vs Technical Writing:
What's the Difference?
Chaim I. Chatan
purposes of academic writing can be: 1) to present the results
of one's knowledge, 2) to present the results gained from
one's personal research, and 3) to present one's point of
view. Of course, both technical and academic writing is
laden with jargon, but the jargon is used for different
purposes. As far as technical writing is concerned, the
purposes of technical writing can be: 1) to teach someone
how to use a specific product or service; and 2) to describe
the procedures that are employed by companies for carrying
out various tasks.
are completely different. The academic is writing to fellow
scholars, and often, depending on the journal or publication,
to the general public. The technical writer is writing to
the user of the product or the service, or to government
inspectors who need to see how the company carries out certain
tasks. Users, of course, differ from product to product.
In addition, technical writing differs from area to area.
For example, writing documentation for software is different
from writing documentation for hardware.