald said ‘Cut out all these exclamation points. An exclamation point is like laughing at your own joke.’ It’s a useful way of conveying emotions, irony, annoyance, or friendliness when used six at a time for instance as a text, or on Facebook, email or any other electronic means. In addition, this sets up the foundation for others to respond similarly with 17!!!!! or ???????, such as, ‘I just jumped out of a plane and my parachute opened!!!!!!’ Really?????? Cool!!!!!!’ Ridiculous.


  • I love the logogram ampersand (&) which epitomises ‘and’ but when used correctly. Not for use willy nilly or in some haphazard manner. It does not save on your word count students. An ampersand originated from Latin of course, as et which meant and. An example of good use could be in a business title like Anders & Wallace Editing or in academic references such as (Anders & Judd, 2007). It wouldn’t be appropriate to use to write something like, ‘They put the bricks & mortar against the wall.’


  • Font use looks like fun. But there’s a place for countless font practice like on a circus banner or in a comic. That’s right people comic sans as whimsical as it is, should be used in a comic – and nowhere else. Particular fonts work better on hardcopy (times new roman, courier or fonts with feet/serif) and others better on screen (Sans-serif, Helvetica, Century gothic, Verdana, Arial or fonts without feet/sans serif). Although pixel resolution has changed you still need to consider small devices. I think use of a particular font or fonts can really affect readability so my advice is not to ‘blend it up’. That’s okay when making a mixed tape but not for a letter or other document. Keep your readers. Don’t use impact for a whole page, or kitch it up with pages of Bradley hand and papyrus… well pffftt. I have no idea what wingdings is for.


Freelance Technical Writer Tips

For your products and services to sell well in the market, you need to present them to your audience in a simplified manner. People cannot digest complex information so you have to simplify them. This is where technical writers or digital content specialists come in. They simplify what is complex. But how do you find a good one?

Among the things you may want to look into when hiring your technical writer are effective communication skills, experience in your industry, and satisfied clients you can verify. Other than these, you can land on the best writer if you follow these tips.

Make your own list of references.

As you read any marketable material like brochure or even websites, you will come across interesting and easy to understand writing piece. Despite the technical nature of the topic, it is presented in an engaging and simple content. What you should do is to list down the name of the writer for future reference. You may also want to get more information about him or her through your business connections.

Read the writer’s portfolio before you hire.

Every technical writer has their own style of writing. Make sure that this aspect matches the specific voice of your brand. Look for clarity as well. For you to gauge how the writing impacts your readers, try to pass on the portfolio to other people in your business.

Know your needs and match the skill of the writer.

Generally speaking, a good technical writer has a broad range of skills and characteristics. But know as well that not all technical writing is the same. A writer for pharmaceutical industries may not exactly need to have the high level of technical comprehension that writers in weapons defense industry possess. Your brand may require a higher degree of technical knowledge than others. Make sure to match the technical skill.

Hire a writer with multiple credentials and expertise.

Think about versatility. Freelance technical writers may work to your advantage as they can do more than producing content. With the nature of their job, they have quite acquired other expertise that you can benefit from.

Listen to the recommendations of your writer.

Prepare for innovative thinking. Your chosen writer will suggest some solutions that can make your documentation even better. Listen carefully to these fresh and smart ideas.

How Structured Authoring Can Improve Your Technical Writing

The idea of structured authoring can be a confusing one to begin with, but once it is implemented effectively and in its most accessible form, it can save you a huge amount of time and resources.

Structured authoring is becoming increasingly used within technical writing documents, and there are a number of reasons for this.

Updated specifications

If you are performing technical writing as part of a car manufacturing process, for example, then you may have multiple documents all relating to a certain area, such as the engine size.

If the designers of the car decided to amend the specifications on the engine, then all of the other documentation, which may be hundreds of documents, would all need to be manually updated in order to be correct.

By using an XML framework, it can be configured so that there is one source of information and by simply altering this one section all of the other documents are updated automatically, saving you what could potentially be a huge amount of painstaking work.

Ensuring information is current

Technical writing, by definition, is required to be more exact than most other forms of writing, so ensuring that the information given is correct, is of the utmost importance.

Not only can outdated information look unprofessional from a client’s point of view, it can also have large domino effects when used in technical writing.

Reusable content

Being able to easily reuse content is important when devising an efficient content management system for a business, or organization.

While other forms of content may also use sections such as disclaimers, legal notices and terms of use, when it comes to technical writing there is much more information that is going to be repeated from previous content, that you are able to use.

By allowing each of these sections to be amended from one single source of information, you can reuse this information by simple inputting this field into your new technical writing document.

Content management

As an increasing amount of information becomes more readily stored electronically, ensuring that you have the right content management system in place to deal with this, is going to become a progressively more important task.

The technical writing sector is no different and by embracing the structured authoring and XML framework ideas, businesses can manage their content proficiently and effectively.

The use of meta tags and other identifying information allows for easy storage and use, ensuring the author can easily search for certain documents, or sections. This becomes incredibly useful when you are adding content to a new document, which you know exists elsewhere.

Who Can Help Me With Content Analysis

If you are experiencing problems with your content and are in desperate need of an expert content analysis report, how do you know which company to use?

Choosing a business, or consultant to conduct a content analysis can be a daunting prospect, particularly if you have not engaged in one previously. While many businesses may claim to be masters, there are a number of different aspects to take into account before choosing one.

Following our tips will hopefully allow you choose the perfect company in order to solve your content problems and ensure that a useful and easily understood content analysis report proves helpful for your business.


The best type of recommendations to receive are ones from trusted friends, peers or other associates, but these can also be the hardest to come across. The chances of knowing someone who has also gone through a similar content analysis as you require, is potentially quite slim, depending on the circles of people with which you associate.

The second best alternative is to contact a previous customer directly, or to read up on their reviews and testimonials. There are a number of ways that you can go about this and by searching online you should be able to find some user reviews fairly easily.

If you are unable to find any reviews for the company, then this should set alarm bells off in your head. While it may be that this particular company is new and therefore has no online reviews, you should do further research before dealing with them.


Experience is key when it comes to content analysis. Ensuring that the company you choose not only has solid general analysis experience, but also has knowledge in your particular sector, is a very smart and recommended move.

A successful content analysis is performed by a company that will usually have a vast background of experience in the sector. There are a number of different methods and areas of expertise, with some focusing on one type of content, such as web content, while others will specialize in a different area, such as technical writing.


As a rule of thumb, you should not pay for content analysis upfront without any initial consultation, as you should make use of the companies which offer a free one.

A successful, professional and leading company will want to show you just what they can offer, so be wary of any business that is unwilling to consult on your needs without receiving payment first.

Value for money

The last aspect to consider when looking for a business to perform an analysis, is to weigh up the cost versus the value of work. It is a smart tip to not just choose the cheapest option, as ensuring that the task is completed correctly and comprehensively is far more important than spending less and ending up with a poor content analysis.

How to Evaluate Candidates for Technical Writing Jobs

If you need to hire a technical writer for an upcoming project, you will likely find that you have plenty of qualified candidates to consider. There are now a variety of sources through which you can find great writers, so locating people for the job should not be a problem. The challenge, however, comes when you start to work on narrowing down that initial list. In order to pick the right person for the job, you are going to need to go into the process with a clear picture of the knowledge and experience that needs to be possessed by the winning contractor.

Focus on the Writing

It might sound obvious, but the first thing you should look for is someone who can write quality content. Believe it or not, many businesses miss on this point when hiring a technical writer. A common mistake is placing importance on experience in the specific field above the ability to write. For instance, if you are hiring a writer for an engineering-related project, it will be tempting to pick the candidate with the strongest background in that field. However, if that person isn’t a great writer, you will be wasting your time and money. You already have people with engineering knowledge in your company – you need to hire someone who can bring writing skills to the table. Content can always be edited as necessary to correct technical mistakes related to the field in question – it is much more difficult to revise the style or quality of writing as a whole.

Find Experience

For technical writers, experience provides them with the ability to ask the right questions. Asking questions is a big part of being a good writer, because those questions help point the content in the right direction. If you can hire a writer with many years of experience working for a variety of clients, they will already have the knowledge necessary to ask smart questions. Also, experience is the only way to hone the craft of writing, so someone who is just getting started in this field likely won’t be able to offer you the same quality as a long-standing professional writer.

Samples, Of Course

One of the first things you should do is review writing samples from all of your candidates. Ask each potential hire to submit two or three writing samples. Hopefully, these will be pieces that are at least someone relevant to the project that you are needing to have completed. If a writer can’t offer you at least a couple of good samples, it should raise a red flag that perhaps they are not the right person for the job.

Offer a Fair Rate

You don’t always ‘get what you pay for’ in life, but you usually do when it comes to writing. If a specific writer is offering to do the work for far less than everyone else you are considering, there is probably a reason they are willing to work for cents on the dollar. Good writers know that they are worth the money, so they stand firmly by their rates. Do a quick evaluation of the market and set a budget that will allow you to hire a quality, experienced technical writer.

Check References

Finally, it is always good hiring practice to contact at least one or two references to learn a little more about the individual in question. Did they do good work for their previous clients or employers? What kind of work did they excel with, and does their writing ability have any weaknesses? Asking a couple of pointed questions should get you all of the information that you need to make a great decision.