What an odd series of steps it was to edit a document in phases rather than one consistent motion. It felt similar to a two steps forward but one step back types of growth.
I noticed as I backward proceeded through the 4 levels of edit, I repeated the earlier levels again and again. It was difficult to categorize each edit into certain levels, therefore I found myself redoing edits before finally approaching Level 1.
If my poor technical writing document was examined by it’s bare bones, the audience would recognize that the document was still majorily the same. The subject, purpose, and content, did not change significantly, but the structure and tone did. The most noticeable evolution of the document was it transformation from bland, lengthy, and robotic to pleasant, firm and informative.
What impressed me through this experience was how I began making edits that I would not have normally recognized due to my previous style of revision. Truthfully I won’t tackle my revision process in phases as I did for this assignment, but I have noticed that my scope of what to search for in adjusting documents has increased greatly.
Until the next blog,
While we’ve discussed a variety of information and topics throughout this class, the one topic to change they way I approach my work is the concept of infographs.
Even when completing the infograph assignment found in my last post, I found it difficult to come up with a visual concept for my words (bit.ly/2UCneki). I think this is because I had never put much thought into writing something with the expectation that it could be turned into a chart or something. I think going forward I will think about from time to time when I write something whether or not it is also information I could illustrate with an infograph instead and/or even design to accompany my writing.
So far we have covered many useful topics that have real world applications. So far I have found the levels of editing section to be the most useful. I have been looking at reference documents we use daily and I have been editing them so they are more readable and properly standardized. I’m not sure if anyone has realized it yet but the quality of pieces I have touched has improved greatly. The levels of edit lessons really allowed me to break down proof reading and allow me to review my work in a way that is not overwhelming. Really breaking down the process of revision has been a great improvement for my writing.
Most of my current job involves writing technical procedures for manufacturing purposes. This documents need to be concise and easy to understand since they are meant as a process improvement to reduce manufacturing time, and therefore save the company money. These procedures are used to train new employees, and since I already knew the manufacturing process by heart, it was easy for me to just gloss over smaller details. One technique learned in this class that I now use quite consistently is logical mapping.
Logical mapping helps to keep track of all of the major points of a document and makes sure that I am including all necessary information. I often work on multiple procedures at once so having a drawn out logical map for each helps to keep them organized. The maps also act as a sort of checklist, where as I type out the main points, I can cross them off and keep track of the progress made on each document. Logical maps outline a clear writing path to follow, and help to make the procedures as effective as possible.
Prior to this class, I gave very little thought about who would be reading what I wrote. I would focus on the subject and the purpose of my writing but I often did not cater the writing to my audience. When writing in the real world, it is important to know who you are writing for and what they want to get out of your document. You need to understand their needs, values, and attitudes so you can prepare the document in a way that will be most beneficial to them.
Now, when I write a document, I will take into consideration who that document is for and the best way to organize that information so that the reader is happy. The whole point of creating a document is so that someone will read it. In order to create the most effective document, it would make sense to cater it to the needs of whoever will be reading it. I think this mindset will allow me to be very effective in the workforce and make my employers’ lives easier.