Distinguishing Technical Writing from General Writing

Not everyone possesses a natural talent for writing or speaking. However, it is possible to enhance one’s writing skills to make it more engaging, error-free, and clear to reach the reader’s mind. Words have the power to inspire, educate, and entertain people. However, not all writing is the same. General writing, such as expressing thoughts and opinions on social issues, is entirely different from technical writing. These two styles serve distinct purposes and cater to vastly different audiences.

General Writing

When writing on general topics, the writer must put themselves in the reader’s shoes to gauge the effect of their writing. Producing a weak piece of prose is not as serious as writing a piece full of errors, which can lead to confusion and distraction for the reader. People respect high-quality writing and tend to take the writer more seriously when the piece is error-free and the message is clear.

Spelling and grammar are crucial to a reader, who may become irritated by mistakes as they expect nothing less than perfection from a printed piece of paper. Spell check and editing after completing the writing can be helpful in this regard. Additionally, the content should be logical and sequential to avoid ambiguity and obscurity. Another essential ingredient is liveliness, which helps to maintain the reader’s interest.

Technical Writing

Technical writing is more prevalent than any other type of writing, even if people do not realize it. The essence of all technical writing is explaining how to do something. Examples of technical writing include cookbooks full of recipes or instruction manuals on operating a mobile device. Much technical writing is not intended for the general public and may include business writing that communicates with management, employees, and other businesses using industry-specific jargon.

In a broader sense, science textbooks are also examples of technical writing. For instance, a book containing valuable information for photography students would be considered technical writing, as it includes terms that the general public may not understand or appreciate.

Whether intended for a general audience or specific readers, technical writing should be clear and concise, providing helpful information for its target audience. Although it differs significantly from writing a story or a poem, technical writing must present content in an engaging manner that enables the reader to easily understand the subject matter.

Key Takeaways

  • General writing and technical writing are two distinct styles of writing that serve different purposes and cater to different audiences.
  • While both styles must be engaging and error-free, technical writing is considered more challenging than general writing because it must provide information in a clear and concise manner that the reader can easily understand.
  • General writing focuses on piquing the reader’s interest, while technical writing aims to help the reader understand a topic in an engaging manner, following specific guidelines and avoiding passive voice.
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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