This seminar will begin with a general discussion of technical writing and its role within the life sciences. Technical writers produce a variety of technical documents that are required to manage and direct regulated operations and to meet regulatory requirements. We will spend some time in this seminar discussing those document types, their importance, and the consequences of the messages that are unclear or misunderstood.
After setting the stage for this content, we delve into the writing process beginning with the audience and how the audience must be analyzed to determine the level of writing that must be employed to complete the document.
Gathering the information to be included in the technical document requires collaboration between the writer and the various subject matter experts that possess the knowledge to be harvested. How that information is gathered can be an effective efficient process or an ineffective time-consuming endeavor all dependent upon the techniques employed to execute the activity. We will address the most effective techniques for extracting information from SMEs as well as those techniques that work best when observing procedures and activities to be documented.
Even with the advent of technology, we still communicate with the written word. Technical writing is about conveying information quickly, accurately, clearly, and succinctly. How we communicate, how we are understood, and how the message is received directly depends upon our skills as technical writers. In the life sciences, this skill is exceedingly important.
In the life sciences, the stakes are high in terms of the writer’s ability to enable a 100% accurate understanding of the content and where applicable, the performance of the task or procedure documented. In the life sciences, that could mean the difference between life or death, safety or injury, loss or recovery, contamination or purity, success or failure.
Unfortunately, technical writing is not a skill that is given much emphasis in college curriculums if any. Technical writing is a skill, life sciences workers are assumed to have and are expected to demonstrate at a level of skill usually beyond the capability of most. Unfortunately, most readers of technical writing are in the "same boat." They "don’t know a good one when they see one." At the end of the day, in most cases, you have mediocre writing at best that may or may not convey the message intended.
This virtual seminar will walk you through the technical writing process from start to finish. Each critical aspect of writing technical documents for the life sciences will be addressed with the goal of helping you become better technical writers. The tips and skills presented can be applied immediately and will be evident in the very first document that you write after this virtual seminar.