3 KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE

We touched on this in the previous chapter and it’s absolutely crucial. You need the answers to these questions before you type a single character – Who are you writing for? What do they know already? What information do they need? Why do they need it? Where will they need it, and in what format?

Without that information, it’s almost impossible to produce an effective piece of technical writing. Technical writing is usually the solution to a business need or problem. If you don’t know what the need or problem is, how can you possibly solve it?

Let’s start with the who.

WHO ARE YOU WRITING FOR?

Audiences fall into four main categories, although of course there’s some overlap between them. They are:

experts;

technicians; ...

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