What is Technical Writing?

by CJ McDaniel // May 27  

Definition of Technical Writing

Technical writing is a form of writing that helps to explain complicated and complex processes related to a specific job or role. In most cases, this form of writing is a set of instructions on how to complete a task. When you buy a TV set at the store, and it comes with a set of instructions on how to program it, those instructions are written in a technical language.

Technical writing varies from fiction or journalistic writing. Its goal is to take complex information and present it to a professional or a layperson in a way that they can understand. Whether you’re trying to explain how to put something together or how to use specific software, those documents will be written in a technical language.

Technical writing can is best defined by the intention of the document. You can write a book in a variety of different ways and styles. However, if you were going to write a textbook or a how-to book that explains how to accomplish a specific task, you do so use technical writing.

The purpose of technical writing is that it varies from other writing styles to help the reader understand how to do something rather than engage them to keep them involved in a story like you expect from fiction, journalistic, or academic writing. It all depends on the intention of the author. Technical writing can be engaging, but its purpose is to teach and not to entertain.

Why Technical Writing?

This form of writing has a specific use within our society. Unlike fiction, nonfiction, and journalistic writing, technical writing helps institutions put together the information they hope to share. It’s designed to take complex information and share it to the layperson in a way they understand. Usually, it’s geared towards customers or employees.

Technical Writing: What it is, Why you specialize it and if its a go for you


Processing information and instructions, technical writing uses language that’s straightforward and to the point. This form of writing is used in manuals, guides, books, and textbooks. If done correctly, this type of writing will make something that seems too difficult to understand. Yet, it presents it in a way for everyone who might read it to follow along and accomplish a task.

The Scope of Technical Writing

This form of writing has been around a long time. Its range is vast, especially now in the age of technology. A professional writer knows how to display complex information and inclines towards both writing and technology fields. Just about every business and company use this form of writing to some degree, whether it’s in a workbook, a set of detailed instructions, rules and regulations, training manuals, information for customers, and so much more.

Just about every product that you buy at the store not related to food or clothing comes with a set of instructions on how to operate, organize, put together, pick up, and use the object, especially if it’s an electronic device or platform. Sometimes these instructions, in a booklet format, but when you get a brand-new cell phone and inside is a vast booklet full of every detail about that phone.

Considering the reach of modern technologies and the need to explain it to the layperson as it advances, the scope of technical writing is vast and continues to expand almost daily.

Technical Writing as a Career

As a writer, it’s essential to produce regular content for your readers. On the creative end, you may already have social networking, a blog, and a website. This might help share important information and data your customers need. That’s not the only type of information they share. Technical content is an integral part of any library.

When you think of all the different types of content you can write, there are a few areas that must remain a priority. Showing that your compliance with all regulatory and legal requirements is your number one priority. Presenting the information in a technical format is a must.

Also, consider the additional marketing that is part of it. Many times technical information about potential service to help aid the customer in making a buying decision. They might want to know ahead of time the specifics of a product or service and how it works. You might want to know the dimensions, how much power it uses, among other details specific to what you do. Not having this information can lead to a lack of sales.

Should You be a Technical Writer?

Perhaps you are debating whether technical writing is the right choice for you? Technical & Business Writing hopes this 9 point checklist will help to decide. For free writing tips and tutorials visit Here is a 9 point checklist for technical writers.

Read Next Article: Things to Consider When Writing a Book

About the Author

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!