Writing a technical paper is similar to writing any type of paper. Prior to
writing the actual essay, it’s important to come up with an idea and create a
general outline. Some prefer to write a more in depth outline, but that depends
on the writer. The outline gives the individual the chance to make any changes
and see the overall flow of their paper.
Technical writing involves a little more organization than some would find in
a regular paper or essay, in part because these papers are more involved. Those
who decide to outline their thoughts will find that the organization goes a lot
smoother. This is the time to setup a topic statement of thesis statement,
decide on the length of the paper, and select the correct number of topics
inside the technical paper.
Getting to Work
The hardest part about writing technical papers is actually getting the
thoughts down on paper in a cohesive way. It’s recommended that writers find a
comfortable spot to work and setup their surrounding area in a way that allows
them to focus. Going off their outline, they can establish the various sections
and work off their topic statement.
The First Draft
The first draft is simply a way to organize the thoughts and get the main
topics onto paper. This isn’t the final draft, nor should it be perfect. The
point here is to make the different areas of the paper flow together and bring
everything back to the main topic, idea, or point. The first draft will later be
reviewed and changes made.
The Final Paper
The final draft of the technical paper only comes about after a review. Many
writers ask others to review their work, while some find that reading the paper
out loud helps them identify any problems. This is the time to make any changes
to the actual wording of the paper, grammar and sentence structure. Once the
changes have been identified and alterations made, the final paper is
The best resource for technical writers are those websites that offer
examples of other technical papers. A good website is Online Technical
Writing: Online Textbooks.
Technical writing also requires the user follow some specific rules. A good
website to learn about the rules and grammar issues is Technical Writing. Another
good resource is General Technical Writing Guidelines.
Writers can find help on creating technical paper templates at Resources for
Technical Writers. For specific help on writing technical papers using
Microsoft Word Texas A&M is a good resource.
Those who write technical papers will also find it helpful to look at
websites that offer useful tips on writing the final product. One good resource
is Teacher Tap.
Other places to find tips include Human Readable, Tips for Technical Writers, The Owl
at Purdue, and The Penn Group.