What's your favorite Tech Comm book?
Discussion started by Rick Sapir , on 20 May 07:58 AM

What's on your bookshelf? The Technical Editing SIG matains a virtual bookshelf of essential reading at http://stc-techedit.org/Essential+Reading

Use the form at the bottom of the page to add your favorite book.

We also have a general directory of resources at http://stc-techedit.org/Resource+Directory

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Jill Saunders
I was actually looking at that one, Gillian, because when I went to look for "Writing in the Open," I discovered it is now out of print. And the reviewer on Amazon.com suggested reading "Read Me First" instead. Glad to see another recommendation for it.
Tuesday, 31 May 2011 15:15
 
Gillian Flato
Sun Microsystems, "Read Me First." Excellent style guide for Silicon Valley and High-Tech writers.
Tuesday, 31 May 2011 13:13
 
Jill Saunders
So, I quickly scanned the list posted by Rick and a couple of those look interesting. I tend to gravitate towards the books with titles like "Letting Go of the Words" because it sounds more like a story than a handbook.

Are there any books on this list, or that any of you know of that aren't on this list, where the content reads more like a creative nonfiction book than a handbook? It's those kinds of books that really draw me in. Handbooks are certainly useful in the workplace, but it is fun to explore the world of technical writing in a more casual way as well.

I do plan on looking at "Writing in the Open: Using Wikis to Create Documentation" as one of my current projects at work is to put our corporate style guide into a wiki format.

Also, Michael--it's always fun when tech writers have typos! Makes me feel normal. ;-)
Tuesday, 24 May 2011 13:15
 
Rick Sapir
Some of these are already listed, but feel free to submit the others to our list:

http://www.stc-techedit.org/Essential+Reading
Saturday, 21 May 2011 16:56
 
Michael Garrison
...it'd be NICE if I could still spell, wouldn't it? B-(
Friday, 20 May 2011 23:14
 
Michael Garrison
I started editing and tech writing in 1974, so some members of this list of favorites are OBE, but I have upgraded to more recent editions of my day-to-day faves:

-- WORDS INTO TYPE (3rd ed. ...ouch, so OLD!), Prentice Hall publisher
-- PROJECT MANAGEMENT TERMS: A WORKING GLOSSARY, ESI Intl. publisher, 2000
-- CHICAGO STYLE MANUAL (16th Edition... of course!)
-- THE COPYEDITOR'S HANDBOOK (2nd Ed.), Univ. California Press publisher, 2006
-- HTML & XHYML The Definitive Guide (6th Ed.), Oreilly publisher
-- THEW ZEN OF SOCIAL MARKETING, S.H. Kabani, BenBella Books publisher, 2010

... and the piece d'resistance: SUGGESTIONS TO AUTHORS of the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Govt. Printing Office publisher, 1991 [ I actually did some of the tech writing/copy editing for this bad boy ! ]

WORDS INTO TYPE is still very much used and full of DIY page tabs... STRICTLY for hard-core old-school grammarians (don't try this at home, kids!), which is why I still use it. When I left the Fed to go work for REAL money in the corporate world (Northrop Grumman), as a farewell gift, my former author-victims bought me a custom-made ink stamp whose image was a realistic skull-and-crossed-bones with a motto below it that read "This is UGLY!" I actually used it professionally a couple of times. Authors, FEAR ME, for I am Nemesis!

Friday, 20 May 2011 23:12