The Importance of the Reader

While there are many aspects of technical writing that are important to understand, the topic that has changed my perspective on writing the most was writing exclusively for the audience. For most of my schooling, writing was meant to entertain or answer a question, and as such I never gave much thought to how the reader would use my writing; I wrote for grades only. This class taught me that technical writing focuses on allowing the reader to act most effectively by using your writing. A document, be it a report, proposal, or even infographic, needs to be created around the needs of the audience so that no part of the document is superfluous. After learning this, and practicing the technique in many of the semester’s assignments, I have changed my overall writing style to be centered on the reader. The technical documents we discussed apply directly to my field of study and, ultimately, my career path. An audience-centered writing style is required for nearly all of these document types, so having an understanding of this writing style will be of great benefit to my schoolwork and future career.

-Matthew Santullo